Face mask with syringes to represent hospital infections.

Hospital Acquired Infections: Can You Sue for Medical Negligence?

A hospital stay should help you recover from an illness. However, it’s possible to develop a hospital-acquired infection during your hospital stay. You may be more likely to develop such an infection if staff members at a hospital are careless. 

Have you developed a hospital-acquired infection in Texas? You could be eligible for financial compensation if so. 

Potential Causes of Hospital-Acquired Infections in Texas 

A patient may acquire an infection while staying at a hospital for numerous reasons. Common examples include:

  • Infections resulting from catheters that haven’t been properly cleaned or sterilized (research shows catheters are the top source of hospital-acquired bloodstream infections)
  • Nurses, doctors, and other such parties failing to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when necessary
  • Failure to clean wounds or change dressings as needed
  • Not properly separating ill and contagious patients from others 

Patients can also take steps to limit their chances of infection. For example, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Taking the entire course of antibiotics can help a patient avoid developing an infection. 

Common Types of Hospital-Acquired Infections 

Common examples of hospital-acquired infections include: 

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Surgical site infections
  • Pneumonia, which a patient may be more likely to develop if they are on a ventilator
  • Methicillin‐resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can develop in the bloodstream as a result of unclean catheters or medical tubes 

Sepsis is another common hospital-acquired infection. It can lead to death without proper treatment. 

Suing for Medical Negligence in Texas After Contracting a Hospital-Acquired Infection 

Texas law grants patients the right to file claims or lawsuits when careless healthcare providers cause harm or allow them to sustain harm. To show you deserve compensation, you must show that a healthcare provider’s conduct represents a “departure from accepted standards of medical care.” 

You may file a claim or lawsuit seeking compensation for the following types of losses resulting from a hospital-acquired infection: 

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Future lost income
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium for your spouse 

Texas law limits the amount of compensation available for intangible losses such as pain and suffering. The most a jury or court could award for these losses when the defendant is an individual healthcare provider or a single healthcare institution is $250,000. If a patient sues multiple healthcare institutions (such as more than one hospital), the most they could receive for non-economic losses is $500,000, and $250,000 is the maximum that any one institution will need to pay. 

These caps might not apply if a case that appears to be a medical negligence case isn’t. For example, maybe you developed a hospital-acquired infection as a result of medical product failure. Yours might technically be a product liability case in these circumstances. 

The Deadline for Filing a Hospital Acquired Infection Medical Negligence Lawsuit in Texas 

Don’t delay if you believe you have grounds to file a lawsuit for a hospital-acquired infection in Texas. The statute of limitations requires you to file a lawsuit within two years of the hospital stay that resulted in your infection. You’ll waive your right to pursue compensation in court if you miss the deadline. 

However, there are exceptions. Talk to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to determine the appropriate time limit for your case. 

Contact a Dallas & Fort Worth Medical Malpractice Lawyer 

Proving you deserve compensation in a medical negligence case can be complex. You need to gather substantial evidence showing you developed an infection at a hospital because healthcare providers were unreasonably careless. Gathering such evidence will require conducting a thorough investigation. Investigating the circumstances of your case is just one way a Texas medical negligence lawyer at Rochelle McCullough, LLP, can assist you. To learn more about how we can help with your case, contact us online for a case review.