All Texas personal injury cases must comply with procedural requirements. For example, under the statute of limitations, all claims must be filed within a specified period after an accident. This and other requirements help the court system efficiently deal with the large number of cases that are filed each year.
Due to the increasing number of Texas medical malpractice cases, some of which are ultimately determined to be without merit, lawmakers have determined that Texas medical malpractice cases are subject to additional procedural requirements. It is essential that all Texas medical malpractice plaintiffs understand the nature of their claims and the procedural requirements that they must follow because a plaintiff’s failure to follow the requirements can result in a plaintiff’s case being dismissed.
The Notice Requirement
Under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code section 74, a plaintiff must notify each of the named defendants of her intention to file a lawsuit at least 60 days before the claim is officially submitted. This notice must contain a signed authorization for the release of the plaintiff’s relevant medical records.
The Expert Report Requirement
Another important requirement that Texas medical malpractice plaintiffs must be aware of is the expert report. Under section 74 subchapter H, a medical malpractice plaintiff must provide an expert report to each of the named defendants within 120 days of the filing of the case. The expert report must summarize:
- The expert’s opinion regarding the applicable standard of care;
- How the defendant health care provider failed to meet that standard; and
- The causal relationship between the defendant’s failure and the plaintiff’s injuries.
If a plaintiff fails to comply with either of these requirements, a court may dismiss the plaintiff’s case. Importantly, this may result in a plaintiff’s inability to recover for their injuries.
When Do the Additional Requirements Apply?
The issue of when the additional medical malpractice procedural requirements apply is the subject of significant litigation. Section 74 explains that the provisions apply to “health care liability claims.” Thus, claims calling into question a defendant health care provider’s decision regarding how care is provided or the course of action taken by a medical provider would likely fall within the statute’s requirements. However, a slip-and-fall accident that occurred in the waiting room of a doctor’s office may not be subject to the additional requirements because the plaintiff’s claim would not necessarily involve a medical professional’s standard of care.
Have You Been Injured after a Texas Medical Procedure?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured after undergoing a routine medical procedure, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Texas medical malpractice lawsuit. At the law firm of Carabin Shaw, we represent injury victims and their families in all types of Texas personal injury claims, including Texas medical negligence cases. To learn more, and to speak with an attorney at Carabin Shaw about your situation, call 800-862-1260 to schedule a free consultation today.
Court Holds Judges Should Watch Video Evidence Before Ruling on Its Admissibility, Texas Injury Lawyers Blog, April 30, 2018
Extension to Fix Expert Report Deficiencies in Texas, Texas Injury Lawyers Blog, April 30, 2018
Texas Supreme Court Orders New Trial in Medical Malpractice Case, Texas Injury Lawyers Blog, August 23, 2018