Focus group research has revealed that most people fear a loss of mobility more than any other potential consequence of medical malpractice, including death. That’s because being rendered paraplegic or quadriplegic takes away one’s mobility and independence, and many people simply can’t imagine that.
Under Texas law, if an error by a doctor, nurse, or hospital causes a patient to become paralyzed, they may be held accountable in a medical malpractice lawsuit. In this type of case, a plaintiff would seek to recover monetary damages for the harms and losses caused by paralysis.
Believe it or not, under Texas tort reform laws, the noneconomic damages for a plaintiff being paralyzed for the rest of his or her life are capped. In cases where only physicians are involved, the cap is $250,000. When doctors and a hospital are negligent, the cap is $500,000. When doctors and two or more hospitals are negligent, the cap is $750,000.
The caps don’t apply to economic damages, though, including things like lost wages, loss of earning capacity, past medical bills, and health care that will likely be needed in the future. Depending on the degree of paralysis, future health care may be quite costly. Some people need full-time in-home assistance, while others may need to move into an assisted-care facility.
The best way to have a potential case evaluated is to contact an experienced Texas medical malpractice attorney.
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Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas.