Texas Surgeon Sentenced to Life in Prison
In mid-February, A former Texas surgeon was sentenced to life in prison after injuring multiple patients during recklessly and maliciously performed operations, CBS Dallas reported. The prosecutors brought multiple charges against the surgeon for actions including operating on the wrong portion of a patient’s spine, improperly placing screws and plates in a person’s spine, cutting a major vein within a patient, and leaving a sponge in another patient.
While this is an example of the criminal charges that can be brought against a physician for negligent care, the victims and their families can also bring civil medical malpractice lawsuits against negligent, reckless, and malicious medical providers.
Texas Medical Malpractice Claims
Most medical malpractice claims are based on a physician or some type of licensed medical professional or facility providing substandard care and causing a patient injury. These types of actions require patients and their attorneys to prove four elements in order to gain compensation:
- That the physician or medical care provider had a duty toward you;
- The physician or provider breached that duty toward you;
- The breach harmed you; and
- You can be compensated for your injury.
It is relatively easy to prove that a provider or facility had a duty toward a patient. All doctors have a duty of reasonable care toward patients, which means they must provide care within the same standards as other reasonably well-qualified medical professionals would while treating similar individuals within similar circumstances. An attorney will simply provide proof that the plaintiff was the defendant’s patient.
Next, an attorney will offer proof that the care caused the plaintiff an injury. Medical malpractice claims can arise because a physician did not do something he or she should have, he or she did something that was inappropriate, or he or she did something that was necessary and appropriate, yet it did it incorrectly. The negligent care could be a misdiagnosis, delayed notification of a condition, unnecessary treatment, or botched treatment or surgery.
Proving Damages in Court
Once an attorney offers evidence that the defendant had a duty and breached that duty, he or she will provide documentation and testimony to support a request for:
- Past and future medical expenses;
- Lost earning capacity;
- Physical pain;
- Physical limitations;
- Mental anguish; and/or
- Loss of consortium.
The most common ways of proving damages in court include documentation of your expenses, personal testimony regarding your pain and limitations, and expert medical testimony regarding your injuries.
Contact a New Braunfels Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
Anyone who has been hurt by a doctor’s or other medical professional’s poor performance, reckless conduct, or even malicious wrongdoing should immediately speak with an experienced medical practice attorney from the Bettersworth Law Firm. Texas allows you to file a medical malpractice claim within two years of your finding out that you were injured, which means once you know you have been wronged, you need to immediately begin to investigate your situation and gather evidence against potential defendants. A skilled New Braunfels medical malpractice lawyer can help you build your case and ensure you do not wait too long to file.