When and Where to Report Medical Malpractice
When a doctor’s negligence leads to a misdiagnosis, improper treatment, or other preventable error, it is considered medical malpractice. Malpractice suits arise when anyone in a healthcare provider role is negligent by act or omission, which leads to treatment that falls beneath the accepted industry standards for practice and causes harm to a patient. If you suspect that your healthcare provider’s actions, or lack thereof, led to further injury, reporting the malpractice is the first step in securing the compensation you deserve.
When to Report Malpractice
In any legal dispute, the quicker you can address a grievance, the better. In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice case is two years. Sometimes, you may not be aware of the negligent activity until sometime after you received treatment or advice. As soon as you are aware or suspicious of unethical or negligent activity, you will need to file a report along with a lawsuit. Contact a personal injury attorney who has malpractice experience in your area. Most medical malpractice lawsuits are not frivolous. They help patients secure the compensation and justice they deserve, and they prevent future acts of negligence from affecting others.
Where to Report Malpractice
Talk to your attorney before filing your malpractice report with the state medical complaint board. He or she can help you find the information needed to submit a report and determine the agency that will review your claim. In Texas, the state medical board handles most complaint reporting, although some cases may fall under a local medical or osteopathic society or a state licensing authority. The Texas Medical Board Complaint Form asks for contact information, patient information, details, dates, supporting documents, and the contact information of any doctor who provided a second opinion.
Malpractice complaints can be filed by anyone; however, an attorney can expedite the process to ensure that you receive justice more quickly. All complaints must be made in writing. Once the appropriate party has been notified of the complaint, an authorized investigator will conduct an investigation.
Some patients also choose to post a complaint on public forums like a consumer website. Because the review board may not take action against a physician, these public forums allow patients to reach out to others and share their positive and negative experiences with doctors and healthcare practices.
The Difference Between Reporting Malpractice and Filing a Lawsuit
Filing a report with a state board or other medical organization is separate from any pending lawsuits; however, it is common for patients to simultaneously pursue both courses of action. Reporting malpractice does not provide compensation for the patient, but it can prevent a physician from continuing to practice medicine.
If you plan on filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas as well as a malpractice report, we highly recommend consulting an attorney first. Anything that you submit in a complaint report will be admissible in court and should be in line with the allegations of the lawsuit. Most attorneys will help with the malpractice process from start to finish.
If an insurance company approaches you after you file a malpractice report, be wary of any settlement offers. Some companies try to take advantage of patients and avoid a public lawsuit by offering a settlement that prevents a patient from taking further legal action. Consult your Dallas medical malpractice attorney before accepting an insurance settlement offer.
Contact the Benton Law Firm for a free consultation about medical malpractice cases. We can offer some guidance on your current situation and help you determine the best legal course of action for your case. Your first priority should be recovering from physician error, and we are ready to help you get back to your life with the best possible outcome.