Legal Question in Medical Malpractice in Texas

Hospital charges

My husband was taken to emergency room complaining to pain in right side at the waistline area. He told Drs that pain extended into side and back. They decided he'd had a heart attack and decided to do an angioplasty, and fix any blockages and install a pacemaker. When this was done, his blood pressure was not returning as they expected so they decided to look further for cause. They discovered an aortic annuerism which was in the area of the original pain which initiated the visit to the emergency room. They repaired it, but his blood pressure did not return and he did not survive the surgery. Question is: the event took place 12/3/2006 and to date the only bill I have received has been the anesthesiologist. Not a word from the hospital or Doctors. Is this a indication that the Drs knew they had treated the wrong issue and as a result he died? Is there a legal case here?

Asked on 8/03/07, 4:52 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Dan Street Street Law Firm

Re: Hospital charges

I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. I know it is difficult during this time of grief to even think about legal action. Unfortunately, there are deadlines on when you must act. You need to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

In all medical malpractice cases in Texas it is required that you prove that the doctors or hospital were negligent and that it was this negligence that caused your husband's death. The case cannot be based upon only your feelings, suspicions, or suppositions that the doctors or hospital may have been at fault. It must be based on expert testimony from a doctor that your doctors or hospital were negligent. Therefore, the first step is to discuss this matter with another doctor and see if he or she is willing to state that the first doctor or the hospital were negligent. The second step is to obtain ALL medical records from the time your husband first saw the negligent doctor and get those to an attorney for review. Establishing negligence is a difficult, but absolutely necessary, element of your case. And the evidence establishing negligence must come from a doctor; it cannot be based upon yours or my opinion.

It would be my suggestion that you immediately call me to discuss your case thoroughly. There is no charge for the consultation. If we determine that you do have a case, we will tell you exactly what needs to be done and will offer you a contingency fee contract. This means you will pay nothing unless we collect.

The statute of limitations requires that you settle your claim or file a lawsuit on your claim in most cases within two years of the date of the doctors� or hospital�s negligence or your claim will be barred forever.

Again, please accept my most sincere sympathies. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Answered on 8/06/07, 2:10 pm
Daniel Ross Ross Law Group

Re: Hospital charges

First of all, I am very sorry for your loss.

You may have a medical negligence case on behalf of your husband, but the medical records need to be reviewed by one or more physicians experienced in the specialty areas of the doctors who treated your husband at the ER. The fact that you have not received a bill from the doctors or the hospital may be an indication that they feel they were negligent, or could be the result of other factors. The statute of limitations in Texas for medical malpractice is generally two years from the negligent act, but there are some exceptions, and the law is very complicated in this area.

Your best course of action is to seek an attorney qualified and experienced in the medical malpractice arena to assist you as soon as possible. You may feel free to call my office and speak to my legal assistant Ashley to set up an appointment if you wish to discuss this further. Again, I am sorry for what you and your family have been through.

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Answered on 8/03/07, 5:33 pm

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