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Is there anyway to file a malpractice suit after the statutes of limitations are past in Texas?

Abilene, TX |

In 2010 my father suffered a brain aneurysm. He was responsive until the drainage tube was pulled out by the hospitals imaging services and a doctor did not replace it for 3 hours. He went into a coma for a month. During this time he was reintubated several time and eventually given a tracheostomy. My mother fought the hospital to keep him alive as his will stated and then eventually fought to have him taken to a brain injury center seven hours from their home. We were told by the doctor at the new hospital that the previous hospital paralyzed his vocals chords from the intubation tubes and that they delayed his therapies to long. She was told she had to wait until medical expenses reached so much before a lawyer would talk to her. She now cares for her husband like a infant at home.

Attorney Answers 4


If your father now has the mental capacity of an infant as a result of his injuries, he does not have the capacity to make decisions for himself. Mental incapacity may stop the statute of limitations from running until a guardian is appointed. Every state has its own laws in this regard and I do not practice in TX. You should consult with TX medical malpractice counsel immediately. I must tell you that the laws of TX are very hostile to claims against health care providers but it is certainly worth a phone call or two.

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You may not generally file a complaint after the statute of limitation has run. In some cases, that limitations period can be 'tolled' or extended based on the jurisdiction and type of claim. If you are unsure whether the statue of limitations has run, consult a personal injury attorney in your area. They can advise you of the specifics for your case, based on the relevant facts. Best of luck.

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If the hospital tricked her into blowing the statute of limitations, then yes.

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Texas is a very difficult place for a patient to bring a medical negligence claim. The politicians in the state (and the voters that elect them...particularly those in the highly conservative western region) have chosen to enact sweeping "tort reforms" that dramatically limit a patient's rights. Further, the TX Supreme Court has consistently issued opinions construing the laws in the favor of hospitals and physicians and against patients. All of this is to say:

The statute of limitations for a healthcare liability claim in Texas is set by a provision within Chapter 74 of the TX Revised Civil Statutes, enacted in 2003. It is a strict 2 years. The only real exceptions are for retained foreign bodies (like a surgical sponge). Children also get an extended period to bring a claim. Few other exceptions exist. That your father sustained a brain injury and the mental capacity to manage his affairs would NOT serve to extend the deadline for your family to pursue a claim. Other states with more reasonable laws might allow it. But not Texas.

I would also note that very, very few attorneys would be interested in a medical malpractice claim in Abilene. The reason is that the jury pool is so highly conservative that victory would not likely be possible.

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I was afraid to hear this. I am in a weird position as I am a healthcare provider myself and have worked in Abilene for many years. I voted for Chapter 24 in 2003 as the unfair malpractice suits were almost strangling during that time. We provided wonderful care and the majority were lies and unfair. We were voting for protection. To bad those with legitimate claims have to suffer for those who fraudulently abuse the system. Thank you for your time.

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