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Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Failure to Diagnose
Malpractice for Cosmetic Surgery
Surgical Malpractice
Malpractice for Unnecessary Surgery
Is Your Current Pain and Indication of Malpractice?

‘Failure to Diagnose’ and Medical Malpractice

Home » ‘Failure to Diagnose’ and Medical Malpractice

If a Doctor Fails to Diagnose The Cause of Your Illness, You May Have a Medical Malpractice Claim

One of the most uncomfortable parts of going to the doctor is oftentimes the diagnosis. We are always afraid of what the doctor might tell us when we are sick. However, if you are diagnosed for an illness and it is found to have been an incorrect evaluation of what was wrong with you, you do in fact have the right to recover for your losses. The way you recover for your losses is through a medical malpractice lawsuit. In order to properly litigate a malpractice lawsuit you need to have competent legal representation due to the highly complex nature of those types of lawsuits. Our Law Offices’ attorneys have handled numerous malpractice claims and know the effort and time that must be put into these causes of action to make sure that your claim is successful. This article will discuss the basics of a medical malpractice lawsuit with regard to a claim based on a failure to diagnose an illness accurately.

What is a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

A medical malpractice lawsuit is a cause of action that permits you to recover for injuries or damages that you have suffered stemming from some action of a physician that has caused you physical or emotional injury. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, there are certain elements that must exist for your lawsuit to be successful. If one of these elements fails to exist then your cause of action will not stand and your claim will therefore fail. This is one of the primary reasons that you must have a lawyer that is very familiar with this type of claim because these elements are difficult to prove. Nevertheless, no matter how difficult they may be, with a skilled attorney like those available at Our Law Offices you stand to be compensated substantially.

What are the Specific Elements of That Must be Proven?

The elements that must be established are (1) that there is a duty by the physician to act according to certain standards. The standard that will be imposed is generally the accepted standard duty of care for physicians. (2), there must have been a breach of that duty of care. Typically other doctors that are trained in a similar area of the law will be retained to determine if they would have acted in a similar manner as the physician that misdiagnosed you. Then, (3) there must be an injury. Therefore you yourself must have suffered some kind of an injury because of the fact that this doctor diagnosed you incorrectly. And lastly, there must be some form of causal connection between the breach and the standard of care. Therefore, your injury cannot be from some unrelated accident, it must have stemmed from the misdiagnosis. Essentially, the misdiagnosis must have been what caused your injury that then spurred the ensuing litigation.

All things considered, assuming that you prove the elements that are required and the misdiagnosis in fact caused your injury then you most definitely have a valid medical malpractice claim. However, the success of your claim will be increased exponentially with the assistance of experienced legal counsel. The attorneys at Our Law Offices are more than capable of handling your claim for you. To discuss the particulars of your case, contact us.


Cosmetic Surgery Medical Malpractice

Have You Been Injured by the Negligence or Malpractice of a Plastic Surgeon?

Beauty is only skin deep. Many people cite this common phrase, but every year more and more people choose to undergo plastic surgery. Many people put a huge value in how they look with the intention of plastic surgery improving their mental health, personal well-being, and overall life. Many people think of it as being routine maintenance that everyone should partake in. For some reason many people perceive plastic surgery to be simple and not necessarily a serious or invasive surgery; however, this could not be further from the truth.

While some forms of plastic surgery are fairly non-invasive, many can have very traumatic effects on your body. Furthermore, plastic surgery is a form of surgery and every type of surgery poses a risk to your health. Additionally, this risk is increased dramatically when a surgeon is negligent or careless with your procedure. If you have been injured due to medical malpractice involving plastic surgery you should immediately seek the help of an experienced attorney.

What Kinds of Injuries Can Occur in Cosmetic Surgery?

Like any type of surgery, cosmetic surgery can be very dangerous and numerous problems can occur. Some people are predisposed to have doctors commit medical malpractice. If you are allergic to a specific type of medication or product frequently used in hospitals and doctor’s offices, you have an increased risk of your doctor committing medical malpractice. For instance, some people are allergic to latex. This requires all doctors and medical personnel who come in contact with the patient must wear non-latex gloves. Even though the patient informs their nurse or doctor, this is something that can be easily overlooked if the doctor is not paying adequate attention. While some people have a greater likelihood of being involved in medical malpractice, anyone undergoing a medical procedure can be harmed by physician negligence.

Many cosmetic surgeries require the patient to be unconscious during the procedure. This means that there must be an anesthesiologist. Often when patients are given anesthesia they can have negative reactions to the drug or suffer complications while being in such a deep sleep. It is crucial that you have a qualified and responsible doctor administering your anesthesia. If your physician is not paying close attention to the amount of anesthesia that they’re using or closely watching your vital signs, you could suffer severe complications which could lead to permanent injury or even death.

How Do I Know If I Have a Valid Medical Malpractice Claim?

Not every injury that is caused by surgery is actionable. Some consequences of surgery are unavoidable; however, many are caused by a surgeon’s negligence. For example, when a patient suffers a heart attack while in surgery it is not always considered to be caused by negligence. However, if your family member underwent elective surgery and consequently suffered a heart attack during or after the procedure and died, their doctor might be liable if they knew the patient was not in sufficient health to undergo surgery and failed to inform them about the potential risks. In order to have a successful medical malpractice case you must be able to prove that the surgeon did not act reasonably or failed to provide you adequate treatment. This might mean that your surgeon used a specific technique in surgery that a reasonable physician in his position would not use because it is more harmful or creates a greater potential for injury or death.

All medical malpractice cases are incredibly complex and can be overwhelming for someone who is inexperienced dealing with them. If you or your loved one has been injured or killed due to negligence during cosmetic surgery, you should immediately seek the help of an attorney. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have a great amount of experience handling medical malpractice cases and are well versed in this specific type of personal injury law. To discuss your potential medical malpractice claim, call Our Law Offices.


Surgical Errors and Surgeon Malpractice

Different Types of Common Surgical Errors, Mistakes and Other Surgical Malpractice

Houston medical malpractice lawsuit
When a surgeon botches your surgery, there are real consequences. Pain, disfigurement, more surgeries, long-term disabilities and death can result from errors in surgery. Studies indicate that surgical errors lead to injuries 95% of the time they occur, including patients’ deaths an astounding 20% of those times, and serious disability around 65%. Victims and their families are often left hurt and grieving after the fact with very little they can do about what has happened. But victims and their families do have rights under the law. They can hold negligent surgeons and other healthcare providers accountable for their actions, so as to help prevent more surgical errors in the future with other innocent patients. They can also recover financial compensation from wrongdoers so as to allow those victims and families to focus on their recoveries, rather than on their finances.

What is a surgical error? “Surgical error” is a very broad term that encompasses a variety of different improper actions and inactions in healthcare settings. The technical name for surgical error is Iatrogenesis. It is defined as an unintentional problem or adverse effect resulting from healthcare treatment or guidance. Doctors and nurses often use the word “surgery” in a technical sense to mean a wide range of procedures they perform on their patients. Surgeries are mostly performed in operating rooms, but need not be. Dentists, podiatrists and veterinarians can also be guilty of surgical errors.

If you or your family member is the victim of a surgical error, your surgeon has committed medical malpractice. As soon as possible, get medical malpractice attorneys you can count on. Our Law Offices can represent you and your family in simple and complex medical malpractice cases. Call right away if you suspect you or a loved one has been the victim of a surgical error.

Common Types of Surgical Errors

Errors in a surgeon’s judgment
Errors in a surgeon’s watchfulness or memory
Errors in judgment, watchfulness or memory are factors in a majority of surgical errors (around 65%)
Errors caused by a surgeon’s lack of technical skill
For example, a surgeon operating outside the area of his training or expertise
Operating on the wrong patient
Operating on the wrong body part
Communication errors among surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists or other staff members
So called “hand-off” errors where one surgeon fails to communicate properly where he or she left off: these errors are most common in long surgeries that require more than one surgeon to operate over an extended period of time.
Errors in knowing who is responsible for what tasks during a surgery
Conflicts among surgeons and nurses
Errors caused by a surgeon’s personality
Anger, frustration and other mood issues
Substance abuse issues
Psychiatric issues
Errors caused by lack of proper supervision
For example, unqualified residents and other young surgeons performing procedures they are not qualified to perform without proper supervision
Technology failures
Staffing failures
For example, hospitals not having enough trained surgeons on staff or on call
Errors caused by interruptions or distractions during surgeries

Has a surgical error harmed you or a loved one? Are you living with the results of a surgery gone wrong? Did your family member die as a result of a surgeon or other physician’s carelessness or lack of skill? Often nothing can undo the harm once it has been done, but help is available. Call Our Law Offices as soon as you realize you or your family has been the victim of a surgical error. You can call our bilingual staff members.


Unnecessary Surgery Medical Malpractice

Liability of the Doctor and the Hospital for an Unnecessary Surgery

Have you had an unnecessary surgery? If you felt that you have you will need the assistance an attorney to determine if you have a viable claim for medical malpractice as a result of an unnecessary surgery and what avenues you should pursue to gain recovery. Whether a potentially unnecessary surgery is the cause of grounds for a medical malpractice claim is completely subjective. Because of that the assistance of an attorney is crucial to determine whether or not you are able to recover.

All medical malpractice claims must be brought on the basis that the surgeon acted in a negligent manner. Negligence occurs when a person (in this case the surgeon) owes a duty of reasonable care and their conduct fell below that standard. The plaintiff (patient) must show that a reasonably competent surgeon would not have ordered the surgery if faced with an identical situation.

Doctors must have a patient’s consent for any surgery or operation that they perform. Typical cases that would constitute medical malpractice for unnecessary surgeries would be one where there was a lack of consent by the patient, cases where the doctor only gained consent by false pretenses, or the surgery was performed for no medical value. One may ask themselves why a doctor would ever perform a surgery that was unnecessary. There is a simple unfortunate answer and that is money. Hospitals are experiencing the same wave of financial trouble as most of the country and the performance of a surgery that might not be necessary can help their bottom line. Many hospitals justify this by charging the insurance company and that the patient will never know the difference.

I Don’t Know Whether the Doctor or the Hospital Was Negligent

This will have no effect on the outcome of your case, all that is necessary for a plaintiff to do is prove that negligence occurred and that they suffered harm as a result of that negligence. The doctrine of “Res Ipsa Loquitur” shifts the burden of proof to the defendant in these types of cases to show that they were not at fault, rather a third party is at fault instead. These actions usually occur in surgery where the doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, hospital, manufacturers of the instruments used during the surgery, and other parties may all be potentially at fault. In such a case the plaintiff would then need to show that they was injured as a result of negligence by one of the parties. It is then up to each party to prove that they are not negligent and that the other parties were negligent and the cause of the injury.

A medical malpractice action may be difficult to win due to many factors. First, it may be difficult to find doctors willing to testify that another doctor acted negligently. This is typical “protect our own” mentality that lives in many different professions. Secondly, and more importantly, because determining the level of necessity for a surgery is one of medical judgment that is difficult to prove. The plaintiff must show all the facts that the doctor made available to them at the time of the surgery, the time the doctor had to think through their decision, and that a competent doctor would not have done things the same way. In order to be successful in a medical malpractice case you need the skill and experience that Our Law Offices provide. They have been successful for other clients in cases like these and can be successful for you. Contact us today for your free consultation to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your case.


Is Pain After Surgery Medical Malpractice?

How to Determine if Post Surgery Pain is Normal, Due to Medical Malpractice, or Due to the Original Illness

Houston Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Attorney

Anytime you have surgery you are likely to experience moderate to severe pain following the procedure. This is common and typically expected by most patients. The question is exactly how much pain should you be experiencing? How can you tell if the pain you are suffering is naturally due to the prior injury, or if it is caused by a negligent surgery? Thousands of people endure invasive surgeries every day and are exposed to potential medical malpractice. If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice which occurred during or after surgery, it is incredibly important that you seek the advice of a qualified attorney. Our Law Offices has extensive experience handling medical malpractice claims and can help you determine whether you have a legitimate claim.

How Much is too Much Pain?

It is always difficult to gauge whether your pain is more than the typical pain and discomfort associated with surgery. Different people have varying levels of pain tolerance. While one person might rate their pain as a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, another person experiencing the exact same type and amount of pain might gauge their suffering as a 9. Additionally, different people heal at different rates. Depending on your age, general health, or genetic makeup you might heal faster or slower than someone else who experienced the same surgery. Because everyone has a slightly different experience it is very challenging to determine whether the pain is normal or excessive which would signify that you have received negligent treatment.

Furthermore, many people who undergo surgery are already in pain prior to the procedure. Additional or continuing pain following the procedure may be difficult to distinguish from the previous ailment. So what are some signs and symptoms associated with medical malpractice following a surgery?

Many surgeries are utilized to correct an injury or treat an illness. Often the illness or injury being treated causes severe or even excruciating pain. But what types of pain would be unnatural or uncommon following a surgery? Some illnesses and injuries have only specific symptoms. For example, say you break your leg in multiple locations. This type of injury might require surgery. Following surgery you should experience obvious tenderness and pain from the injury itself, but it would be considered uncommon for you to experience a very high fever or extreme nausea. If you are experiencing severe symptoms like this it may be caused by another source. For instance, you may have contracted an illness or parasite while in the hospital due to negligence of the hospital staff. Multiple things can go wrong before, during, and after a surgery which the hospital and hospital staff may be liable.

Another common surgery is an appendectomy where your doctor will remove your appendix. Symptoms associated with this illness are often vomiting, high fever, and dull or sharp stomach pains. After surgery to remove the cause, you should feel a lot better. While you should be sore from the actual procedure, you should no longer be suffering from extreme pain or high fever. If these symptoms persist, there is a possibility that the hospital harmed you and committed malpractice.

It is always challenging to determine whether medical malpractice occurred following a surgical procedure. You should immediately contact an experienced attorney who understands the problems associated with surgery and medical malpractice. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have been helping victims like you file personal injury claims for over 20 years. We are proficient in the area of medical malpractice and have a great deal of practice in helping you determine if you have suffered due to negligence. If you think that you have been injured due to medical malpractice, call Our Law Offices.


Tier 1 Medical Malpractice – gtg

Related Articles

Medical Malpractice Overview
Getting Started
What You Need to Know About Tort Reform
Investigating a Medical Malpractice
Compensation & Plaintiff’s Duties
Determining The Value of Your Case
What is Prejudgement Interest?
Plaintiff’s Duty to Mitigate Damages
Explaining Informed Consent
What we Expect from Doctors
Standard of Care Owed by a Doctor
Duty of Care Owed by a Nurse
Standard of Care in Nursing Homes
Determining if a Doctor-Patient Relationship Exists



How Much is my Medical Malpractice Case Worth?

How to Determine the Approximate Value of Your Medical Malpractice Case

When you suffer an injury due to the negligence and carelessness of a doctor or medical professional, the consequences can be catastrophic. Often their error results in you needing further medical procedures, numerous medications, and sometimes long term stays in the hospital. Consequently, the financial burden of being injured due to medical malpractice is often overwhelming and you will likely need to be reimbursed for your costs. Furthermore, many people who do not have insurance may be forced to wait for treatment until they can receive compensation for their injuries. Our Law Offices has vast knowledge in helping people like you and our attorneys are very experienced in handling these claims.

What Kinds of Injuries Have You Suffered?

The amount you should recover is determined by the extent of the injuries you have suffered. This requires adding up all of the medical costs that you have incurred. Medical costs may include:

Charges for the number of days you stayed in the hospital
The cost of medication you were administered while in the hospital
The cost of medication you were required to take after you were discharged from the hospital
Surgeries to correct the injury
X-rays and medical tests
Follow doctor’s appointments

All of these costs can quickly add up and be absolutely overwhelming and financially crippling. And these are not all of the costs that you may incur due to your injury. It is important to consult a qualified attorney who can help you determine the total cost of your medical malpractice injury. Our team of attorneys at Our Law Offices frequently handle medical malpractice claims and we are familiar with all of the intricate details in assessing total injury costs.

Has Your Injury Affected Your Ability to Work?

Many injuries result in the victim being unable to work. Sometimes this period may last just during the recovery process. In other instances, the victim is so badly injured that they are not able to return to their job following their recovery. With the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney you may be entitled to receive compensation for lost wages during your recovery period.

Additionally, some injuries are so extreme that the victim is not capable of returning to work. Back, neck, and brain injuries resulting from medical malpractice often result in the patient being permanently disabled and unable to work. As a result, you must calculate not only the amount of money you lost from not being able to work during your recovery; you must also calculate any future damages for lost future wages.

Asking for an Appropriate Amount is Crucial to the Success of Your Claim

It is very important that you ask for the appropriate amount of damages in your claim. If you ask for too much money, large corporations and companies will often refuse to negotiate and you have the potential to receive nothing. If you ask for too little in damages, you will likely not receive the amount that you are entitled to recover. Additionally, it is very likely you are not receiving the maximum amount that the defendant is willing to pay. Determining the perfect amount to ask for in your claim can be very complex and you should always consult an attorney before you file a claim for damages. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have over 20 years of experience handling medical malpractice claims. We are skilled in adding up all of your losses and identifying the right amount to ask for in your claim that will likely produce a successful outcome. To discuss your potential medical malpractice claim, contact Our Law Offices.


How Does Prejudgment Interest Work?

What is Prejudgment Interest and How Does it Work in a Medical Malpractice Case?

If you have been injured and have chosen to file a lawsuit in order to receive damages to compensate you for your loss there may be some monetary issues you are not aware of that benefit you. One of these is prejudgment interest. This is interest that will accrue on the amount of damages award from the time that your injury occurred to the time that the final judgment is entered. Prejudgment interest can be a difficult subject to understand because it can add to your legal award and the way in which it works is very complex. In order to better understand prejudgment interest, this article will analyze the ways in which prejudgment interest works, specifically in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What is Prejudgment Interest?

As stated previously, prejudgment interest is an amount of interest that will be added to the judgment that you receive in your medical malpractice case in the event that your receive damages. At the end of your lawsuit when you receive a judgment they will add this amount onto what you are receiving. It begins to accumulate just like interest in any other situation from the time of the initial injury or loss you suffered until the dispute is resolved.

How is Prejudgment Interest Beneficial to the Legal System and my Claim?

Prejudgment interest is beneficial to you because it is adding a greater deal of money to the amount that you will inevitably receive. Therefore, you benefit personally in your own cause of action. Moreover, the accumulation of prejudgment interest can be troublesome to the defendant in the event that they end up being unsuccessful in defending themselves against the pending lawsuit. Therefore, it speeds up the process when it comes to reaching a resolution that is beneficial to both parties as neither the plaintiff nor the defendant usually likes to sit in stressful litigation and deal with the added obligations that trial brings about. However, it should be noted that in calculating prejudgment interest, trial court judges are given a great deal of discretion.

How Does Prejudgment Interest Work in Texas?

This kind of interest is recoverable as a matter of right when there is quantifiable money due to the plaintiff and it is deemed to be payable at some identifiable date prior to a judgment being reached. In Texas you should make a general prayer for relief to such prejudgment interest to the court. You may not have to make a specific request to receive this kind of interest if you are filing a claim that triggers some kind of statutory authorization for prejudgment interest. This is one of the many reasons why it is in your best interests to have an attorney.

If your lawsuit in medical malpractice does not allow prejudgment interest unless you indicate to the court that you wish to recover this type of financial award, then you may waive your right to this type of compensation. Furthermore, calculating the interest rate to calculate prejudgment interest by can be tricky as well if the litigation goes on for an extended period of time and the interest rates change. Therefore, under Texas law it has been established that the prejudgment interest rate should be equal to the post judgment interest rate that was in effect at the time the judgment was handed down from the court.

This all may sound like a different language to you. This is not a bad thing, because for all intents and purposes it truly is. This is a legal mechanism by which your recovery can be increased because of the different tools at your lawyer’s disposal. It is in your best interests to have a skilled attorney deal with your medical malpractice lawsuits and ensure that your right to be given prejudgment interest is preserved. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have been handling these kinds of cases for decades and are more than capable of handling yours. To discuss the particulars of your specific case, contact us.


Mitigating Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case

Your Responsibility to Take Action to Avoid Further Injury Following a Medical Malpractice Incident

When you are injured by some negligent act on the part of your healthcare provider you have a right to compensation. Your right for legal remedies is based on the concept that your physician had a duty to you, they breached that duty, and this breach caused you injury. However, you may be unaware that you also have a duty as the plaintiff besides proving your cause of action. You must make sure that you do not allow any injury or condition to become aggravated and worsen because of your own conduct. In legal terms this is referred to as ‘mitigating’ your damages.

As the plaintiff, you have a heavy burden in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The important thing to keep in mind is the fact that these healthcare providers that you will be filing suit against will be working diligently to perfect any defense to liability possible. They do not want to be forced to pay for your injuries and will use defenses such as stating that you as the plaintiff made your condition worse by failing to mitigate your damages. This would be considered an abuse of the legal system to get an unfair award of damages. This is why it is important that you have experienced and skilled attorneys fighting for you that can anticipate and negate any defenses the other side can formulate against you.

What Does it Mean to Mitigate Your Damages?

Mitigating your damages means that you need to take actions following your injury to avoid any further negative impacts on your health. This is referred to frequently as the avoidable consequences rule. As the plaintiff you have the duty to mitigate your damages through reasonable post-accident conduct. You cannot recover for any aggravation of damages that could have been avoided through the exercise of reasonable care after the legal wrong was committed by the defendant.

How Does the Avoidable Consequences Rule Impact Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?

The way in which the avoidable consequences rule interacts with medical malpractice can be illustrated through the example of when the plaintiff fails to obtain medical assistance. If you as the plaintiff fail to obtain medical assistance then your recovery will be limited in the amount of compensation they can get you. Nevertheless, even if opposing counsel attempts to claim that you aggravated the condition, with the right attorneys on your side these arguments can be defeated.

Did You Know?

We has been fighting for medical malpractice victims` rights for over 20 years. Call us to discuss your case.

Defense counsel will likely attempt to assert that you as the plaintiff had a duty to mitigate your damages by submitting to surgery where the risk would be small and the surgery’s success would be reasonably probable. However, to determine what type of surgery or treatment would be ‘reasonable’ the court will compare the cost and benefit of such treatment. There are several factors that will be evaluated. The court will look to the risk, pain, expense, effort and probability of success. If it can be established that under the circumstance a reasonable person might decline to undergo surgical operation, then a failure to do so would not bar you from recovering full damages.

With the right legal team fighting for you, these factors can be utilized as tools to work in your favor. That is exactly what we can do for you at Our Law Offices. You have a right to be compensated and get what you deserve. However, taking these matters into your own hands may cause your lawsuit to falter under the pressure of these defenses. This is why it is absolutely to your benefit to retain attorneys that know how to handle medical malpractice cases and protect your theory of recovery against defeat. To discuss your case in greater detail, contact the attorneys at Our Law Offices.


Medical Procedure Liability and Informed Consent

Does Giving Informed Consent for a Surgery or Medical Procedure Limit the Liability of the Doctor or Hospital?

We’ve all been to the doctor at some point in our lives, whether it be for a yearly physical or for major surgery. Whenever a doctor requests to do something to you they must ask your permission, however their duty does not stop here. They are also required to inform you of what the surgery or test they wish to perform will consist of and any risks or side effects that are known to potentially occur as a result. It is then only after the patient is fully aware of the benefits of the surgery as well as the potential harm, that the patient can give what is referred to as informed consent. Informed consent cannot be obtained through any false or misleading information by the doctor. When an informed consent claim is made in Texas, the focus of the claim is whether a reasonable person would have elected to receive treatment in light of the associated risks. If a doctor does not receive informed consent, his performance of any operation on your person will constitute a civil battery.

What are All of the Requirements of Informed Consent?

A patient must have the capacity to make the decision to consent or not to consent.

The doctor/medical provider must divulge all the information on the tests, treatment, or operation in question, including all of the potential benefits and risks.

The patient must fully understand all relevant information.

The patient must voluntarily grant consent, without any pressure or duress.

What if I am Unable to Give Informed Consent?

Sometimes you are not able to give informed consent for a variety of reasons. These often occur when a patient is unconscious or suffering from other similar symptoms. In situations such as these there have been exceptions created to shield liability of doctors, these exceptions claim that the patient impliedly consents when they are unable to expressly consent. The most common exceptions are: a medical emergency where medical care is necessary immediately to prevent severe or irreparable harm, incompetence where an individual is incapable of giving consent for testing or treatment.

Am I the Only Person That Can Give Informed Consent for Myself?

Parents and legal guardians of a minor child are allowed to give informed consent for the child. However, the doctors of the patient have taken into consideration the wishes of the child in recent years. Especially an older child who is mentally competent to have a say in the medical decision process. The parent making such decisions still must act in reasonable manner when making these decisions. Courts have intervened in a few cases where parents denied consent to operate on a child when it was considered a medical necessity for such an operation to occur.

Adults can also have decision making powers given to a third party. When determining who has the power to make such decision you will first look to see if there was a power of attorney that was set out by an advance directive. If not then an individual’s spouse, children, or parents will give the consent for you in that order.

If you have been injured during a medical procedure and you do not believe adequate informed consent was given, contact Our Law Offices. We have more than 20 years of personal injury experience and will be able to help you gain the recovery that you deserve. To set up your free consultation please call us.


The Hippocratic Oath and a Dr’s Standard of Care

How Does the Hippocratic Oath Apply to a Doctor’s Duty or Standard of Care?

Most people have heard of the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take when they graduate from medical school. It is described as an oath that swears that, as doctors, they will not do any harm and act in the best interest of their patients. Many people may assume that the Hippocratic Oath is a legal standard that doctors must uphold. This article will discuss common misconceptions of the Hippocratic Oath and its effect in legal interpretation.

Breakdown of the Parts of the Hippocratic Oath

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath that is derived from ancient Greece that contains quite a bit of language that is no longer applicable. The effect of the oath is nowadays more ceremonial in nature and has no true legal effect that holds doctors to a certain higher standard of care. Today, the law has set out the standard of care that doctors are expected to provide when practicing medicine. The applicable parts of the oath are:

I will share knowledge gained with fellow medical professionals.
I will help the sick and not over medicate.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science.
I will say that I don’t know or will seek the opinion of a colleague.
I will respect the privacy of my patients.
I will prevent disease whenever I can.

This is not the entire oath, but the basic point can be reached through what is provided. The oath contains no definition of the standard of care that is required to be provided to a patient. The actual oath is today treated as a goal for the practice of medicine rather than holding any legal significance.

The Standard of Care to Which Medical Professionals are Held

Each medical professional owes their patients a duty to act pursuant to a reasonable standard of care that would be provided by a reasonable physician in the same field under the same circumstances. The following example may better illustrate how reasonable standard of care is applied to medical situations: imagine an emergency room doctor that makes a decision to amputate someone’s foot. Not only will the doctor’s decision be looked upon from a reasonable emergency room doctor on whether it was the correct decision, but also in the same time restraints that the doctor was performing under when the decision was made. The reason for this standard is that a doctor cannot be expected to make the correct decision 100% of the time. The law does not want to hold doctors liable for every mistake they may make, however a doctor is expected to act as a reasonably prudent professional in his field at all times. This is why the standard is lowered from “100% right all the time” to acting such as a reasonable doctor would.

Changes in the Standard of Medical Care

There has been recent change in the courts definition of acting as a reasonable prudent doctor. The standard that has been traditionally applied to regular doctors is that of a reasonable prudent doctor in their region. Specialists, such as surgeons have always been held to a national standard of reasonable care. However, as medical education has become more standard across the nation, non-specialist doctors are being held to a national standard of care as well, leaving practices of regional medicine less used.

If a doctor has breached the standard of care that he owes to you, you need to be proactive and assert your rights. The attorneys at Our Law Offices are experienced in the practice of personal injury law and wish for you to join the thousands of clients that we have helped get the recovery that they deserved. Call to schedule your free consultation.


Duty of Care for Nurses

What are the Responsibilities and Duties Imposed on Nurses and Nursing Professionals?

When you are admitted to a hospital for medical treatment, there are standards imposed on the employees attending you that must be adhered to. These standards are not only imposed on your primary physician. They are also enforced on nurses and other hospital employees. When conduct happens to fall below these standards, there are penalties that must be imposed. This is especially the case when an injury results. If you have been injured by some negligent act by a nurse during your treatment, you have a legal right to be compensated for any damages that you have incurred.

Your cause of action for your personal injury will be in medical malpractice. Medical malpractice lawsuits are riddled with many procedural technicalities and heavy burdens of proof. This is why it is important that you speak to an attorney that knows these types of lawsuits and has experience with personal injury litigation.

What Source Determines a Nurse’s Duty of Care?

In Texas the Nursing Practice Act sets forth the regulations that govern nurses and their specific rules and duties. It contains a number of different standards that must be adhered to by nurses in their employment. Furthermore, it defines what would be considered to be unprofessional conduct. Therefore, this act is the guidepost by which to determine whether a nurse’s actions could be considered negligent so as to constitute a violation of their duties.

Can a Nurse be Liable for my Injuries in Medical Malpractice?

The simple answer is, yes. A hospital may be held liable for the injuries that arise from the negligent performance of a duty that the hospital owes directly to the patient. Moreover, a hospital also has the duty to use reasonable care in formulating the policies and procedures that govern the hospital’s medical staff and non-physician personnel. Just as the hospital has a duty, under the Nursing Practice Act there are criteria established that create duties for nurses as well.

What are Some Examples of Some of the Duties of Care for Nurses?

The nurse’s duty was actually established by the landmark case Lunsford v. Board of Nurse Examiners in 1983. This case established that when a nurse has known of, or should have had knowledge of a situation that could place a patient in danger of being harmed they have a duty to intervene. The rationale for this is because a nurse has sufficient knowledge based on their education and experience to be able to identify the minimum standards of care and when they are being violated. Therefore, they are charged with the duty of being cognizant of any dangerous situations that a patient may be in and should intervene. The common underlying theme of a nurse’s duty of care to their patients is to ensure their client’s safety and well-being.

Furthermore, there is a mechanism called “safe harbor peer review” that is available to all nurses that allows them to request a peer review committee determination. This is something that enables a nurse to notify an authority that they find some potential assignment to be dangerous. Essentially they believe this assignment will place a patient at harm and therefore taking such assignment would violate their duty to their patient.

If a nurse happens to violate their duties to their patients then they may be held in violation of the Nursing Practice Act or the board that governs their license-ship. Furthermore, a hospital may be found vicarious liable for the actions of their nurses if they injure their patients in violation of their duties. These are difficult medical malpractice claims and you need a lawyer that knows how to litigate these kinds of cases with ease. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have handled personal injury lawsuits for over two decades which has given them the skill and experience necessary to handle your medical malpractice case. To discuss your claim in further detail, please contact us.


Standard of Care Required of Nursing Homes

Laws and Duties Imposed on Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility Employees in Texas

If you currently live in a nursing home or have a loved one that lives in a nursing home then you may be unaware that there are statewide laws that govern the standards of care imposed on these institutions. Nursing home institutions are regulated by the state of Texas and there is a requirement that every licensed nursing home should provide quality care in compliance with Texas statutory law. Furthermore, a nursing home is classified as a healthcare provider under the Texas Medical Liability Act. In Texas, if you suffer some kind of injury from the treatment provided by a health care provider then your recovery will be in a medical malpractice action. This means that nursing homes have two different sets of regulations that govern them and their ability to adhere to the standards imposed on them.

The Texas Medical Liability Act and the relevant portions of the Texas Health and Safety Code can be hard to digest without the assistance of someone familiar with this legislation. For the foregoing reasons, it is necessary that you have an attorney representing you in your potential cause of action. If you or a family member has suffered an injury in a nursing home, contact skilled personal injury attorneys like those at Our Law Offices to fight on your behalf.

What are the Duties Imposed on Nursing Homes?

Texas law states that a nursing home is under a duty to exercise whatever reasonable care is necessary to ensure a patient’s safety depending on his or her specific mental and physical conditions. The case Golden Villa Nursing Home Inc. vs. Smith established that there is no real general rule as to what standard would constitute reasonable care. Instead, you are to look to the specific factors of each different parties circumstances. Moreover, while medical treatment is in the hands of the physicians at nursing homes, they must provide some level of nursery home care outside of what is expected of the doctors.

What About Employees of Nursing Homes?

Considering the laws in Texas on nursing homes, they are typically considered to be under a duty to be extremely careful and particular when hiring employees to work at their facilities. There is a duty to supervise employees to make sure that sufficient care is being provided.

What Kinds of Claims May I Bring Against a Nursing Home?

There are several different claims that you may be able to bring against a nursing home, depending on the specific facts of your case. If the conduct that caused the injury was due to some violation of some ordinance or statute that nursing homes must abide by then you may have a claim in negligence. Furthermore, you may have a tort action for negligence against the nursing home, assuming that you are able to meet the necessary elements of a negligence claim. There may be a claim against the nursing home for vicarious liability for the actions of an employee of the nursing home that injures you. In that type of a claim you are holding the nursing home liable for the actions of their employee. In each of these different types of claims there are different elements that must be met in order for your claim to be successful.

For the reasons listed above, it is very important that you retain legal representation to litigate your claim against a nursing home. The fact that nursing homes are classified as health care providers on the Texas Medical Liability Act means that there are statutory elements to your claim as well as other governing laws. In order to ensure that no stone is left unturned, it is in your best interests to make sure you have an attorney that has handled claims like this in the past. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have been dealing with personal injury lawsuits for over two decades and are prepared to evaluate your case for you. To discuss your case, please contact us.


When Does a Doctor-Patient Relationship Exist?

How to Determine if a Doctor-Patient Relationship Existed in Your Case

Almost everyone has been to the doctor at some point in their life. From the time we are newborns until our ultimate death a doctor is a person that we often look at as a trustworthy individual. The relationship between a doctor and a patient is a special one; certain rules are set in place to establish when the relationship is created. These rules are set in place to protect doctors from potential liability from people that presume they are patients of the doctor.

Certain standards must be met before an individual can be considered the patient of a doctor. If you have been injured by a doctor or hurt as a result of the inaccurate advice that they may have given you, you may have a medical malpractice claim. In these situations you need an experienced attorney to assert your rights. The attorneys at Our Law Offices bring a wealth of knowledge in every aspect of the personal injury law field. We have a well-earned reputation in the legal community for getting positive results for our clients; we may be able to help you too.

What is Required to Form a Doctor-Patient Relationship?

A doctor-patient relationship is said to begin when a doctor accepts or renders aid to a patient. Although you may think this is a simple concept the opposite is true. Courts and creative attorneys have found various ways to interpret the terms.

The terms “accept” and “render aid”, making this a complex issue. While some people may believe that it begins when they visit a doctor, it actually starts before this. The courts have determined that a doctor-patient relationship exists when the physician has created some form of payment arrangement with the patient.

Doctors may give you medical advice even though you are not their patient; this does not create a doctor-patient relationship between you and the doctor. An example of medical advice being given without forming a doctor-patient relationship is if your friend or relative is a physician and you ask them for their medical opinion, they may give you advice and not be subject to the potential liability that a doctor-patient relationship holds.

Can I Sue for Medical Malpractice if a Doctor-Patient Relationship is Not Found to Have Existed?

In a word, no, you may not sue a doctor for medical malpractice. In order to have a viable medical malpractice suit a medical professional must have had a duty to provide you competent medical care. Doctors do not inherently have this duty with every individual they meet just because of their status as a doctor; they only have this duty for their patients. If a doctor-patient relationship never formed the doctor would owe you no duty and thus be unable to commit any medical practice action upon you.

Not all cases are treated the same and there is no one way to define the creation of a physician-patient relationship. We can help make your case if the creation of this relationship is called into question. Call us at to schedule your free consultation with one our attorneys. We have helped thousands of clients recover the damages that they deserve and we can help you too.


Tier 1 Law 1.15 Personal Injury – gtg

Three Defenses You’ll Encounter
Common Defense – Last Clear Chance
Common Defense – Preexisting Conditions
Common Defense – Intervening Causes
Common Defense – Assumption of the Risk
Is Opposing Counsel Trying to Contact You?
Common Defense – Consent
Collateral Source Rule
Duty to Mitigate Damages
Prejudgment Interest
Post-judgment Interest
Nominal Damages
One Satisfaction Rule
How a Release Works
Types of Claims
Burn Injuries
Neck and Back Injuries
Bystander Claims



Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Assumption of Risk in a Texas Personal Injury Case

How Does Assumption of the Risk Factor into my Personal Injury Case?

If you are hurt in an accident, a common defense by the person or company that hurt you is that you assumed the risk of your injury. Assumption of the risk is a legal doctrine that dates back to ancient England. Just as it sounds, assumption of the risk is a wrongdoer’s claim that you knowingly and voluntarily assumed the risks associated with whatever you were doing when you were injured, and therefore the wrongdoer owes you nothing.

An example is skydiving: If something goes wrong during your skydiving jump and you are injured, and if you sue the skydiving company for compensation for your injuries, the company will claim that you voluntarily jumped from the plane fully knowing just how dangerous skydiving is. No one forced you to jump. You didn’t think you were playing tennis. You knew you were about to jump from a plane and you jumped willingly: you assumed the risk of the injuries related to skydiving. Ski resorts and scuba diving companies also claim customers assume the natural risks associated with those sports.

No Recovery for Injured Person

If the person who injured you successfully asserts assumption of risk as a defense in your lawsuit against them, you will potentially recover nothing. Assumption of risk is a total bar to your reimbursement. The reason: in theory, if you assume the risk of injury, the wrongdoer no longer owes you a duty of care. Without a duty of care, and a breach of that duty, there can be no negligence.


To fully assume a risk of being hurt, you have to:

Know just how dangerous something is, and Voluntarily do it anyway. If you ask someone if an activity is safe and they assure you it is when it really isn’t, you do not voluntarily assume anything. Their assurance that the activity is safe makes your assumption of the risk involuntary. And if you run into a burning home, you may be said to have assumed risk. But if you run into a burning home to save your family members’ lives, it can be argued that you did not do so voluntarily: you had no choice in the matter.


While negligence is an objective standard – what a reasonable person would have done –assumption of the risk uses a subjective standard. The question is: did you fully appreciate the risk of what you were doing.

For example, just because you assume a risk, does not mean you assume all risks. If you ride with a friend knowing he has been drinking alcohol, you assume some risk of the injuries associated his drinking and driving. But if your drunken friend’s car has defective tires on it that you don’t know about, and the defective tires cause an accident, you did not knowingly assume that risk.

State Laws and Car Accidents

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Some states have done away with this old English doctrine when it comes to car accidents. In some old cases, people who caused accidents then claimed injured people assumed the risk of injury simply by driving vehicles on roadways.
This acted as a total bar to recovery by the injured people. Modern state laws, like those in Texas, allocate responsibility according to who is at fault: for example, 75% to one person involved in an accident and 25% to the other.

Our Law Offices has been representing personal injury victims for over 20 years. We represent men and women injured in all kinds of mishaps. If you are involved in a personal injury case and need a lawyer, call us today.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Is Opposing Counsel Trying to Contact You?

The Attorney for the Person Who Injured Me is Trying to Call or Contact Me, What Should I Do?

Attorneys are held to a very high standard in society in the way that they carry themselves both professionally and socially. In fact, there is an entire code of professional conduct that dictates what can and cannot be done by lawyers in order to keep the vocation that’s given a great deal of respect. When these rules are broken drastic measures are taken that can result in disciplinary action. Lawyers can be suspended or even have their license revoked permanently for breaking this code of conduct.

When you have been injured and are seeking legal recourse, attorneys wishing to extract information from you or wishing to represent you and benefit financially from your loss will undoubtedly contact you. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have received consistent awards and acknowledgements from many respected associations for their integrity, honesty and professional accomplishments in the field of law. If you have been injured, you need to be represented by an attorney who has your best interests at heart. That is just what is offered by the attorneys at Our Law Offices. You may not realize when attorneys may be breaking these codes of conduct or committing malpractice. We understand the pain and suffering that can result from the loss of a loved one or your own personal injuries, and we conduct our practice in a way that seeks to make sure that you are able to receive whatever financial compensation is necessary to help you recover from these tragedies. This article will discuss what you should do if an attorney representing the party that injured you contacts you to ensure that your interests are protected.

Are Attorneys for the Defendant Allowed to Communicate With Me?

The simple answer to this question is, NO. However, this hinges upon whether you have retained legal counsel to represent you in the matter. Under the Texas Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 4.02(a) states that when representing a client a lawyer may not communicate with, or cause or encourage another party to communicate with you about the lawsuit at hand if he knows you are represented by another attorney on that case. The only time in which it would be appropriate for the other lawyer to call you and discuss the pending litigation with you would be if your lawyer gave them consent to do so. If the lawyer knows or should reasonably know by the circumstances that an attorney represents you, then they should not be contacting you at all. In fact, if this does occur you should contact your lawyer immediately because attorneys have an obligation to report instances of misconduct by other counselors. The addition of the statement that they may not encourage another person to obtain information from you without the authorization of your lawyer expands the rule to provide even more protection to you. If you have retained skilled legal counsel such as the attorneys at Our Law Offices, by no means whatsoever should the attorney of the other side attempt to extract valuable information from you. This is prohibited conduct. This is basically an illegal method of obtaining evidence to prevent you from recovering, and it is not allowed.

What if I am Contacted by the Other Lawyer and I am Unrepresented?

If you have not retained legal representation for your cause of action and are contacted by an attorney, there are certain rules that govern how lawyers interact with you as well. The Texas rule states that a lawyer, when conducting the representation of his client may not represent to you that they are disinterested in the matter in an effort to get information from you that will benefit their client.

Furthermore, the rule states that when the lawyer knows or should reasonably know that you do not understand what his role is in relation to the case then they should make sure to clarify the fact that they are in fact representing the party that injured you. In other words, they cannot play dumb in a way to try to get you to make statements that are detrimental to your case. This is one of the reasons that it is so incredibly important that you seek representation immediately to protect your cause of action. You can easily be taken advantage of and not realize that you are saying things that will jeopardize your ability to recover for your losses. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have been representing clients in personal injury lawsuits for decades, and maintain a very well respected and reputable law practice. We want to protect your interests so that you are able to get what you deserve. Do not allow other attorneys to contact you and solicit information that could kill your potential lawsuit. We strive to make sure our clients have the best legal representation available. In order to make sure that your theory of recovery is protected, contact us before you speak with any attorneys that may not have your best interests in mind.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Consent as a Defense in Personal Injury Cases

Does Giving Consent Bar me From Bringing a Personal Injury Claim?

If you or your loved one was injured by playing football, doing a 5K walk, or participated in any activity or behavior in the Houston area and you are unsure if you have a cause of action because you consented to the activity, then you should contact an attorney because you may be entitled to receive compensation.

Rule of Consent

The general rule for consent is that if a person who consents to an activity or behavior and then becomes injured is not entitled to receive damages or compensation for their injuries. An example of consent can include you signing a waiver or a release form for an activity that could possibly cause you to be injured. Even though you consented to participate in the activity or behavior you did not consent to be hurt. If someone intentionally hurt you while you were participating in the activity or behavior then you could file a cause of action of negligence against them. This person had to intentionally, willingly, and knowingly cause your injuries.

For example, you signed up to play basketball for a league in the Houston area. During one of the basketball games, you go up to the rim for a layup and upon coming down, a player from the opposing team pushes you to the ground causing you to break your nose and arm. You can bring a cause of action against the defendant because he intentionally hurt you and despite his argument that you consented to the injuries; you did not consent to get hurt, you consented to play basketball.

Types of Consent

There are two types of consent, expressed and implied. Expressed consent means that before you participated in the activity or the behavior you signed a waiver or a release form. Implied consent is like the example above except that there isn’t a tangible or physical waiver or release form but you still participated in the activity or the behavior.

Obstacles to Proving Consent

Consent can be a very challenging issue to litigate because the defendant can use consent as their affirmative defense or strong argument. The defendant will argue that once you signed the waiver or release form or you began to participate in the activity then it was done at your own risk and you accepted the responsibilities for your injuries. In many cases, implied consent is harder to prove then expressed consent.

However, without an attorney it will be harder for you to defend yourself against this argument because the defendant will have evidence to try and support their claim. Hiring an attorney that has the expertise and the knowledge of personal injury cases will help you argue and prove the alternative.

The attorney can show that although there was an implied or expressed consent to participate in the activities, you did not consent to the unforeseen dangers that would have resulted from the activity. An attorney can also prove that the injuries you suffered may have been intentional. These are just a few arguments that an attorney can raise on your behalf.

For over 20 years, Our Law Offices has been representing clients in the Houston area. Our attorneys are competent and experienced in handling your personal injury case. Contact our office to receive a free consultation. Allow attorneys to litigate your matter, so you can receive the compensation that you deserve.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » What is the Collateral Source Rule?

How the Collateral Source Rule Applies to a Personal Injury Case in Houston

If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligent or reckless conduct, you may have heard of the “collateral source rule” and are curious if it applies to your personal injury case. Before diving into the nuances of the collateral source rule, it’s important to note that determining if the collateral source rule applies to your case is a complicated process that requires a detailed analysis of the particular facts of your case by a personal injury attorney. Simply put, retaining an experienced personal injury attorney like ours at Our Law Offices is the best way to determine if the collateral source rule applies to your personal injury case.

The Collateral Source Rule Prevents Personal Injury Defendants from Asserting the One-Satisfaction Rule to Insurance Proceeds

The collateral source rule is a rule developed and adopted by courts across Texas that prevents the party responsible for inflicting personal injuries on another to offset compensation to their victim because they have received benefits from an insurance policy. The reasoning behind the rule is that the responsible party shouldn’t unfairly benefit in a personal injury case just because their victim had the foresight to purchase a health insurance policy and is designed to encourage Texas residents to purchase private insurance.

The collateral source rule has serious implications for personal injury cases: namely, juries can’t know or consider that the injured party has health insurance when determining the defendant’s liability and the amount of damages the defendant should pay the victim.

An Illustrative Example of How the Collateral Source Rule Applies to Personal Injury Cases

You may find this illustrative example helpful in parsing out the nuances of the collateral source rule in personal injury cases. Assume that you have suffered personal injuries in a truck accident due to the negligent driving of the semi-truck’s driver. After seeking medical attention for any emergency injuries, you should immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney, like the attorneys at Our Law Offices.

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Our attorneys and staff will then begin collecting the evidence needed to win your case and maximize your compensation. Our attorneys will then contact the responsible truck driver and his employer, and if a favorable settlement can’t be reached, we’ll file a lawsuit on your behalf.

At trial, the defendant may attempt to assert the one-recovery rule to avoid a portion of their liability for your injuries. Although some experienced attorneys and law firms may miss this crucial error, our experienced attorneys know your rights under Texas’s personal injury laws, and will assert the collateral source rule on your behalf so that the parties that caused your injuries won’t unfairly benefit from your foresight to purchase an insurance policy.

As you can see, determining if the collateral source or one-satisfaction rule applies to your case can be difficult. To ensure that your rights are fully represented, you need a smart and aggressive personal injury attorney on your side. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Our Law Offices are committed to securing the compensation you deserve for your injuries, and are available any time, day or night, to provide a free consultation regarding your potential personal injury lawsuit and if the collateral source rule applies to your case.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » What is the Plaintiff’s Duty to Mitigate Damages?

The Injured Party Has a Duty to Mitigate (or Prevent Further Aggravation of) Their Injuries Following an Accident

If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligent or reckless conduct, it’s important that you take certain actions to preserve your case against the party responsible for your injuries. One of those actions is to “mitigate” your injuries; that is, you need to take action to prevent your injuries from being aggravated. Failure to mitigate your injuries may prevent you from recovering the entire amount of compensation you deserve for your injuries. Thus, to ensure that your injuries are fully compensated, you should retain an experienced personal injury attorney that knows how to assist injury victims with mitigating their injuries. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have the skill and experience necessary to advise you on how to mitigate your damages so you aren’t stuck paying for your own injuries.

Personal Injury Victims Have a Duty to Mitigate Their Damages

Texas law requires personal injury victims to prevent their injuries from becoming aggravated by acting in a manner that should minimize the harm they’ve suffered and seeking medical attention when necessary. Usually, this means that a personal injury victim should take care not to engage in activities that will aggravate their injuries, such as participating in contact sports or lifting heavy objects. Moreover, personal injury victims have a duty to ensure that an injury isn’t aggravated by foregoing medical attention, and should contact a doctor or seek emergency healthcare as soon as possible after they are injured.

Potential Consequences for Failing to Mitigate Your Damages

If you fail to mitigate your damages, the judge in your case may decrease the amount of compensation you can recover from the defendant for your injuries. However, it’s important to note that failure to mitigate your damages is not a complete bar to recovery; rather, failure to mitigate your damages will only reduce the compensation you can recover from the defendant, as the court will adjust your award to reflect the portion of your injuries for which the defendant is responsible.

To illustrate the importance of mitigating damages in personal injury cases, consider this example of an injured car accident victim. In this example, a driver was on his way to play a friendly game of football with his friends when he was suddenly hit by a negligent driver, and suffered a partially fractured collarbone as a result. Although the driver is in significant pain and has noticed intense swelling around his collarbone, he decides to play football with his friends anyway.

During the football game, the driver is tackled hard which caused his collarbone to completely break and become infected after it protruded through his skin. The injured driver then sued the negligent driver responsible for partially fracturing his collarbone for the full extent of his injuries.

However, the court will reduce the driver’s recovery to reflect the fact that the driver was only responsible for partially fracturing the driver’s collarbone, and the victim was responsible for aggravating his injuries so that he had a completely fractured collarbone that became infected.

Best Practices for Mitigating Your Damages

As you can see, mitigating the injuries you’ve suffered caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness is extremely important not only to your health, but to ensuring that you are fully compensated for your injuries. To achieve these goals, you should be sure to do three things: seek medical attention as soon as possible, take care to stabilize and not aggravate your injuries, and contact the experienced personal injury attorney at Our Law Offices. Our attorneys have more than two decades of experience representing personal injury victims, and are available any time, day or night, to provide a free consultation regarding your injuries and what you might need to do to mitigate your damages.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » What is Prejudgment Interest?

Recovering Prejudgment Interest in Addition to Your Personal Injury Compensation

If you’ve been injured by someone’s negligent or reckless actions, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If your personal injury lawsuit is successful, you may also be entitled to prejudgment interest (as well as post-judgment interest) on the compensation you’ve been awarded. However, before discussing how prejudgment interest may affect recovery for your injuries in a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important that you realize that the applicability and calculation of prejudgment interest in your personal injury lawsuit requires a thorough examination of the facts of your case by an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Our Law Office have more than 20 years of experience representing personal injury victims like you, and are dedicated to assisting you obtain full compensation for your injuries, including prejudgment interest.

Prejudgment Interest and Texas’s Personal Injury Laws

Under Texas’s tort laws, personal injury victims are entitled to a variety of damages designed to compensate them for the injuries they’ve suffered and the unexpected medical expenses they’ve endured. Additionally, Texas law has made available prejudgment interest for those damages, which are essentially additional damages for a victim’s lost use of the compensation they’ve received for the time period between the time their claim accrued and the close of the case. Texas law has made a point of enforcing the fact that prejudgment interest is solely intended to compensate a personal injury victim for the loss use of the money from the judgment, and is not a penalty, a fine, or a “windfall.”

It’s important to note that some types of compensation under Texas’s personal injury laws aren’t subject to prejudgment interest. For example, future damages like lost earning capacity, attorney’s fees and costs, and punitive damages aren’t subject to prejudgment interest.

The Purpose of Prejudgment Interest

Texas’s personal injury laws have purposed prejudgment interest to expedite the judicial process by punishing the party responsible for causing the victim’s injuries for unfairly delaying the judicial process by imposing a monetary penalty. Courts have reasoned that this arrangement is reasonable for both personal injury victims and defendants because it removes the defendant’s incentive to unfairly delay paying a judgment by dragging their feet and doesn’t create an inequitable benefit for the injury victim.

How Are Prejudgment Interest Calculated?

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Simply put, calculating prejudgment interest is complicated. Your attorney will likely retain the assistance of an expert in quantifying prejudgment interest. The calculation they will perform is either governed by the Texas Finance Code or by the court’s determination of “equity,” or what is fair for your case.

For the purposes of personal injury cases, courts calculate prejudgment interest by using the Texas Finance Code when calculating prejudgment interest using a “prime” rate that ranges between five and fifteen percent, and is calculated as simple interest. Calculations for prejudgment interest occur the earlier of 180 days after the defendant received notice of your claim or when your lawsuit is filed with a court, and ends the day judgment is entered in a case.

As prejudgment interest can only start to accrue after the defendant is notified of your lawsuit, you should retain an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as reasonably possible after you’ve been injured. The personal injury attorneys at Our Law Offices may be able to put their unique combination of skill and experience developed over 20 years to work for you if you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligent or reckless actions. We invite you to contact them any time, day or night, for a free consultation regarding representation for your personal injuries.


What is Post-Judgment Interest?

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » What is Post-Judgment Interest?

Post-Judgment Interest Can be Used to Ensure You Get Your Compensation Sooner Rather Than Later

The attorneys and staff at Our Law Offices are dedicated to obtaining the maximum compensation possible for our clients’ personal injuries, including prejudgment and post-judgment interest. If you’ve suffered personal injuries because of someone else’s negligent or reckless actions, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To ensure that you are fully compensated you should retain an experienced personal injury attorney who knows how to apply and enforce post-judgment interest to a court’s award. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have a successful track record of obtaining favorable judgments and enforcing post-judgment interest for our clients for over 20 years, and may be able to put their unique combination of skill and expertise to work for you.

Post-judgment Interest and Texas Personal Injury Cases

A personal injury victim can assert a lawsuit against the parties that caused their injuries under Texas’s personal injury laws to recover compensation for those injuries and their associated medical expenses. Texas law also allows personal injury victims to attach post-judgment interest to their court award, which is intended to reimburse the injury victim for their lost ability to invest their judgment proceeds.

The Purpose of Post-judgment Interest in Texas Personal Injury Cases

Post-judgment interest is designed to encourage parties that are responsible for causing someone’s personal injuries to quickly pay the judgment asserted against them and to prevent them from making delayed judgment payments by asserting frivolous appeals or through indifference. Notably, post-judgment interest is applied to the entire judgment, including prejudgment interest, court costs, and the compensation awarded for the personal injury victim’s injuries.

Importantly, Texas courts have repeatedly stated that post-judgment interest is not intended to punish the party that caused a personal injury victim’s injuries; rather, post-judgment interest is intended to compensate the personal injury victim’s lost opportunity to invest and use their compensation after trial.

Calculating Post-judgment Interest in Texas Personal Injury Cases

Calculating post-judgment interests in an injury victim’s personal injury case is often a very difficult task. Before discussing how to calculate the post-judgment interest in your personal injury case, it’s important to note that the process can quickly become complicated and will likely benefit from the close scrutiny and analysis that can only be provided by an experienced personal injury attorney like the ones at Our Law Offices.

When attaching post-judgment interest to your personal injury case, your attorney will apply the guidelines provided by the Texas Finance Code. Specifically, your attorney will apply the prime rate published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, but they will adjust the prime rate to fit within the floor of 5% and ceiling of 15%. Your attorney will then apply the prime rate to your judgment, including prejudgment interest, court costs, and the compensation you’ve received for your injuries.

As you can see, calculating post-judgment interest in your personal injury case is an important and difficult process. Thankfully, our attorneys and staff at Our Law Offices are experienced in calculating and enforcing post-judgment interest against the party that caused your injuries. Our attorneys have made themselves available to provide a free consultation regarding your possible personal injury case any time, day or night.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Nominal Damages in a Personal Injury Case

Filing a Lawsuit Based on Principle, for Nominal or Insignificant Damages Suffered

Simply put, nominal damages are damages that are very minuscule damages which are often mere dollars that are awarded when a wrong has occurred, but there is actually no financial loss. If the court awards you nominal damages you will typically only receive $1 or $2. Occasionally, the court may award you nominal damages, but set the amount at zero.

When you sue for nominal damages you are essentially filing a lawsuit based on principle. You believe that you have been wronged and deserve the vindication. Not every wrongful or negligent act results in a financial loss. But in order to file a valid lawsuit, you must have standing which means that you must have suffered an injury.

Typically, if you have not suffered a financial loss, then you would not have valid standing. Consequently, in order to file a claim and hold the defendant accountable for their actions you may file a suit based on nominal damages.

So Why Sue For Nominal Damages?

You obviously have to be wondering why anyone would go through a lawsuit to only be awarded $1 or $2. It almost seems silly to file a claim, hire a lawyer, and potentially spend months fighting the defendant in court when you would not receive any significant amount of money. So why sue?

Well, there are two strong reasons for filing a claim. First, the court might choose to award punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded, not to compensate the plaintiff, but instead to punish the defendant.

Possible Punitive Damages

Although you may not need compensation for any actual injuries, you can benefit from suing the defendant through punitive damages. These type of damages may be awarded if the defendant was grossly negligent, intentionally disregarded the safety of the plaintiff, or intentionally hurt the plaintiff.

While you are not guaranteed to be awarded punitive damages when you file a suit based on nominal damages, this is a possibility. Furthermore, you should consider this potential award of damages when evaluating the legitimacy of your claim and deciding whether it is personally worth it to you to file suit.

Suing for Nominal Damages May Help Protect Your Rights

Finally, you might file a suit based on nominal damages because you believe your rights have been violated. For example, many people will sue the city or state when they believe that their constitutional rights have been violated.

In this scenario, they are very unlikely to be awarded any actual damages. However, they determine that filing a suit for nominal damages is worth of their time and effort in order to protect their personal rights or interests.

If you feel like you may need to file a lawsuit give us a call. We’re available day or night and the call is toll free.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » One-Satisfaction Rule and Personal Injury

What is the One-Satisfaction Rule and How Does it Apply to my Texas Personal Injury Case?

If you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligent or reckless conduct, you may have heard of the “one-satisfaction rule” and are curious how it might impact your case. Before diving into the intricacies of how the one-satisfaction rule applies to Texas’s personal injury laws, it’s important to note that the best way to ensure that the party that caused your injuries is held responsible is to retain an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have successfully represented personal injury victims like you for over 20 years, and may be able to put their experience to work for you by preventing the defendant from unfairly using the one-satisfaction rule to their advantage.

Texas’s personal injury laws are designed to prevent personal injury victims from being compensated twice for the same injury. In effect, a personal injury victim who successfully proves his case is required to elect between the awards he’s been granted for the same injury so that he doesn’t recover more than once. It’s important to note that the one-satisfaction rule’s application doesn’t depend on what a particular person did to cause your injuries; rather, its application depends on the particular injury you’ve sustained. The policy behind enforcing the one-satisfaction rule is to prevent a personal injury victim from receiving compensation in excess of the value of his injuries.

It’s important to note that the one-satisfaction rule applies in two situations: where multiple defendants cause a victim’s injuries by committing the same acts, or where defendants commit separate acts that result in the same injury. For example, the one-recovery rule will probably restrict a patient from recovering compensation from each surgeon that caused him to lose the function of his arm in a medical malpractice lawsuit, but will require that liability for your injury to be split equally between each of the surgeons. Similarly, the one-recover rule probably applies to a case where a patent losses the function of their arm due to both the manufacturer’s negligent construction and the installer’s negligent installation of a product.

However, it’s important to note that personal injury victims are entitled to elect the higher valued remedy for their injury, and aren’t required to make that election until they know what remedies will be awarded. For example, if your injuries could be compensated by a personal injury theory that only covers only your medical bills, or a personal injury theory that covers your medical bills and provides punitive damages against the defendant, you’re entitled to elect the theory that provides two types of recovery because it is more favorable. However, determining what theories apply to your case and convincing the defendant and the court that you deserve a heightened form of compensation is an extremely difficult task and requires the expert analysis of an experienced personal injury attorney. To ensure that you’re fully compensated for your injuries, you need an experienced personal injury attorney, like the ones at Our Law Offices on your side.

The One-Satisfaction Rule is Limited by the Collateral Source Rule

To further complicate matters, the one-satisfaction rule’s application is limited by the collateral source rule. Essentially, the collateral source rule prevents the party that caused your injuries from offsetting his liability by accounting for the insurance benefits you’ve received as a result of your injuries.

As you can see, determining if the one-satisfaction rule applies to your case can be difficult. If you’re a personal injury victim, it’s important that you retain an experienced personal injury attorney that will aggressively advocate on your behalf for the full value of the injuries you’ve suffered. The attorneys at Our Law Offices are committed to getting our personal injury victim clients the compensation for their injuries that they deserve, and are available any time, day or night, to provide a free consultation regarding your personal injuries case.


Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » How a Release Works

The Legal Ramifications of Signing a Release

In every personal injury case that we settle, our clients will eventually sign a release that will release the defendant from any future financial obligations. When properly evaluated and endorsed by your attorney, signing a release is a fairly innocuous event that should signify the conclusion to your former legal troubles.

However, for those that are not represented by an attorney, signing a release can in fact be the beginning of their legal troubles. In this article we explain precisely what a release is, consequences of signing, and common concerns that must be taken in to consideration before signing a release.

Dangers of Signing a Release

There are several concerns that must be addressed prior to signing a release and those who are not represented by a competent attorney can fall victim to these pitfalls.

1) Is The Release Equitable and Sufficient to Cover Your Costs?

When you sign a release, you are forever relinquishing your right to sue the defendant regarding this claim. Before making this exchange you should talk to an attorney to make sure it is a good idea to release the defendant from all future liability regarding this claim and that the settlement amount is enough to compensate you for your damages.

We have had clients who signed a release believing that it was equitable and sufficient to compensate them for their injuries. However, it was revealed that the injuries were worse than they appeared at first and that more money would be needed for the future medical expenses, but since the client signed the release they were not able to get compensation for these new injuries.

2) Who is Released?

Many times especially when dealing with insurance companies, an unrepresented client will be told that by signing a release they are only releasing some of the parties who are covered by the insurance policy from liability, and that they can still sue others beyond the limits of the policy.

In reality it is not always the case and by singing a release you give up rights. For instance, we had client whose husband was killed in a car accident and the defendant only had insurance coverage for $25,000. However, the man was also independently wealth. The woman settled and signed a release with the insurance company thinking that she was only releasing the insurance company but not the defendant. But when she attempted to file suit against defendant individually she discovered that the release she had signed not only released the insurance company but also the defendant.

3) Strategic Concerns

There are also some strategic concerns that must be addressed before signing a release. Imagine a pizza delivery crashes into your car. You settle with delivery driver through his personal insurance policy and the release does not bar you from filing suit against anyone else. However, in order to prove liability on the other parties involved you need testimony from the pizza delivery boy. But, since he is released from the suit, he is not required to testify in the case. Generally, it is in our client’s best interest not to settle immediately because of the blowback it can have on the big picture.

There are many other concerns with signing a release, but one important thing you need to understand is that releases are written to protect the defendant, not you, and unless you have a clear understanding of contract law, you are not going to completely understand it. That is where a lawyer comes in because signing a release is not a bad thing, as long as it is fair for both parties.

You Should Consult With an Experienced Attorney Before Signing a Release

Although it is usually alright to hear a settlement offer from an insurance company it is not a good idea to sign a release before you have consulted with an attorney. For example, imagine you are in a car accident and offered a settlement that seems fair to you so you sign a release. Then, two weeks later, you discover that you are going to need surgery; at this point it is unlikely that you will be able to receive compensation for these new injuries.

However, the attorneys at Our Law Offices have been able to secure compensation for new injuries after the signing of a release. They were able to do this because they have over twenty years experience and no the ins and outs of dealing with insurance companies, and getting their clients the compensation that they deserve. Before you decide to sign a release you should call one of our attorneys for a free consultation.