Texas laws make it harder for patients to file lawsuits against doctors
Connie Spears’ leg was amputated unnecessarily because ER doctors first sent her home from the hospital with extensive tissue damage and a severe blood clot, even after she told them of her history with blood clots. After being turned down by many lawyers to take her case because of the “tort reform” in Texas made the negligence laws more anti-patient, she found a lawyer who couldn’t turn her down. Although her luck appeared to have turned upward, the case soon fell apart because of the new expert-witness rules. Spears had to prove the ER doctors were “willful and wanton” in their negligence, but she also had to find “a practicing physician in the same specialty as the defendant to serve as an expert witness” to say it. To top it off, if she “fails to produce adequate reports within 120 days of filing their cases, she is liable for defendants’ legal fees.” The New York Times wrote, “With her retirement savings tapped and her husband out of work, she is afraid they will lose their home.” New York Times writer Pauline Chen, M.D. also wrote that “doctors have started to shift their focus from the financial aspects of malpractice to the untold hours spent focused on lawsuits.” Insurers today, however, often are able to settle legitimate claims with patients before there is even a court case filed, as well as paying valid claims expeditiously. Many people are skeptical of the new laws in Texas; however, if you have had a problem with a doctor in Texas, the right lawyer can help you. If you have been injured at the fault of your physician contact an experienced personal injury attorney to fight for you. Texas attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm can help you win your court case.