How to Sue a Doctor in Texas for Malpractice

Have you or your loved one suffered harm at the hands of a negligent doctor in Texas? Have you been left to worry about medical bills and how you will support your family while injured? When a healthcare provider has breached trust with a negligent act that caused injury or death, those accounts may be subject to a medical malpractice claim. If you believe that you or a loved one have been the victim of negligence due to a surgical mistake, incorrect diagnosis, or healthcare negligence you need an experienced Texas medical malpractice attorney on your side. 

Examples of Doctor Negligence that is Considered Malpractice in Texas

Doctor negligence claims are some of the most challenging cases to pursue, and not every case of negligence will qualify as malpractice. To have a valid medical malpractice case in Texas, the plaintiff must prove the physician was negligent and breached the standard of care through an act, or omission that caused injury to the patient. 

The Four Elements Needed to Establish a Doctor Malpractice Lawsuit in Texas are:

  1. There must be an established relationship between the doctor and the patient
  2. A deviation from the standard of care
  3. The doctor’s action or inaction resulted in damages to the patient
  4. The injured patient must prove that the physician’s negligence was the direct cause of any damages they suffered

What to Do if You Think Your Doctor Was Negligent

If you suspect your doctor was negligent, you should take immediate action due to Texas’s strict statute of limitations and filing deadlines for initiating a doctor malpractice lawsuit.

  1. Contact an attorney so they can begin the review of your medical records to see if you have a claim
  2. Collect and document all related information; keep a detailed journal of your injuries and pain, and make a list of witnesses
  3. Seek medical care if your injury has not healed or caused you pain. Get a 2nd opinion to verify and document all related issues

Statute of Limitations on Doctor Malpractice in Texas

Texas has a “statute of limitations” for doctor malpractice, putting a two-year limit on an injured patient’s right to file a medical malpractice case in court. The two-year statute of limitations begins when the negligent act occurs or when you realize it.

If you were on a continual course of treatment, you would have two years from when the treatments end to file a lawsuit. In Texas, a lawsuit can only proceed if you are within the statute of limitations and the case meets the criteria for malpractice.

Filing a Lawsuit Against a Doctor Without Malpractice Insurance

If a healthcare provider does not have malpractice insurance and acts outside the standard of care, they can have a lawsuit brought against them. These cases can be challenging to pursue because winning a judgment does not guarantee that the plaintiff will recover any damages. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can address these obstacles and review if any other parties involved are liable for the negligent care. 

Getting Compensation For Doctor Negligence Without Filing A Lawsuit

You can sue for compensation in Texas if a medically negligent act resulted in the injury or death of you or a loved one. But obtaining that compensation without filing a lawsuit is complex and rarely done because Texas has specific requirements to begin negotiating a medical malpractice settlement. When you notify the negligent healthcare provider, they will contact their insurance provider, who will almost certainly force you to file a malpractice suit in court.  

Damages You Can Win in a Texas Doctor Malpractice Lawsuit

As a part of the 2003 Texas Medical Malpractice Act and Tort reform, Texas passed laws similar to other states that restrict the amount of compensation (damages) that victims can obtain for non-economic (pain and suffering) damages.  

Limits on Non-Economic or Pain and Suffering Damages  

  • Max non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases against a health care provider of $250,000 
  • Max non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases against a single health care institution of $250,000
  • Non-economic damages for each claimant have a max of $500,000 for claims against multiple health care institutions.

Texas has not placed a cap on economic damages, including medical bills associated with injury and lost time at work.

 Limits on Punitive Damages (Awarded to Punish Negligent Party)

  •  2X’s the economic damages plus the non-economic damages (pain and suffering) awarded by the jury up to $750,000; OR $200,000

Punitive damages can be awarded but are rare in medical malpractice cases and only awarded when the negligent act is particularly egregious, such as covering up errors or destroying medical records, so a jury may feel a punitive punishment is necessary.

Why You Need a Law Firm Specializing in Physician Malpractice Litigation

Between extensive discovery, hiring expert witnesses, and spending countless hours on the case, medical malpractice cases are often very complex. The complexity of Texas medical malpractice laws illustrates why it’s vital for possible victims of medical negligence to seek help from a top-rated medical malpractice lawyer. Contact an attorney now before the statute of limitations has passed on your injury.

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