Hospitals are places people go if they’re hurt and need to get better. Unfortunately, they’re also the place where some of the most catastrophic injuries happen. While doctors and nurses are there to make sure that you get the medical attention that you need, there are times when they either don’t give you the right kinds of attention, or don’t give you enough attention, at all. Either of these can result in you getting the exact opposite of what you went to the hospital for – they can lead to further injury, permanent debilitation, or even death.
These medical mistakes can even be considered malpractice, if the doctor or other healthcare provider failed in their duty to care for you. What this “duty of care” is, though, depends on numerous factors, such as your age, health condition, and even where you’re being treated. However, if a doctor doesn’t comport with generally accepted methods of treating a certain medical condition, their failure to provide you quality healthcare can rise to the level of malpractice.
This is where medical malpractice attorneys, like Dreyer & Mazsheri, make a huge difference. With medical malpractice attorneys representing you for your injuries, or for the devastating loss of a loved one, you can seek justice for the pain you’re suffering as a result of someone else’s incompetence.
This is no small matter. Medical malpractice often leads to serious and life-threatening injuries, and the medical bills you accumulate to correct or fight them can be massive. The sheer size of what it would take for you to get wholly compensated for your horrific experience make any medical malpractice suit complicated: It’s often not enough to sue just the doctor or nurse that hurt you, because they won’t have enough to get you what you need. Luckily, it’s possible to sue the hospital, directly, and make it compensate you for the injuries that you’ve suffered at the hands of its employees. However, hospitals have made it as difficult as possible for this to work, because they want to pay out as little as possible.
The attorneys at Dreyer & Mazsheri know how to foil all of the hospital’s best efforts to insulate themselves from liability, and make them pay you what you deserve after they’ve hurt you.
How Hospitals Make It Difficult for You to Seek Justice
Hospitals use several tactics to try to side-step liability for their mistakes.
Their main way of dodging liability is by having lots of doctors work for them as independent contractors, instead of as employees. The best argument for making a hospital pay for your injuries is by showing that the one responsible for your injuries was one of the hospital’s employees. By keeping a lot of their staff as independent contractors, however, hospitals try to avoid this connection.
It’s not impossible to have a hospital pay for an independent contractor’s negligence, but it is difficult: The hospital has to create a reasonable belief that the independent contractor is actually an employee, or knowingly allow them to say that they are, and then you have to justifiably rely on this information. This happens very, very rarely.
This all has other implications, as well. Because it’s more difficult to make the hospital liable if the person responsible for your suffering wasn’t an employee, the hospital frequently tries pushing the blame onto one of its contractors, instead. This can be hard to fight against, especially considering that you could see multiple doctors or nurses, over the course of your hospital visit. If you get treated by eight people, but five of them are independent contractors, you can bet that the hospital will try everything it can to throw one of them under the bus.
These are just a couple of the ways that hospitals fight against medical malpractice suits. As businesses, they’re only concerned with their bottom line, and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep from compensating you out of their own pockets for a medical injury suffered at their hands.
As if hospitals needed any more help, the state of Texas also plays a part in a medical malpractice lawsuit, with a couple of laws that help to protect hospitals even more.
How Texas Makes It Even More Difficult for You to Get What You Deserve
Unfortunately, the state of Texas has decided that hospitals need a bit more protection, too. To help insulate hospitals even better from medical malpractice cases, Texas has enacted strict damage caps and a tight statute of limitations that make it hard to win.
The Texas statute of limitations for all medical malpractice claims requires that you file suit within two years after the incident occurred, or after the period of hospitalization that included the malpractice. This can be a huge problem, if you don’t realize that you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice soon after it happens. Oftentimes, medical malpractice injuries don’t show themselves for months afterwards, so Texas’ statute of limitations can pose a problem.
The only way to file suit after the statute of limitations expires is if the actual date of the malpractice can’t be definitively determined. If this is the case, then the two years starts tolling from the last date of the course of treatment that led to your injury.
But even if a medical malpractice claim is made within the statute of limitations, Texas law does all that it can to make sure that hospitals don’t have to pay too much, by putting damage caps on a successful case. Even if you prove that someone committed medical malpractice, Texas law puts a maximum on the amount that you can recover.
There are three different damage caps in Texas law. The first puts a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages per claimant. This prevents each person filing the lawsuit from getting more than that amount for things like pain and suffering, or emotional distress, or the mental anguish of losing a loved one, regardless of how much you deserve.
The second cap is for medical malpractice cases that tragically led to a wrongful death. Despite the catastrophic toll that such an event can have, Texas law limits the amount of damages to the cost of medical and custodial care, plus a set amount that’s adjusted for inflation, and currently set at approximately $1,700,000.
The third and last cap is on exemplary damages, and limits them to the larger of $200,000 or non-economic damages, up to $750,000, plus two times the amount of economic damages.
These damage caps were meant to prevent juries from overly sympathizing with people permanently hurt by the negligence of doctors, and making hospitals go out of business, paying malpractice penalties. However, these caps also prevent people who were outrageously wronged by inept or negligent medical professionals from getting the compensation that they deserve, and that they need if they’re ever going to get back on their feet.
Together, Texas’ statute of limitations and damage cap provide hurdles that are difficult to deal with, in order to successfully file a claim of medical malpractice.
Dreyer & Mazsheri Succeed Anyway
Despite the hurdles put up by hospitals, the health system, and Texas legislators, Dreyer & Mazsheri fights to get you what you deserve. Being victimized by medical malpractice and the negligence of health professionals results in seriously debilitating injuries, and is not something that should be taken lightly. You should be made whole by those who are responsible for your pain.
Using their skills in the courtroom and ability to find and investigate medical errors, Dreyer & Mazhseri have shown themselves to be some of the best medical malpractice attorneys in the San Antonio area. Their ability to get to the bottom of a medical injury, find out who was the one who made the mistake, and then pursue the justice that you deserve has resulted in a strong track record of successes. Tap into their wealth of experience and talent. Contact us online or call our law office at (210) 239-9420 if you came out of a hospital visit worse than when you went in.
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