Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Doctors, surgeons, nurses, pharmacists, medical technicians, and other healthcare professionals all provide enormously important services to their patients, keeping them healthy in body and mind. Although the majority of these specialists conduct themselves professionally and competently, the negligence of one doctor, hospital, or other healthcare provider can have traumatic and lifelong consequences for patients who receive improper care.
One of the many areas our firm handles are such claims related to medical malpractice and negligence. Cases of medical malpractice are extremely common. In fact, medical malpractice is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States. However, these are complex cases that require having a team of trained experts to successfully bring a claim against the negligence parties.
Patients who become victims of medical malpractice can suffer death or serious injury, and they and their families have the right to bring a claim against the negligent party. Our medical malpractice lawyers have brought claims against professionals in places such as Killeen, Wichita Falls, Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and across Texas and the country, from coast-to-coast. Handling claims involving cerebral palsy, birth injury, and wrongful death, our Texas malpractice attorneys have represented clients in a wide range of cases and have obtained some of the highest settlements in history. Contact our firm today to meet with our medical malpractice attorneys.
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Common Forms of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can occur in many forms, some more obvious than others. Some of the most common forms include:
- Prescription drug mistakes
- Failure to diagnose cancer or another serious disease
- Misdiagnosis of a serious disease
- Emergency room error, surgical error
- Post-surgical infections
- Birth injury
- Wrongful amputation
- Unwarranted testing of experimental drugs on patients, and other kinds of inadequate or unethical treatment
If you or a loved one has suffered from birth injury, cerebral palsy, or another serious injury as a result of medical negligence, our attorneys can help you determine whether you may be eligible to bring a claim against the negligent party.
What is Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES)?
Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) is a severe condition that causes extreme pressure and swelling of the nerves at the end of the spinal cord and requires emergency intervention. If left untreated, patients can face permanent and life-altering consequences, including paralysis, impaired bladder, and/or bowel control, difficulty walking, and/or other neurological and physical problems.
What are the Symptoms?
When cauda equina symptoms are present, the standard of care requires cauda equina to be addressed as a surgical emergency. Some of the symptoms of CES include:
- Low back pain
- Numbness and/or tingling in the buttocks and lower extremities (sciatica), weakness in the legs
- Incontinence of bladder and/or bowels (including frequency of urination, lack of urination, failure to control the stream of urine)
- “Saddle anesthesia” – numbness where the body would touch a saddle when sitting upon a hors
If you or a loved one has suffered from the misdiagnosis of cauda equina syndrome or the failure to treat cauda equina syndrome, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney familiar with these cases. Our lawyers have handled several cauda equina syndrome cases, and we are familiar with how to manage a cauda equina syndrome lawsuit. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.
Iraq War Veteran
A young combat veteran of the Iraq war was 27 years old when he called the Dallas VA appointment line to request an appointment due to back pain. The next evening, he began experiencing urinary incontinence at home. He woke from a nap having wet himself. He presented to the Dallas VA complaining of lumbar back pain, decreased muscle strength and numbness of the lower extremities, bladder dysfunction, lower extremity radicular pain, and difficulty walking. He was seen by a physician’s assistant. A future lumbar MRI was ordered (with no time or date specified) and he was discharged home.
With no improvement and dissatisfied with his treatment at the VA, he presented to a private hospital in Dallas where a CT of the lumbar spine revealed an extruded disc with a free-floating fragment. The diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome was made and he was transferred for emergency surgery, but it was too late.
At the age of 27, this veteran faces the rest of his life as a paraplegic suffering from permanent cauda equina syndrome. Because the Dallas VA failed to diagnose his cauda equina syndrome and perform surgery within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, he suffered permanent neurologic damage. He is a paraplegic and suffers from bowel, bladder and erectile dysfunction. He must use crutches or is confined to a wheelchair. He suffers daily pain and numbness. All of these damages were preventable if the VA timely diagnosed and treated his cauda equina syndrome. The VA settled his case pre-suit for $800,000.
Vietnam War Veteran
A veteran of the Vietnam War suffered a similar fate following back surgery at the West Los Angeles VA. The veteran underwent a L4-5 and L5-S1 laminectomy. Before surgery, he suffered back pain but did not have problems with bowel function, urination, or sexual function. He did not have difficulty walking.
The day after surgery, the veteran complained to the nurse of numbness in the scrotum, unable to feel sensation, and dull sensation in his right leg. The symptoms persisted and worsened. Soon he was numb from his waist down, incontinent of urine and bowel, and had no feeling in his genital area. He was diagnosed with saddle anesthesia defined as a loss of sensation restricted to the area of the buttocks and perineum.
The post-operative changes he was experiencing are symptoms of cauda equina syndrome, which is an emergency requiring prompt surgical intervention to reduce pressure on the cauda equina nerves. The neurosurgeon was informed of the veteran’s symptoms, but no imaging studies, further examination, or action of any kind was taken. When his doctors finally took him back to surgery two weeks later, it was too late. He now suffers from urinary and bowel incontinence, loss of sexual function, paresthesia lateral and posterior aspects of both legs and pedal and lower extremity edema. He was told that the symptoms have been present for so long, the damage was permanent. His case was settled before trial for $800,000.
Medical Malpractice and the Federal Tort Claims Act
Medical malpractice cases sometimes involve military doctors or hospitals, VA clinics and hospitals, and federally funded clinics. The Federal Tort Claims Act governs lawsuits against the United States government, including lawsuits involving military physicians, facilities, and other healthcare providers. With extensive experience in negligence and birth injury claims, our medical malpractice attorneys have handled FTCA cases all over the United States. In fact, our lawyers have obtained two of the highest Federal Tort Claims Act verdicts in United States history: Dickerson v. U.S. ($18.96 million received by our clients) and Lebron v. U.S. (over $15.75 million received by our clients). Both of these cases involved children who suffered serious birth injuries due to medical negligence.
It is important to consult with a lawyer experienced in FTCA cases because the FTCA adds additional rules and requirements that must be satisfied before the government will compensate you for your claim.
You can look at our national reach page to see our success in states across the United States. You can also see our full results on our case results page. Here are some of the cases that we have won on behalf of clients:
Army Medical Malpractice Birth Injury $23,250,000 awarded on appeal $18,967,710 received by clients with lifetime benefits $6,347,611 attorneys’ fees $203,577 litigation expenses Lebron v. United States Fort Hood, Texas At Darnall Army Community Hospital, a doctor’s improper use of forceps crushed a baby’s skull, leading to massive brain damage, requiring…
Veterans Affairs Stroke Misdiagnosis $21,592,643.03 trial judgment $15,884,511.98 in trust for clients with lifetime benefits $5,398,160.76 attorneys’ fees $309,970.29 litigation expenses Farley v. United States VAMC Manchester, N.H. Our client went to the Manchester Veterans Affairs with a minor stroke. The providers failed to diagnose the cause of his stroke…
Navy Medical Malpractice Birth Injury $12,500,000 settlement $9,183,752 received by clients with lifetime benefits $3,125,000 attorneys’ fees $191,248 litigation expenses Brown v. United States Naval Branch Health Clinic, Millington, TN Navy doctors failed to properly prescribe prenatal vitamins containing folic acid which resulted in our client suffering a devastating spinal…
Army Medical Malpractice Birth Injury $7,384,854 received by clients with lifetime benefits $2,500,000 attorneys’ fees $115,143.23 litigation expenses Guill v. United States General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital (ACH) Failure to properly interpret fetal monitoring and failure to properly resuscitate at birth caused global brain damage. During delivery, our client’s…
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to hire a medical malpractice attorney?
Medical malpractice cases are different from other lawsuits. Rather than a typical retainer payment arrangement between lawyer and client, medical malpractice attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that there is no up-front cost to you. We advance the cost of the lawsuit. If we win the case or negotiate a settlement, our fee is a percentage of the recovery we get for you. We also take out any costs that we advanced in the prosecution of your lawsuit. However, you pay nothing if we don’t recover for you.
What is the average settlement for medical malpractice lawsuits?
Medical malpractice lawsuit settlements vary greatly depending on the circumstances. The settlement amount is determined through negotiations between the plaintiff and defendant(s) (through their attorneys) and is based on economic losses caused by the plaintiff’s injuries, plus any agreed compensation for non-economic damages which include things like emotional pain and suffering, mental anguish, impairment, and disfigurement.
It is important to note that many states have caps on the amount of non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. In Texas, non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases are capped by law, as follows:
- $250,000 for all doctors or health care providers other than a health care institution (like a hospital);
- $250,000 against a single health care institution;
- $250,000 for each additional health care institution.
It is very rare for cases to involve more than one health care institution. Most of the time, the non-economic damage cap in a given medical malpractice case is either $250,000 or $500,000 total.
What is the difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence?
Legally, the terms “medical malpractice” and “medical negligence” are the same. If a health care provider does something that a reasonably prudent health care provider in the same or similar circumstances would not have done, or doesn’t do something that a reasonably prudent health care provider in the same or similar circumstances would have done, the action or inaction of that health care provider may rise to the level of malpractice, or negligence. An example is a doctor who fails to diagnose cancer in a person who has cancer, despite knowing about signs and symptoms that were consistent with cancer. Another example would be a doctor who does not deliver a baby in a timely manner despite the fact that the baby’s heart tracings on a fetal monitor strip are nonreassuring for a period of time.