When a loved one dies unexpectedly due to a negligent or careless healthcare provider’s errors, it can be a terrible time for your family. It can leave you in financial peril facing numerous medical bills, funeral expenses, and the loss of income. These economic damages coupled with pain and suffering are recoverable under Texas law if it can be shown the medical provider’s negligence caused the patient’s death.
Healthcare Providers Often Conceal Negligence
It is sadly not uncommon for negligent hospitals, doctors, or other healthcare providers to take deliberate steps to get you to ignore their negligence. Do not think it happens? Consider one story of a surgeon who lied under oath to protect another surgeon in a malpractice suit.
In fact, the New York Daily News reported not long ago about hospitals falsifying medical records to avoid getting caught and sued for negligent medical treatment.
Talking to Risk Management
Larger hospitals and healthcare groups often have in-house insurance defense teams called “risk managers.” These are generally experienced medical professionals with specialized training and experience in law and insurance regulations. Their sole job is to limit and avoid risk to the healthcare company by just about any means necessary. Risk managers typically have credentials ranging from registered nurses, attorneys, physicians, and so forth. They often hold numerous advanced degrees in medical compliance or policy.
Risk Management Tactics
Risk managers will often refer to themselves as patient advocates and tell you that they want to help you cope or find closure. They want to “help you resolve your differences” with the doctor or hospital.” However, this is simply not true. Their job is to get you to ignore that your loved one died due to careless or negligent medical treatment. Here are some of the tricks they use.
If the negligence is clear enough that the healthcare professional or hospital realizes it will likely be held responsible, you may be offered a ‘generous’ settlement in exchange for an agreement not to sue. You should take any such paperwork directly to an experienced Houston medical malpractice lawyer for a free consultation before you consider signing anything.
A clever little trick they may use is offering to pay all the final expenses and waiving your medical bills in exchange for you signing a confidentiality agreement. While it may seem harmless, they usually place harsh penalties for breaching these agreements. If you later talk to a lawyer, they may try to enforce the agreement by saying you were in violation of the agreement.
Some risk managers will just come out and ask you to sign paperwork you do not understand, maybe even lying about what the document is. Once signed, you may later discover that you have actually ‘released’ them of all wrongdoing.
Since Texas has strict time limits on bringing a lawsuit, risk managers may just try to stall you or create delays. First, they may offer to cover the final expenses if you agree to wait for a ‘cooling off period’ of six months to a year. Then you come back to talk, and they may say they want to do a thorough investigation and gather all your loved one’s records. Eventually, two or three years pass, and you may be completely barred from filing a lawsuit, simply by virtue of the applicable statute of limitations.
Get Advice Early
If someone you love was seriously harmed or killed due to medical malpractice, do not bother with extended discussions with insurance adjusters and risk managers. Their only job is to make sure they do not have to pay for their wrongdoing. Call the Oweyssi Law Firm today to schedule a completely free and private consultation to discuss your case. Time is limited for seeking justice, so do not wait too long.