Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in Texas
A 7 years old - diabetic, was sent to ER and was left by his nurse for 4 hours with no contact. The nurse did not check on him, did not check his blood sugar, did not give insulin, no food, and could not be found. Not even by the doctor. The child was admitted due to the lack of care in the ER and the doctor in charge specifically said that the reason he was being admitted was due to 'delay of care'. What steps need/can be taken at this point? Complaint? Lawsuit? This boy could have died, and could have gone home had there not been a delay of care. Please advise.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: diabetic malpractice
The initial question in this case and\or any other potential Med Mal case is whether the "standard of care" has been breached. In other words did the victim get sub-standard care. Based on the facts that you have given and the opinion of the "doctor in charge" the answer to this initial question seems fairly clear? The next question is what actual damages, if any, did the victim actually suffer as a consequence of the sub-standard medical treatment. Unfortunately, it is not enough in Texas for a person just to be exposed to a potentially deadly or harmful situation. The victim must actually suffer real verifiable damages.
In 2003, our learned Texas Legislature listened to the Big Insurance lobbyists and concluded that the way to stop medical malpractice in Texas was to LIMIT the maximum amount of damages a plaintiff could be awarded by a jury. In doing so, they passsed sweeping legislature that caps damages on children, stay at home moms and the retired at $250,000.00, with NO exceptions. They did all this knowing that it routinely COSTS a plaintiff and their lawyer upwards of $50,000.00 to even get a medical malpractice case to a point where a jury could hear and eventually decide it.
My initial recomendation to you is to seek the evaluation of a qualified medical malpractice lawyer in your area. He can take your facts and the medical records that support them and get a an outside physician to evalauate the appropriate "standard of care" against your facts and then make a recomendation on whether litigation is a potential solution for you.
I can also recommend that you consider filing a formal complaint with the Texas Board of Medical Examiners (TMBE). This can be done online at http://www.tmb.state.tx.us/ . Follow the prompts. Lastly, I can highly recommend making direct contact with Texas Watch. Texas Watch is a pro-consumer group that is very interested in hearing about stories like yours where Doctors have been less than "helpful" to their patients. You can reach them on the web as well. Their web site is http://www.texaswatch.org/TW/.
Good Luck to you.