During the last several sessions of the Texas Legislature the changes to the medical negligence laws have been substantial. Generally, health care liability claims have a two year statute of limitations which does not begin to run on minors until their eighteenth birthday. There are a variety of caveats and limiting doctrines so the potential claimant would be well advised to seek advice early on. A claimant is required to file an expert report within 120 days of the filing of a lawsuit addressing both malpractice and the causation of damages. This is true regardless of whether the case requires expert testimony. For example, if you go in for surgery and the surgeon amputates the wrong leg you must pay a surgeon to author a report stating that it is beneath the standard of care to remove a healthy leg by mistake.
The most notable of the changes are the damages caps. In medical malpractice actions filed after September 1, 2003, noneconomic damages from individual defendants are limited to $250,000 and noneconomic damages from institutions are limited to $250,000 each with a maximum from all institutions of $500,000. Under the current statutes the average injured patient is entitled to recover their medical expenses, lost wages, and a maximum of $250,000 from the physician plus an additional $250,000 if the hospital or clinic can be held responsible. This is true regardless of the severity of the injuries.
The changes to the law are not intuitive and those unfamiliar with their complete meaning should seek assistance.
For more information contact a Tyler Medical Malpractice Attorney today.