AUSTIN (KXAN) — Studies estimate 250,000 people in the U.S. die each year due to medical errors.
Different states have different regulations governing the maximum cap on damages from medical malpractice lawsuits.
Many may not realize pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas can be challenging. For economic damages, like lost income, Texas does not cap that can be awarded, but there is a cap on non-economic damages — like compensation for pain and suffering.
Victor Bornstein, CEO of JustPoint, helps people understand their malpractice lawsuit and connects them to an attorney.
“Let’s say a person was not working, they lost their legs, but then this does not need noneconomic damages, in Texas that’s capped. so depends on how much money you lost in Texas more, so than how much pain and suffering you’re going through because there’s a cap on pain and suffering of $250,000,” said Bornstein.
A quarter-million dollars may sound like a lot, but Bornstein points out it’s considered on the lower end for lawyers, which can make finding an attorney difficult.
“If someone lost income, or they had to spend a lot of money out of pocket on follow up health care, they will end up with an attorney, there’s a very good chance they will be able to find someone. If they have not lost income, it becomes a little bit more challenging, but it’s still possible,” said Bornstein.
In Texas, Bornstein said the number of people affected by medical mistakes has grown.
“So, usually is about 40,000 people who died from medical mistakes in Texas, and last year’s estimated to increase to 50,000 people.”
With the omicron variant overcrowding hospitals, Bornstein said it is challenging for doctors and nurses as they can lose time to dedicate to each patient.
“That’s when most of the medical mistakes occur when you don’t have enough time to dedicate to each patient,” said Bornstein.
In 2019, the World Health Organization called for more action to be taken to reduce patient harm in healthcare.
The WHO states 2.6 million people in low-and middle-income countries die each year as a result of unsafe health care.