FAQs: Medical Malpractice Death Lawyer

Q: What is medical malpractice?

A: Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the normal standard of care that another healthcare professional with similar training would have provided the patient that results in injury or death. In short, it is negligence on the part of your healthcare provider, which can be a doctor, nurse, psychiatrist, dentist, medical specialist, or other technician or hospital worker.

Q: My husband died during a routine surgery. Can I file a medical malpractice claim on behalf of his estate?

A: Yes, but the plaintiff must show that the injury and death was a result of the doctor's actions during the surgery and that his/her actions deviated from the standard care associated with that particular procedure. If informed consent was given, the patient agreed and signed a form stating that there are no guarantees of medical results, and unexpected or unsuccessful results are possible even in routine procedures. It does not automatically mean that negligence was a factor in the patient's death. It is best to consult an attorney to discuss the details of the situation and to determine whether you have a case or not.

Q: What is "informed consent"?

A: Basically, "informed consent" means that a doctor or other health care provider is required to inform a patient of all possible outcomes, the risks, and any alternatives involved in whatever surgical procedure, medical procedure, or other course of treatment the patient is undergoing. After the patient is given this information, they should sign a statement saying they have been thoroughly "informed" and give the doctor permission or "consent" to proceed. However, this definition can vary from state to state depending on the statute in that state.

Q: What does a jury need to know to determine whether or not a doctor's actions were negligent?

A: The expert testimony, (usually another doctor or healthcare professional in the same specialty area), will be the primary focus of what the jury will consider to determine the doctor in question's negligence. The expert witnesses typically express an opinion when they testify that states if they believe the healthcare professional's actions followed standard medical practices, or deviated and did not meet the accepted standard of care.

Q: Is there a limit on the award I can receive for a deceased loved one due to medical malpractice?

A: Yes and no is the appropriate response. Texas bill HB4 amended medical malpractice cases to only allow a maximum of $250,000 for non-economic damages, which would be for pain and suffering and loss of companionship (known as consortium). There is still no set limit on the economic damages that can be awarded which include; payment of medical bills relating to the death, burial costs, loss of income, loss of retirement, and loss of other benefits, such as insurance.

Medical Malpractice Death Main Information Page

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