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Texas State Malpractice Laws

Posted by attorney John Phillips

Anyone who is familiar with medical malpractice law in any state can very likely give you a rough description of medical malpractice law in Texas. Resembling that of many neighboring states, medical malpractice law in Texas has evolved slightly less than the law in other states, where precedent is considered to mean slightly less and holds less value and weight in each individual case. With thousands of attorneys constantly arguing cases in favor of the plaintiff, it is only natural for most law to evolve into a highly effective instrument against physicians and other types of defendants. With this evolution of the law, it isn't surprising to see so many individuals making the attempt to shore up their case against physicians by citing precedent from other cases. With all of this alluding to previous cases of malpractice, it would seem very natural that the law reflect that which has gone before, causing the evolution that changes the interpretation of these laws in such a radical fashion.

Texas State Malpractice Laws at a Glance:

Texas State Tort Law Statute of Limitations Two years from date of original injury. After ten years from the original injury, a suit may not be brought. Damage Award Limits $250,000 limit per claimant for noneconomic damages in suits not levied against health care institutions. $500,000 limit per claimant for noneconomic damages for other suits. Joint Defendant Liability Proportionate liability for defendants, unless found to be more than 50% at fault.

Expert Witness

The expert witness must have practiced in the last year, and/or demonstrate knowledge of current accepted standards of practice.

Attorney Fees

No limits on attorneys fees.

Defining Medical Malpractice Law in Texas

While the very definition of medical malpractice law in Texas is very clear, it is still subject to the whims and vagaries of the ever evolving court system. One of the least liberal court systems in the United States, the Texas judiciary system consists of a very strong and clear cut set of rules and regulations that makes it nearly impossible for individuals to circumvent the pre-decided laws that the state of Texas has set forth in its statutes. Among these laws, the medical malpractice law in Texas has enjoyed a high level of protection over the years. With so many individuals arguing against attorneys, it is not surprising that precedent holds very little importance in cases of medical malpractice in the state of Texas. This is a function of the extremely conservative court system in the state of Texas and has been successful at removing the influence of precedent in the evolution of state law in general and in the case of medical malpractice law in particular.

Understanding the Rights of the Plaintiff

In the state of Texas, if you are a victim of malpractice, the law is clearly on your side and your rights are stated very strongly in the statutes themselves. By initiating litigation against a practicing physician, you are making a case that there is a severe amount of negligence involved, to an almost criminal extent, and that you are acting in your own self-interest in order to receive compensation for negligent treatment. With these rights in place, anyone can make the case that their physician has been negligent in the treatment of their patient.

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