Whenever a patient has been seriously injured by a negligent doctor, nurse, or other healthcare technicians, the injured patient has the right to pursue damages (compensation for their losses) by filing a medical malpractice claim.
An injured patient can’t, however, wait an indefinite period of time and then file a claim when it’s convenient for them. As with other types of personal injury claims, injured patients must file a claim within a specified period of time under Texas law – this is called a “statute of limitations.”
In regard to medical malpractice and personal injury cases, a deadline applies (the statute of limitations). Meaning, the patient has so much time to file a claim and if they miss the window, the patient loses the right to file a claim permanently.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Texas?
In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim is two years from the date the injury occurred, but in some cases, it’s two years from the date the injury was discovered or could have been reasonably discovered. Depending on the facts of the case, it’s not necessarily the date the injury occurred.
“What if the medical error occurred while I was receiving a course of treatment and I can’t pin down the exact date of injury?” In this type of situation, the two-year clock will start running on the last day you received treatment unless you should have discovered the injury on an earlier date.
Is There a Cap on Damages?
Each state has different rules about caps on damages. Some states impose them, while others do not. In Texas, the only damages that are capped in medical malpractice cases are non-economic damages. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Under Section 74.301 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedy Code, non-economic damages are capped at $250,000 against a single doctor or other healthcare providers. If the case is against multiple defendants, the cap is set at $500,000 for non-economic damages. The maximum damages one single institution can be liable for is $250,000.
There is no cap on economic damages, which include medical bills, lost income, and other types of losses that can be easily documented. Furthermore, Texas has what is called a “statute of repose” for medical malpractice claims. Under the state’s statute of repose, no matter when the treatment occurred or when the injury was discovered, the case has to be brought within 10 years from the date of the medical negligence. If a case is filed after 10 years from the date of injury, it will almost certainly be rejected by the court.
Next: Medical Malpractice: What is Informed Consent?
To file a medical malpractice claim, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC.