Brian White | December 22, 2023 | Medical Malpractice
Each state has statutes of limitations that apply to personal injury lawsuits. A statute of limitations sets deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. The court can dismiss a lawsuit filed after the statute of limitations expires without considering whether the person has a valid legal claim.
What Is the Texas Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims?
The Texas statute of limitations applies to all types of personal injury cases, including medical malpractice claims. In most situations, you must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years from the malpractice date or the date the treatment subject to the claim was completed. If you fail to file a lawsuit before that time, you lose your right to pursue a claim through the courts.
What Is the Statute of Repose for Medical Malpractice Claims in Texas?
What happens if you do not discover the malpractice until later? In these cases, you have two years from the date you discovered the malpractice or reasonably should have discovered the malpractice. When a person should have “reasonably” discovered medical malpractice is often challenged by the insurance provider.
However, regardless of when you discover the injuries and malpractice, the statute of repose requires all claims to be brought within 10 years or they are barred.
In other words, if you discover your doctor made a mistake that caused you harm nine years after the fact, you would have just one year to file a lawsuit, or your claim would be barred.
Is There a Different Medical Malpractice Statute Of Limitations for Minor Children in Texas?
Yes. Medical malpractice cases involving children have a different statute of limitations based on the child’s age. Texas Statute §74.251 states that minors under 12 years of age have until their 14th birthday to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The long-term consequences for a minor from medical malpractice may not be immediately known. A child may experience developmental delays because of medical negligence, but it might not be known until the child struggles to meet milestones as they develop. Likewise, some medical errors that injure children might not be discovered until the child is older.
Therefore, the courts give parents until the child’s 14th birthday to file a claim if the malpractice occurred before the child’s 12th birthday. However, parents should seek immediate legal advice from a Houston medical malpractice lawyer if they suspect a healthcare provider injured their child. Waiting to file a claim could make proving the provider caused the injury more challenging.
Examples of Medical Malpractice Claims for Children in Houston, TX
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical provider fails to adhere to the standard of care owed to your child. Medical negligence and errors can cause severe injuries and harm to children. Examples of medical malpractice claims for children include, but are not limited to:
- Labor and birth injuries
- Misdiagnosis of cancer and other conditions
- Errors and negligence regarding treatments and procedures
- Delayed diagnosis of health conditions
- Failure to warn parents of the potential risks of treatment
- Medication errors, including prescribing the incorrect medication and/or dosage
- Hospital negligence and emergency room errors
- Failing to detect and treat illnesses and conditions
- Failure to order diagnostic testing and/or refer a child to a specialist
- Surgical errors, including leaving instruments in patients, performing the wrong operation, and anesthesia errors
- Failure to review a child’s medical history before diagnosing a child and/or prescribing treatment
Children can sustain permanent impairments and life-threatening conditions when a medical provider makes errors or is negligent. A parent can file a medical malpractice claim on behalf of their child seeking compensation for their child’s pain and suffering and other damages.
What Damages Are Available for a Child’s Medical Malpractice Claim in Houston, TX?
Children may suffer extreme pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish because of malpractice. They deserve to be compensated for their non-economic damages, including:
- Physical discomfort and pain
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress and trauma
- Diminished quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Impairments and disabilities
Medical malpractice can also result in significant financial losses. A child’s medical malpractice claim may also include economic damages, including:
- Medical bills and expenses
- Cost of personal and/or nursing care
- Occupational therapy, rehabilitative services, and physical therapy
- Cost of special education and tutoring
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Reductions in future earning capacity
Parents may also receive compensation for their financial losses related to their child’s injuries, including lost wages, travel expenses, and other costs associated with the malpractice claim.
It is crucial to seek prompt legal advice from an experienced Houston child injury lawyer if you suspect malpractice. You do not want to miss the deadline to file a malpractice claim.
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Houston, TX 77098
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