Medical malpractice is a legal concept that refers to a healthcare professional’s failure to provide adequate care to a patient. In Texas, medical malpractice is defined as a physician or health care provider’s failure to exercise the degree of care and skill that is ordinarily used by other members of the profession in the same or similar circumstances.
Under Texas law, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to use the same level of skill and care that another healthcare provider of the same specialty would have used in a similar situation, resulting in harm or injury to the patient. This can include errors in diagnosis, treatment, surgery, or medication, as well as failures to communicate information about a patient’s condition or risks of treatment.
Proving Medical Malpractice in Texas:
To prove medical malpractice in Texas, the plaintiff (the patient or their representative) must establish the following elements:
- Duty: The medical professional had a duty to provide care to the patient.
- Breach of duty: The medical professional breached that duty by failing to provide the appropriate standard of care.
- Causation: The medical professional’s breach of duty caused the patient’s injury.
- Damages: The patient suffered damages, such as physical or emotional pain, loss of earnings, medical expenses, and other related losses.
To establish a breach of duty for medical malpractice, the plaintiff must show that the medical professional’s actions fell below the accepted standard of care in the medical community. The standard of care is determined by what a reasonably competent medical professional with the same training and experience would have done under similar circumstances. Expert testimony is often used to establish the standard of care and to show how the defendant failed to meet that standard.
Causation can be more difficult to prove, as the plaintiff must show that the medical professional’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the patient’s injury. This may require expert testimony as well, to show how the medical professional’s actions led to the patient’s harm. Overall, proving medical malpractice in Texas can be a complex and challenging process, requiring the expertise of skilled attorneys and medical professionals.