The Dangers of Being a Pro Se Litigant in a Texas Medical Malpractice Case
The surgery is expensive to begin with. The insurance pays for some of it, but you have a high deductible to start with. Maybe you’ve been in the hospital so long that the policy has hit its limits. You miss work due to a long and painful recovery , and when you don’t work, you don’t get paid. If you’ve suffered a serious injury due to medical malpractice, you are surely aware of how expensive the process can be. The last thing on your mind is the “expense” of an attorney. “Surely I can file a medical malpractice lawsuit myself, right?”
To succeed in a Texas medical malpractice case, you owe it to yourself and to your family to get legal representation. Medical malpractice cases are always hard-fought cases against extremely powerful adversaries like doctors, hospitals and huge insurance companies (and their teams of high-paid lawyers). Be aware that medical malpractice lawyers in Texas are generally hired on a “contingency fee” basis. This literally means that you never directly pay the attorney. If you win your case, the attorney takes a standard percentage of the winnings, and if you lose, you are not obligated to pay anything. This also helps you feel confident that you and your attorney are both working toward the exact same goal.
You may think “its an open & shut case… I can win a lawsuit when it’s so obvious… I have rights…” While it’s true that you do have rights, you really need an attorney to uphold your rights by bringing a successful claim or lawsuit on your behalf. Trust me when I say that you have a 0% chance of winning a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas without the assistance of an attorney. With the negative public mindset against medical malpractice lawsuits, Texas’ overly strict tort reform, and the complexity of an injury lawsuit, you are essentially going up against an opponent who is almost untouchable.
It is hard to overstate the dangers of being a “pro se litigant” (representing yourself without a lawyer) in a medical malpractice case. The bottom line is that doing so is a very very bad idea. Even medical malpractice attorneys themselves get other attorneys to represent them in malpractice cases. That in and of itself should be a pretty clear sign to you that pro se litigation is a very ill-advised route. The dangers of representing yourself are almost too many to list here: first on the list is obviously the fact that you just don’t know everything you need to know in order to get fair treatment from courts, insurers, doctors and lawyers. Malpractice cases are complex cases that often involve complicated legal theories, thousands of pages of medical records and the testimonies of many in-depth expert witnesses. Non-lawyers simply do not have the expertise to handle all the facets of a winning medical malpractice case. Do you know how to respond to a list of admissions? You had better know how, or your case is ruined. Do you have the resources to hire on an expert witness? Do you know how to properly admit medical records into a court case? Again, one wrong move and your case is thrown out. Forever. You only get one shot. Trying to handle a medical malpractice case without a lawyer is simply a losing proposition.
Lawyers recognize that working men and women often do not have the financial resources to successfully assert medical malpractice claims. Those claims are time consuming, and they require significant resources. An expert witness report must be filed with the court within 120 days in every medical malpractice case, and an expert witnesses must also be brought into all medical malpractice cases where liability is contested (which is literally almost every case). This expense alone puts many malpractice cases out of reach for most men and women. A law firm can front this monumental cost for the client, and simply recoup the money from the lawsuit winnings after the resolution of the case.
If you’re hurt, you need a lawyer. If a doctor or other healthcare provider is the one who hurt you, getting a lawyer is paramount. Do not even consider representing yourself in a medical malpractice case. Get an experienced Houston medical malpractice attorney on your side: get Grossman Law Offices. You can reach our bilingual staff at 1-855-392-0000 and let us start our no-cost independent investigation into your case. We’re here to take your call 24/7/365.