The Basics of Medical Malpractice Claims in Texas: Insights from a Dallas Lawyer

Healthcare workers are known for their professionalism and trustworthiness. Daily, these medical workers treat life-threatening infections and execute cutting-edge surgeries that save the lives of patients and the people they care about.

The medical field, however, is not without its flaws. Hundreds of people die yearly due to preventable errors that doctors and hospitals make.  In fact, according to research from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the number of people who died from medical errors totaled more than 240,000 in just one recent year.

But what happens in the aftermath, and how do you file a claim for medical malpractice in Texas? Read on to learn more about your options. And if you've been impacted by medical malpractice in the Lone Star State, contact an attorney as soon as possible.

How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice?

Errors in medical care are all too common. Unfortunately, medical malpractice occurs more often than we realize and often goes unnoticed. However, not all unintended medical errors or outcomes constitute malpractice.

So, what elements make up a solid claim of medical negligence? Under Texas law, patients who suffer injuries as a result of medical malpractice must demonstrate the following:

  • An injury was sustained as a result of negligent medical care.
  • The existence of a doctor-patient relationship or other duty of care.
  • The "negligence" of the treating physician or medical facility and the provider's subsequent breach of this obligation.

Main Types of Medical Malpractice in Texas

Meanwhile, there are three main types of medical malpractice cases in Texas:

  • Misdiagnosis: This type of medical negligence happens when a clinician either misdiagnoses a patient's ailment or fails to diagnose one that is there.
  • Lack of adequate and proper medical attention: Such examples involve medical negligence on the part of the treating physician. Simply put, the doctor's error was one that another doctor of a similar skill level would not have made.
  • Failure to inform patients of risk or potential dangers: The final type of malpractice in the medical field is failing to inform the patient of potential dangers. Whether it's surgery, drug delivery, or some other form of treatment, there's always a chance of anything going wrong. Malpractice happens when a doctor fails to get a patient's permission to proceed with treatment after explaining all the potential downsides.

How is Medical Malpractice Defined in Texas?

The Basics of Medical Malpractice Claims in Texas: Insights from a Dallas Lawyer

When "treatment, a lack of treatment, or other alleged deviation from widely accepted care standards" leads to a patient's damage or death in Texas, the patient or family members may file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Remember that the burden of proof falls on the victim or their attorney to show that the healthcare provider's carelessness caused the harm. Injuries to patients are theoretically possible at any point in their treatment, but only those directly attributable to medical professionals' carelessness can be considered medical malpractice.

Negligence in the state of Texas must be a "willful and wanton" deviation from the standard of medical care owed to the patient. According to the Texas definition, negligence is "conscious indifference to the rights, safety, or welfare of others" when someone knowingly takes actions (or fails to disclose knowledge) that place others in grave danger. Naturally, the standard will change depending on the specialist's area of expertise.

Liability in Texas Medical Malpractice Claims

Medical malpractice can result in patients pursuing legal action against healthcare providers and facilities in Texas. A healthcare provider in Texas is an individual, partnership, professional organization, corporation, facility, or establishment that is licensed, certified, registered, or authorized by the state to provide healthcare.

However, Texas is one of only a few states that use the 51% bar criterion. This means the injured party cannot seek compensation if they are at least 50% or more responsible for their injury.

Aside from that, if you were at least somewhat responsible for your injuries, the amount of compensation you receive should reflect the degree to which you were at fault in Texas. So, if a court rules that you were 30% at fault and the total settlement is $200,000, your portion of compensation will be $140,000 to reflect your percentage of liability.

Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Texas

In order to file a claim for medical malpractice in Texas, you must take the following steps:

  1. Provide written notice to the defendants within the preceding 60 days. Before releasing protected health information, a signed authorization form must be included with the notice.
  2. Next, the plaintiffs have 45 days from the release form's signing to secure all medical records. No court procedures can continue if this paperwork is not completed or medical records are not submitted.
  3. Finally, the discovery process can begin once both the written notice and the defendant's response have been filed with the proper courts. The purpose of discovery is to get the parties in a lawsuit ready for trial by exchanging relevant information.

Call the Rasansky Law Firm For Texas Medical Malpractice

Unfortunately, medical malpractice rates can be shockingly high throughout the nation and the Lone Star State. Adding insult to injury, only 6% of doctors are responsible for nearly 58% of all malpractice payouts, despite the shocking and preventable number of Americans losing their lives due to medical errors.

If you are dealing with the fallout of a medical malpractice-related accident, you should get in touch with a Dallas medical malpractice attorney right away. You could be eligible for compensation to help with your past and future medical bills, pain and suffering, and much more.

Our skilled attorneys at the Rasansky Law Firm have worked for decades to help victims recover compensation after they've been impacted by medical malpractice. Our highly qualified, well-versed legal team is committed to providing our clients with the best representation possible.

We can start working on your case immediately to find out what happened and your legal alternatives during this frustrating time in your life. If you or a loved one has been injured in Texas due to medical negligence and you have questions about your legal rights, please call our office at (214) 617-1886.



2525 McKinnon Street #550 Dallas, Texas 75201

Note: The information that was utilized in this post was gathered from the use of secondary sources. This information used has not been confirmed or independently verified. If you locate any information that is not correct, please contact our firm as soon as possible so that we can make the appropriate corrections. If you find any information that is false, we will remove or correct the post immediately after it is brought to our attention.

Disclaimer: As a valued member of the Dallas community, Rasansky Law Firm’s goal is to improve the safety of all residents in the great state of Texas. These posts should not be viewed as a solicitation for business and the information included herein should not be taken as medical or legal advice. The photos used in this post are not representative of the actual crash scene.

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