The amount of time is found in each state’s statute of limitations. It is essential that victims know the limitations period and act in time to preserve their claim.
Reach out to a skilled Texas medical malpractice attorney for more information on the medical malpractice statute of limitations in Texas.
Statute of Limitations Texas: Two Years to File a Lawsuit
You can find this state’s statute of limitations at the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 74.251.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice stands at two years. This means that individuals intending to file a medical malpractice claim must do so within this two-year period from the date of the negligent act, omission, or practice. For example, say you were injured due to a doctor’s negligence during a surgery that occurred on April 1, 2019. Under the statute of limitations, you have until April 1, 2021, to bring a lawsuit.
Sometimes, patients receive a course of treatment, and a question usually arises as to when the clock starts running. If the patient is receiving a course of treatment, then they have two years from the date treatment is completed.
Any delay can result in the court dismissing the case.
Texas Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations exceptions
The statute of limitations might be too unforgiving in certain circumstances. Recognizing that Texas has included exceptions:
- Minors. In Texas, medical malpractice statute of limitations allows minors injured before the age of 12 to file a claim until they reach age 14. This exception grants those harmed before 12 years old an extended timeframe to pursue legal action, ensuring they have until age 14 to initiate a lawsuit. So, if your child was injured at age 5, he can file suit at any point before age 14.
- Undiscovered negligence. A patient might not have been able to discover the medical negligence within the two-year statute of limitations period. In that situation, Texas law gives the patient a “reasonable” amount of time after discovery to get to court and file.
We strongly encourage those who believe they have been victims of medical malpractice not to count on qualifying for an exception. Instead, meet with a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.
Government Employee as a Medical Provider: Only 6 Months
If a government employee committed malpractice and injured you, then you get even less time to file a lawsuit. In fact, you must provide notice of the claim to the government within six months to preserve a right to sue. Many hospitals and clinics are run by the government, so an injured patient must move very quickly.
Failing to provide adequate notice in a timely manner can bar a lawsuit.
Statute of Repose: Maximum Amount of Time to Sue
Regardless of when the injury occurred, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be brought within 10 years of the medical error or omission. This is called the “statute of repose.” Even if it took 12 years to discover you were injured, the statute of repose will cut off the right to sue.
The statute of repose conflicts with both the discovery rule and the statute of limitations for minors. For this reason, we encourage anyone who believes they or their child was injured to quickly meet with an attorney.
Legal Advice You Can Trust. Contact our Texas Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today
The Texas medical malpractice statute of limitations is a confusing law that has unfortunately caused many people to lose out on their day in court.
Don’t become one of them. Reach out to Tawney, Acosta & Chaparro P.C. to schedule a free consultation.