The “statute of limitations” refers to the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit against another party. Every state outlines their own time limit, which can also vary depending on the type of case you are filing. For example, the medical malpractice statute of limitations in Texas is outlined under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 74.251.
According to this statute, you generally have two years from the date the malpractice occurred or the date you discovered that malpractice to file a lawsuit against the medical professional or facility for your damages. A medical malpractice attorney can help you navigate this deadline and other aspects of the legal process.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
The law establishes that malpractice may occur if:
- There is a violation of the standard of care. This means that your healthcare provider failed to demonstrate the same level of skill and knowledge that other medical staff in the same field possess. You can’t expect your general practitioner to be an expert in every area, but they should refer you to a specialist if there is any doubt about your condition.
- Negligent treatment resulted in a significant injury.
An example of medical malpractice would be if your doctor gave you the incorrect dose of a medication and it caused you additional harm. Medication errors is one of many forms of medical malpractice that could warrant compensation. Others include:
- Leaving a foreign object inside the patient
- Performing an unnecessary procedure
- Delayed diagnosis
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More About the Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Texas
While the statute of limitations is clear that you must file a medical malpractice case within two years in Texas, there are some factors that can affect this deadline:
- What if the malpractice results do not show themselves until years after the original diagnosis or incident? Though the statute of limitations gives you two years from the date you discovered the malpractice, there is also a 10-year statute of repose. This means that no matter what, medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within 10 years of the incident that caused harm.
- What if the malpractice affects a child? In cases that involve minors younger than twelve, a parent or guardian has until the child reaches 14 years of age to file a lawsuit on their behalf.
As you can see, identifying the deadline to file a lawsuit in your case is not always straightforward. Still, it is critical to do so in order to protect your right to sue. Once the legal filing deadline expires, your case will not be heard in court, regardless of how strong it is. For this reason, many medical malpractice victims and surviving family members turn to a law firm for support.
Hiring Legal Representation for a Medical Malpractice Case
Bringing a medical malpractice case on your own will take up a lot of time and energy that could be better spent on recuperating. In addition, medical malpractice cases are more complex than personal injury cases, which means there are more opportunities for making mistakes that could undermine your claim.
The potential complications surrounding medical malpractice claims suggest that you might be better off with professional help. Instead of heading into the legal process alone, you could reach out to a law firm for support and resources. A medical malpractice attorney can:
- Analyze your medical records to understand what occurred
- Locate a third-party medical professional to review your case
- Build a claim against the person or entity responsible
- Submit a demand letter to the liable party’s insurer
- Negotiate on your behalf
- File a lawsuit when the time is right
While our firm handles these and other tasks in your case, you can concentrate on getting on with your life and recovering from any injury.
Whether you decide to enlist the help of professionals or not, you should keep a careful record of all documentation relevant to your case. For example, list all medical expenses and record the time you spent off work. These are just examples, but keep track of any others that you can associate, as they can help to prove your case.
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Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Take Care of Your Case
Residents of Texas can call on the services of the Underwood Law Office. Our team has helped many people in your position recover compensation for their medical care and other damages. We treat all of our clients with friendly professionalism and work tirelessly to advocate for their interests. Our founder, Mark Underwood, has dedicated his legal career to helping those in need by providing the best possible service. His expert team shares his dedication to his clients.
You can contact our team at (972) 535-6377 for a free initial consultation. During this conversation, we will go over your case and discuss your potential next steps. This consultation places you under no obligation, so you have nothing to lose.