Medical Malpractice Issues in Texas: An Overview
Medical malpractice law can vary greatly between states, and Texas in particular has some unique limitations on these types of lawsuits. Here is a general overview of what you can expect if you are looking to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in the Lone Star State.
What constitutes medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice can take many forms, but generally it occurs when a patient suffers undue harm at the hand of a medical practitioner or healthcare institution. Medical professionals are held to a certain acceptable standard of care for all patients. To establish negligence amounting to malpractice, courts typically assess whether that medical professional or institution held up the standard of care that could be reasonably expected given the circumstances.
Caps and time limits
The statute of limitations on a medical malpractice case is rather short in the state of Texas. To file suit, you are required to do so within two years of the incident. If evidence of your injury does not occur immediately, you have two years from the time when you are first treated or hospitalized for that injury.
In addition, noneconomic damages (pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.) are capped at $250,000, or at $500,000 if you file suit against multiple healthcare institutions. Punitive damages are limited to $200,000, while wrongful death and survival actions cap out at $500,000.
You can check up on your doctor’s history
If your doctor has had a minimum of three expert reports filed against him or her under the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 74.351, any resulting disciplinary action is viewable under that doctor’s profile. To learn if your doctor has been sued, it is a good idea to check with the clerk of court in the same county of your doctor’s practice for any record of a lawsuit.
It’s also in your best interests to consult with a skilled attorney in Houston about potentially filing a malpractice claim.