If you are having trouble finding a med mal lawyer, offer to pay the upfront costs of an expert, etc., so the lawyer isn't out of pocket.
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Generally the statute of limitations in Texas is 2 years. However, when the statute will expire is often difficult to determine in medical malpractice cases due to the inherent complexities in the facts of a particular case. I would consult with a medical malpractice attorney to review the specifics of your case, and have an expert evaluate your claims. You can use Avvo to point you in the right direction. Best of luck.
I am licensed in California, therefore, my answers are based on general prinicpals of law or California law, which may not be applicable in your jurisdiction. Answers posted to Avvo are for general information only. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. Every case depends is fact dependent, and responses are limited to and is based on the information you posted. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.
The general rule is that the plaintiff must file suit within two years. However, in health care liability claims, one is required to serve a notice of health care liability claim on the defendant within two years. If that is done timely and properly, it adds seventy-five days to the limitations period. Also, the general rule is that the clock starts to run when the defendant commits the negligent act or omission that caused the harm, regardless of when the injury manifests itself or when the patient learns of the inury.
Having said all of the above, waiting even a week to consult a lawyer when you think you have a valid health care liability claim is a big mistake. This is true even in a case where the injury may evolve over a considerable length of time. You can lose your legal rights through the passage of time alone. Also, these claims do not improve with age. Many good med mal plaintiffs' lawyers will decline to take a case if the potential client consults them at a time when there is insufficient time remaining before limitations runs to properly and fully evaluate and investigate the case and obtain the necessary expert reviews. Accordingly, I suggest that you consult a lawyer as soon as possible.
Don't be discouraged if one or more lawyers have already turned you down. I suggest that you consult a Fort Worth plaintiffs' lawyer who is certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. A link to the Board's website appears below.
The statute of limitations in Texas on a medical malpractice case such as yours is two years from the date of injury. Technically, yes, you could file the lawsuit yourself. However, medical malpractice cases in Texas are extremely difficult and full of technical requirements which make filing a lawsuit for medical negligence without experience extremely risky. I would strongly recommend that you contact a medical malpractice attorney who can advise you of the proper steps. I work closely with medical negligence attorneys in Texas and would be happy to arrange a free initial consultation if you would like. Call me.
Nothing in this response is intended to be construed as legal advice. For advice regarding your specific legal matter, please contact me at (325) 718-9120.
You have two years from the date of the surgical mistake to file your claim. But the longer you wait the more likely you will continue to be rejected by plaintiff's lawyers on a med malpractice case in Texas. The Tort Reform laws in Texas require your lawyer to produce an expert report within a short period of time after the lawsuit is filed. In most cases, most good Med Mal Lawyers won't file the lawsuit at all if they don't already have the expert report fully prepared and ready to go. Plus the lawyer has to gather all of your relevant medical records to provide to the expert in order to have a valid expert report. The bottom line is that there is a great deal of work that goes into the preparation to file a Medical Malpractice lawsuit in Texas, and the longer you wait to hire a lawyer, the harder it will be for that lawyer to be successful in pursuing your case. So, don't wait any longer.
The fact that you don't yet know the ultimate outcome of your medical condition isn't a good reason to wait to hire a lawyer. Once the liability side of the case is established and the case is filed and the proper expert report is filed, there will be plenty of time for your medical condition to run its course. The law allows you to recover future medical expense and future pain and suffering, and future loss of earning capacity. . . it doesn't allow you to wait longer than two years from the date of the mistake to file the lawsuit.
Good Luck to you.
You can't stop the sun from setting or the statute of limitations from running. You have to start your case in that 2 year period or it's dead.
In Texas, filing suit in a malpractice case isn't the only (or even biggest) problem. You will need an expert medical report detailing what was done wrong and why it resulted in the damages. Even if it's (more or less) admitted in the operative report, a court may dismiss your case and you could lose your rights without a clear expert report connecting the dots. You should contact an experienced injury lawyer immediately to collect the records, have an expert review them, issue a report, and file suit. Good luck!
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