Medical malpractice claims, like other civil cases, must be filed within a specific time frame. The statute of limitations establishes the deadline. In general, a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas has a two-year window, so in most cases, you would have two years to sue a doctor after surgery. However, there are certain exceptions.
Other than the deadline, there are other critical details involved which might affect your case. If you are wondering how long you have to sue a doctor after surgery, we suggest discussing your case with a medical malpractice attorney.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Texas?
Medical malpractice refers to a doctor’s or healthcare professional’s mistakes while treating you. It ranges from wrong and delayed diagnoses to mistakes and errors made during surgery.
You require more than a surgical error to prove that you are a victim of medical malpractice in Texas. The determining factors that make a strong case for your compensation are:
- Whether the medical professional followed the “standar of care” in your treatment.
- You hold proof of an existing doctor-patient relationship.
- The doctor’s negligence caused you an injury or worsened your health.
If you suspect medical negligence, it is critical to contact a personal injury lawyer in Texas at the earliest. Waiting too long might result in the loss of evidence or testimony.
Who Can You Sue for a Medical Claim in Texas?
It is rare for a surgeon to operate alone. The injuries and losses result from several factors, with various health care professionals involved, all of whom may be held accountable. Some of the entities held responsible in medical malpractice cases in Texas include:
- Operating doctors
- Support staff
- Hospital administrator
- Anesthetist nurses
If your injury was caused by a lack of proper treatment in a hospital or private medical office, you might be entitled to compensation.
Can You Sue a Doctor in Texas After Five Years?
While the statute of limitations in Texas states otherwise, under certain circumstances, you have more than two years to file a medical malpractice claim in Texas. It is known as the continuous treatment rule.
The rule suggests that if a doctor treats a patient for an injury sustained during surgery for four more years, the statute of limitations does not begin until the doctor has finished treatment. Providing the patient six years for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas.
Exceptions to the Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Texas
Medical negligence and malpractice claims are tricky and require expert assistance. Consulting a Texas personal injury attorney would help your claim. Other than the continuous treatment rule, there are a few other exceptions to the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Texas:
The Victim is a Minor
Lawsuits for minors harmed before age 12 are eligible for filing a lawsuit until 14. If your child was hurt at age five, you could file a lawsuit until 14.
Involves a Government Employee
Texas laws against a government employee must be filed within six months by the victim after the injury. Governmental entities that own Texas hospitals and clinics require you to provide medical malpractice claims within a limited time after the negligence.
Negligence was Discovered After the Deadline
The victim can file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas within a “reasonable period” after discovering the wrongdoing. You can file a lawsuit if you discover an injury caused by medical negligence after the two-year deadline.
Can You Sue a Doctor After Ten Years?
Medical malpractice lawsuits in Texas have a ten-year statute of repose. This threshold is likely to outweigh any exceptions described in the preceding paragraph. The court dismisses the medical malpractice claim if submitted ten years after the negligent act.
What is the Notice Requirement for a Texas Medical Malpractice Claim?
The Texas Civil court mandates notifying the healthcare provider via a written notice around 60 days before filing a lawsuit. Send out a certified mail with a return receipt request. You must also give each identified health care provider an authorization form to release protected health information so the investigation can begin.
Expert Report in Texas Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
As part of the medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas, you must provide each defendant with an expert report or affidavit of merit. It is a written report by an expert that summarizes the expert’s opinion on the important aspects of your case.
Timeline for Expert Report Submission
In case the court claims that your case requires an expert report, serve each medical professional involved with a report within:
- 120-days or around four months after filing a lawsuit in Texas.
- 60-days or around two months of the court’s order
- The timeline was agreed upon by you and involved medical professionals.
Elements of an Expert Report
The state of Texas now permits you to ask the court whether your specific claim mandates the submission of an expert report. Here are crucial elements of the report:
- The opinion of an expert on the standard of care.
- How the doctor or a healthcare professional didn’t meet that standard.
- How does failure to meet the standard cause you injury?
- The medical malpractice lawsuit can be dismissed if the expert report isn’t submitted by the due date.
Get Legal Advice from Our Medical Malpractice Attorney in Texas Today
The consequences of doctors’ mistakes may be disastrous. These medical errors may vary from slight inconveniences to a lifetime of suffering or even premature deaths. We at The Buzbee Law Firm will stop at nothing to get you due compensation. You may not be able to get back what you’ve lost, but it isn’t fair for you to bear the burden of others’ wrongdoing.
Our Texas Personal Injury lawyers give you the best legal counsel possible and get you the compensation you deserve.