Can You Sue a Texas Hospital for Pain and Suffering?
18When you undergo treatment at a hospital, you expect it to be relatively pain-free. After all, that’s what anesthesia and painkillers are designed to do: make surgery and medical treatment easier on the patient. In many cases where pain and suffering are severe during your treatment, you might be entitled to sue the hospital, but the legal questions involved are quite complicated.
First, you can only sue a hospital for pain and suffering in Texas if there was malpractice involved. Second, the hospital will usually pay pain and suffering damages only if the harm was caused by hospital employees rather than private practice physicians. Lastly, pain and suffering damages are typically capped in Texas.
For help getting damages for your pain and suffering from a hospital in Texas, call The Queenan Law Firm today at (817) 476-1797. Our Dallas medical malpractice attorneys offer free case reviews.
Suing a Hospital for Pain and Suffering from Malpractice in Texas
Pain is a normal part of many medical procedures, and doctors and other health care providers typically do everything that they can to keep you comfortable during your treatment. In many cases, the pain you face is the result of the initial injuries you faced rather than anything the doctors or nurses did. As such, damages for pain and suffering from medical care are only available in cases where the suffering stems from something going wrong – i.e., medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is essentially an error or mistake that a doctor makes that falls below the standard of care in your case. If the physician, nurse, or hospital’s care falls below this standard of care, then you can claim damages against them in a medical malpractice lawsuit for any harms resulting from their errors and mistakes. Generally speaking, the harms could include things like additional medical care to reverse the effects of their mistakes as well as less concrete damages like pain and suffering.
What this means is that pain and suffering damages are not available in cases of successful, normal treatment. Even though a procedure might hurt a lot, it does not automatically mean that something went wrong. However, if you are in excessive pain after undergoing surgery or some other medical procedure, it is possible that you faced complications that your doctor did not tell you about. Many cases of malpractice are only discovered after the fact when a patient in a lot of pain seeks a second opinion.
For help understanding whether your pain and suffering are the result of malpractice or not, call our Fort Worth medical malpractice attorneys right away. We can help set you up with a second opinion and get to the bottom of what caused your injuries.
In Texas, Do You Sue a Doctor or a Hospital for Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering damages are commonly paid in medical malpractice suits by both doctors and hospitals. Knowing which one is responsible for your injuries and your pain in your case is not always simple.
Texas medical malpractice lawyers can often file lawsuits against the individual doctor for negligent medical care when the doctor is in private practice. In these situations, the doctor works for themselves/for their practice. As such, the hospital might not have been involved in your care decisions or in the mistakes that caused your injuries.
In other cases, the hospital does share the blame. If the doctor is a hospital employee, malpractice victims can often sue the hospital for its employee’s mistakes. Even if the doctor wasn’t an employee, the hospital might have also made mistakes in its own right, generally through other employees. For example, if the pharmacy staff mixed up medications or laboratory testing errors gave the physician the wrong information, the hospital could be liable for the resulting malpractice.
Your Fort Worth medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine which parties are to blame and file your lawsuit accordingly. Ultimately, many cases are properly filed against both the doctor and the hospital.
Caps on Pain and Suffering Damages from Hospitals
Under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 74.301, there are some caps and limits on pain and suffering damages that will affect how much you can sue a hospital for. Under this restriction, all noneconomic damages (which includes pain and suffering) are capped at $250,000 against an institution (e.g., a hospital).
However, that only applies to the one hospital. If you sue two or more hospitals in the course of your lawsuit, then each one can be ordered to pay up to $250,000 in noneconomic damages with an overall cap at $500,000.
These limits only apply to noneconomic damages, which include things like mental anguish, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. For other damages (e.g., the cost of additional surgeries, lost wages during your recovery, or in-home adaptations to deal with your injury), there is no cap.
Damages for Other Pain and Suffering from Medical Treatment at a Hospital in Texas
If you went to a hospital and faced severe pain and suffering in the normal course of your medical treatment, there may still be ways to seek compensation – just not from the hospital. Injuries from accidents can be incredibly painful, and the medical care that you need to treat the injuries can also be painful.
If you were hurt in an accident and suffered painful treatment to recover from the injuries, those pain and suffering damages can usually be claimed against whoever caused your initial accident. A Houston personal injury lawyer can help you sue for injuries from a car accident, a workplace accident, a slip and fall, or other accidental injuries that led to painful treatment.
Call Our Texas Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today
For help holding a hospital liable for medical malpractice and pain and suffering in Texas, call The Queenan Law Firm. For a free case review, call our Texas medical malpractice attorneys today at (817) 476-1797.