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What Is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Texas?

How Long an Injured Victim Has to File a Claim

If you sustained injuries as a result of a healthcare professional’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. Compensation can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. But it is important to keep in mind that under Texas law, you only have a limited amount of time to take action. 

To learn more about filing a medical malpractice claim or to see whether you are eligible for compensation, contact the Houston personal injury lawyers at Bailey Cowan Heckaman, PLLC. Our experienced team of attorneys has the compassion and dedication needed to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligent actions and obtain justice on your behalf. Call (855) 759-3558 today for a free, no-obligation consultation. 

Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Texas

A statute of limitations is a law that stipulates the maximum amount of time a party has to take legal action. In personal injury matters, this means that an injured victim only has a certain amount of time from the date the alleged wrongdoing took place to file a lawsuit against the person or entity responsible. In Texas, victims of medical negligence and their families have two years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. 

In some cases, the date of the negligent act or omission is obvious - for example, on the day of surgery. However, in some cases, the result of the negligence isn’t as apparent. Sometimes, the resulting injury or illness takes time to present itself. An example is a patient whose doctor failed to diagnose cancer who then receives the correct diagnosis a year or so later.

To allow for situations where a period of time passes before a victim is made aware of their illness or injury, the statute of limitations stipulates that the time frame can either begin on the date the injury or illness occurred or the date the victim first learned of their injury or illness. 

If you are unsure whether you are within the time frame set forth by the statute of limitations, contact a Houston medical malpractice attorney to determine if you still have the right to seek compensation.

What Is Considered Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare provider’s negligent actions or omissions directly cause harm or injury to a patient. These cases involve a wide range of circumstances, such as an error in diagnosis or the failure to treat the patient. Other examples include:

  • Misdiagnosis
  • Surgical error or wrong site surgery
  • Unnecessary surgery
  • Misreading lab results
  • Medication error
  • Failure to order testing
  • Failure to recognize symptoms
  • Prematurely discharging the patient
  • Poor follow-up or inadequate aftercare

Compensation Awarded in Medical Malpractice Cases

The amount and types of damages awarded in a medical malpractice case vary, depending on the nature and extent of the victim’s injuries or illness. However, damages commonly awarded include the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation
  • Lost earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Diminished quality of life

Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death

Family members who lose a loved one as a result of medical malpractice can seek compensation for the lost financial support and suffering they incur by bringing a wrongful death action against the responsible party. Damages commonly awarded in these cases include the following:

  • Medical expenses resulting from the illness or injury
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost financial support
  • Lost instruction, guidance, and service
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Pain and suffering

Punitive Damages

Unlike other damages awarded in medical malpractice cases, punitive damages don’t aim to compensate the plaintiff. Instead, they are awarded by a judge or jury to punish or make an example out of the defendant. Punitive damages are given at the court’s discretion but are typically ordered when the defendant’s actions or inaction are found to be especially harmful or intentional.

Speak with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Houston

We go to our doctors to feel better. Never do we think that the actions of our doctor or hospital will actually be the cause of our illness or injury. Unfortunately, medical negligence is not uncommon and can cause serious harm and even death. 

If you were injured by a healthcare professional or lost a loved one as a result of medical malpractice, you have the right to seek compensation by filing a claim. The Houston medical malpractice attorneys at Bailey Cowan Heckaman, PLLC, are well-versed in these often challenging cases. Not only does our legal team have the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively advocate on your behalf, but we also have the compassion to guide and support you and your family throughout the process. To learn more about how we can help you secure justice, contact us online or call (855) 759-3558 today to schedule a FREE, no-obligation case review.

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