Professional Malpractice

Table of Contents

 

Nature of Claim for Professional Malpractice

The term malpractice encompasses the intentional and negligent conduct of professionals in the course of performing services for their clients. A claim against a professional is frequently based upon a claim that the professional was negligent in some way which caused damage to the client. In addition, professional malpractice may result from intentional misconduct, fraud or deceit by the professional against the client.

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Standard of Care

In performing services for a client, a professional is required to exercise a degree of care in accordance with the knowledge and skill required of an ordinary prudent member of his or her profession. This standard adopts the common-law negligence rule that the required standard of care is that of an ordinary prudent person in the same or similar circumstances, and includes the defendant's professional special knowledge and ability as one of the circumstances.

A professional's unexcused violation of a statutory or administrative regulation governing his or her profession may constitute negligence as a matter of law.

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Types of Professional Malpractice Claims

Doctors, Hospitals, and Other Healthcare Providers

- Medical malpractice has been defined as the unskillful practice of medicine resulting in injury to a patient. It comprises all acts and omissions of a healthcare professional toward a patient that may make the professional either civilly or criminally liable, and may consist of a single act or a course of treatment.

Medical malpractice actions are generally brought under a theory of negligence, which may include a failure to properly diagnose a medical condition and/or negligent failure to disclose the existence of a condition. In addition, an action for medical malpractice may be based upon misrepresentation, breach of contract to cure, breach of physician-patient confidentiality, or assault and battery.

In general, all medical malpractice actions are governed by the Medical Liability and Insurance Improvement Act of Texas, which provides, among other things, the following advantages for a healthcare provider in defending a claim by a patient:

  1. The Act sets a limit on damages.
  2. The Act provides a statute of limitations which is much shorter and stricter than the statute of limitations rules for similar causes of action against other professionals.
  3. The Act limits the general common law of negligence which would otherwise be applied to defendants in medical malpractice claims.

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Accountants - Negligence actions against accountants frequently result from the allegedly negligent preparation of financial statements or tax returns. In the typical financial statement case, the accountant is alleged to have negligently or fraudulently misrepresented or failed to report facts on which the client or a third party relied to his or her detriment. A claim of malpractice against an accountant quite often includes a claim that the accountant overstated the client's net worth, resulting in damage to the client's creditor who had relied upon a statement prepared by the accountant in extending credit to the client.

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Architects, Interior Designers, and Engineers - Architects, interior designers, and engineers are required to use the degree of care that architects, interior designers, and engineers, respectively, of ordinary knowledge and skill, would use under similar circumstances. When the professional's duties under a contract with the client expressly include supervision of the project, the professional owes the client a duty of due care with respect to such supervision. A claim against an architect, interior designer, or engineer may be based upon a failure to supervise workers in the performance of their crafts in a good and workmanlike manner. In addition, claims against architects, interior designers, and engineers may include a claim of defective design or insufficient specification of materials.

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Barbers and Cosmetologists - An injured patron who shows that a barber or cosmetologist failed to use ordinary care in the performance of his or her professional duties, and that such failure proximately caused the injuries in question, may recover personal injury damages. In cases involving humiliation or embarrassment due to a change in the patron's appearance, the patron may recover damages for mental anguish, in addition to other damages recovered. Damages may include temporary or permanent loss of hair, scarring, and discoloration of the scalp.

If you believe that a professional person has been guilty of malpractice in the providing of professional services to you, and such malpractice has resulted in injury or damage to you, you may have a claim against the professional to recover for such injury or damages. If you would like more information concerning possible claims which you may have arising out of services provided to you by a professional, then, please, fill out the following information. You may provide as much or as little of the information requested. The information which you provide to us will be kept strictly confidential.

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Do you have a claim based on professional malpractice?

If have been damaged as a result of professional malpractice, you may have a claim against the service provider. If you would like more information concerning your possible claim, then, please, fill out the following questionnaire. You may provide as much or as little of the information requested. All information which you provide to us will be kept strictly confidential. If you know of someone with a claim based upon a professional malpractice, please, E-mail them and recommend that they visit this Website, or print out this questionnaire, and ask the person to mail it to Jim L. Culpepper & Associates.

Thank you for providing this information.

First Name:
Last Name:
Number, Street & Apt.:
City:
State:
Zip:
E-Mail (required):
Day Phone:
Evening Phone:
Best time to reach you by telephone?
Fax:
Name of professional who provided service:
Name of business:
Number & Street:
City:
State:
Zip:
Telephone:
Are you currently seeing a physician? Yes No
If so, Name:
Number & Street:
City:
State:
Zip:
Telephone:
Please, describe the professional services which are the basis of your claim and how the services provided to you resulted in injury or damage to you or your property:
Please, describe the injury or damages which you suffered and an estimation of the dollar amount of such injury or damage, including medical expenses, lost wages, property damage:

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