Texas Medical Malpractice Defense
We Defend Doctors and Other Providers Facing Allegations of Medical Malpractice in Texas
440 Louisiana St #200
Houston, TX 77002
If you are facing allegations of medical malpractice, you are not alone. Medical malpractice claims are becoming increasingly common, as plaintiffs’ lawyers are aggressively marketing for clients and pursuing claims under a broad range of circumstances. Unfortunately, regardless of how substantiated (or unsubstantiated) the allegations may be, you need to defend against them. The good news is that there are several defenses available, and at Oberheiden P.C. we have a significant track record of achieving favorable results for our clients in Texas.
In all medical malpractice cases, the underlying theory is that the doctor or other provider in question failed to meet Texas’s standard of care. Under Texas law, all medical providers have a legal duty to treat their patients with the level of care that is generally observed by members of the relevant medical community. But, not all mistakes rise to the level of a breach of duty; and, in many cases, what a patient perceives as a “mistake” is simply an unfortunate and/or unpredictable turn of events.
The Importance of Engaging Legal Counsel to Defend Against Medical Malpractice Allegations in Texas
When facing allegations of medical malpractice, it is imperative to engage experienced legal counsel. While your malpractice insurer may have defense lawyers it uses to respond to plaintiffs’ allegations, you will want to receive advice from a lawyer who exclusively has your best interests in mind. At Oberheiden P.C., we are experienced in working with insurance companies and their defense lawyers, and we can advise and represent you while working with your insurer as necessary.
Medical malpractice allegations don’t just present the risk for civil liability that will be covered by your insurance policy. Depending on the severity of the allegations, you could potentially face personal liability as well, and the plaintiff’s allegations could also lead to disciplinary action by the Texas Medical Board. In fact, since the legal standards for medical malpractice claims and professional discipline differ, you could face adverse licensing action even if the plaintiff’s allegations do not ultimately lead to civil liability.
With all of this in mind, if you are facing allegations of medical malpractice, it is strongly in your best interests to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible. With offices in Dallas and Houston, we represent providers throughout Texas, and you can contact us for a complimentary case assessment 24/7.
Defense Strategies in Texas Medical Malpractice Cases
There are several potential options for defending against allegations of medical malpractice in Texas. At Oberheiden P.C., we craft custom-tailored defense strategies that take into account the specific circumstances of each provider’s case, and we target efficient and favorable results that protect our clients’ finances, licenses, and reputations.
Some examples of the defense strategies that we use to defend doctors and other providers against medical malpractice claims in Texas include:
1. Dispute the Plaintiff’s Allegations that You Failed to Meet the Standard of Care
In order to prevail in a claim for medical malpractice, the plaintiff must be able to prove that you failed to meet the requisite standard of care. Under Texas law, medical providers are held to a standard of care that is determined based upon the circumstances under which a patient seeks treatment, and proving that a provider failed to meet this standard requires testimony from experts within the relevant medical community.
In medical malpractice cases, plaintiff’s lawyers will often utilize experts who are “hired guns” to help prove their clients’ claims for damages. These experts get paid to provide their opinions; and while their opinions should be unbiased, there is a clear financial incentive for these experts to assist with moving plaintiffs’ claims forward. By challenging these experts’ opinions, and by relying on experts of our own, we are able to successfully dispute plaintiffs’ claims that our clients failed to meet the standard of care in many cases.
2. Dispute the Plaintiff’s Allegations that Your Alleged Malpractice Caused His or Her Condition
“Causation” is another key element of a medical malpractice claim under Texas law. Even if you made a mistake that rises to the level of malpractice, if it did not cause the plaintiff’s condition, then you are not liable under Texas law. As with proving that you failed to meet the standard of care, it is also up to the plaintiff to prove causation. If the plaintiff’s evidence of causation is lacking, or if your lawyers can collect evidence which suggests an alternate explanation for the plaintiff’s condition, then challenging the causation element could produce a favorable outcome as well.
3. Assert Assumption of the Risk or Comparative Negligence (or Both)
When patients consent to medical treatment, they assume certain risks. If there was a risk that the procedure you performed would have a negative outcome, if the plaintiff was aware of this risk, and if this risk ultimately came to fruition, then you may be able to use this series of events as a defense. Patients share responsibility for their care-related decisions, and they cannot seek to hold their doctors accountable when they experience anticipated outcomes.
Another related type of defense is the defense of comparative negligence. If the plaintiff is partially responsible for his or her own condition, this can serve as a defense to medical malpractice liability. Under Texas law, if a patient is deemed to be 51 percent or more at fault for his or her own condition, this will completely bar the patient’s claim for financial recovery.
4. Assert Statutory Defenses to Medical Malpractice Liability
In addition to the defenses discussed above, there are various other statutory defenses to liability. For example, Texas’s Good Samaritan law will provide a defense to medical malpractice liability in some cases. Additionally, if the statute of limitations for the plaintiff’s claim has expired, then the plaintiff cannot recover damages regardless of the veracity of his or her allegations.
5. Target an Efficient and Confidential Pre-Trial Resolution
Regardless of the specific types of defenses we put forward, when representing doctors and other providers in medical malpractice litigation, we always target an efficient and confidential pre-trial resolution. Not only does this help to reduce the monetary costs of facing allegations of malpractice, but it also mitigates the risk of facing substantial, and perhaps irreparable, reputational harm.
FAQs: Defending Against Medical Malpractice Allegations in Texas
What is the Likelihood of Avoiding Liability in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Texas?
The likelihood of avoiding liability in a medical malpractice lawsuit depends on the specific circumstances involved. While some medical malpractice lawsuits are well-substantiated and present a high risk for liability, others completely lack merit. Then, there are those that fall somewhere in between. In order to determine the likelihood of the plaintiff’s success in your case, you will need to consult with an experienced Texas medical malpractice defense attorney.
Is There a Risk that a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Will Lead to Disciplinary Action By the Texas Medical Board?
Yes, medical malpractice lawsuits can lead to disciplinary action—up to and including permanent license revocation. Our defense lawyers represent doctors in civil litigation and in disciplinary proceedings before the Texas Medical Board, and we carefully tailor our defense strategies to ensure that we are able to protect our clients to the greatest extent possible.
Do I Need to Engage Independent Legal Counsel for Medical Malpractice Defense?
Although you have the option of relying on your malpractice insurer’s defense lawyers, this approach generally is not recommended. With all that you have at stake, you need to be sure that you are relying on the advice of highly-experienced medical malpractice defense lawyers who have your best interests in mind. At Oberheiden P.C., we have experience working alongside many different insurance companies, and we can represent you effectively while also ensuring that you receive the benefits and protections afforded by your malpractice insurance policy.
What if I Know I Made a Mistake?
Not all medical mistakes rise to the level of medical malpractice. As a result, even if you know that you made a mistake when treating the patient who is suing you, you could still have clear defenses available. When you engage our Texas medical malpractice defense lawyers to represent you, we will thoroughly evaluate the facts of your case and build a comprehensive defense strategy focused on protecting you by all means available.
What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing a Texas Medical Malpractice Defense Lawyer?
While there are several factors to consider when choosing a Texas medical malpractice defense lawyer, the single most-important factor is relevant experience. You need to choose a lawyer who has an in-depth understanding of both the legal and medical issues involved in your case, and you need to choose a lawyer who has a proven record of success defending doctors and other providers in litigation.
Speak with a Texas Medical Malpractice Defense Lawyer at Oberheiden P.C.
If you need defense counsel for a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas, we encourage you to contact us promptly for a complimentary case assessment. To speak with one of our senior malpractice defense lawyers in confidence, call 866-824-5165 or tell us how we can contact you online now.