Proving medical negligence requires defining a standard of care, demonstrating that a physician, nurse, or hospital didn’t meet that standard, and that the poor care caused harm to the patient. Without each and every one of these elements, there’s not a valid case.
Thus, when evaluating a medical malpractice case, it’s essential to separate acts of negligence from other concerning factors like rudeness, lack of compassion, or mistakes of a doctor or nurse that didn’t cause a serious injury.
In the current state of Texas law, experienced medical malpractice lawyers must look closely at that last factor, which we refer to as causation. This requires a careful investigation of the medical records and background facts in consultation with medical and sometimes nursing experts.
In many cases where there’s a delay in diagnosis and treatment, for example, it’s difficult to name both physicians and nurses (or their hospital employer) as defendants and meet the current legal standard for causation.
Some appellate courts, like Houston’s First Court of Appeals, have ruled that if a doctor had enough information to make the correct diagnosis and treatment plan, but failed to do so, then it may be impossible to prove that a nurse’s failure to notify the physician about additional abnormal signs and symptoms caused any harm.
It’s important for people injured by medical malpractice in Texas to hire an attorney early on, to allow adequate time for a thorough investigation that will result in naming the right defendants in a way that will pass the tough scrutiny of trial and appellate courts.