Medical Malpractice in Texas: Statute of Limitations

Texas law contains a protection mechanism to prevent stale claims from being litigated. It is called the statute of limitations. This places a time limit on when an action may be filed. It is based on the date of the incident and for most personal injury claims, it is two years.

Most of the time, the statute of limitations is easy to determine. If you are in a car accident on November 1, 2016, for example, you must file your claim within two years or by November 1, 2018. Car accidents have a solid incident date of when the statute of limitations clock starts ticking.

Medical malpractice is less straightforward. The statute of limitations is also two years with these claims and your deadline date is based on either:

  • The date of injury or misdiagnosis; or
  • The date of the procedure believed to cause the injury or misdiagnosis.

Other states allow a “discovery rule” where the statute of limitations does not start accruing until after you discover your injury. This is not the case with Texas. Even if it takes you one year to discover that a treatment or misdiagnosis lead to an adverse health condition, your statute of limitations still accrued. You now have one year to meet with an attorney, file a claim, and go through the negotiation, settlement, and litigation process.

For that reason, it is important to address any adverse treatments effects as quickly as possible. Do not delay receiving medical treatment but also if you suspect malpractice, speak to an attorney soon as well.