Why Missed or Delayed Diagnosis Cases are Difficult in Texas

Diagnosis Cases Texas

Medical malpractice cases, especially those involving missed or delayed diagnoses, are difficult to pursue in Texas. Understanding the complexities of these cases is key to a successful lawsuit. Here are key reasons why these cases are challenging in Texas.

High Burden of Proof

In Texas, plaintiffs must prove that the healthcare provider’s negligence directly caused harm. We must show that the missed or delayed diagnosis fell below the accepted standard of care. We also must prove that the failure directly resulted in injury or worsened condition. The standard of care is a subjective metric. One doctor may think one diagnosis is correct while another may come to a different conclusion. As plaintiffs, we have to prove that any reasonable doctor looking at the same information would have made the correct diagnosis.

Expert Report Requirements

Texas law requires that plaintiffs produce an expert report to prove claims of medical malpractice. This is known as a Chapter 74 report. The expert must be a qualified medical professional who can attest that the standard of care was breached and that this breach caused harm. Finding a credible expert willing to testify can be difficult and costly. This is a big reason why many firms don’t take medical malpractice cases in Texas.

Damage Caps on Non-Economic Damages

Texas imposes caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. These include damages like pain and suffering. For individual healthcare providers, this cap is $250,000. For all providers and institutions combined, it is $500,000. These limitations can make it less financially viable for attorneys to take on malpractice cases. Those involving missed or delayed diagnoses can involve a lot of pain and suffering, which we can only receive $250,000 for in a best-case scenario.

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Texas is generally two years from when the injury happened. Sometimes, it can be two years from the date the malpractice was discovered or should have been discovered. These strict time limits can prevent plaintiffs from filing a claim if the missed or delayed diagnosis is discovered late.

Comparative Negligence Rule

Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that if a plaintiff is found to be more than 50% responsible for their injury, they cannot recover any damages. In cases of missed or delayed diagnosis, defendants often argue that the patient contributed to the delay. They argue the patient did not follow medical advice or failed to seek timely medical attention. These arguments complicate the plaintiff’s ability to recover damages.

Lawsuit Requirements and Deadlines

Before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Texas, plaintiffs must provide a written Notice of Claim. These letters are sent to each healthcare provider involved at least 60 days before filing a lawsuit. Plaintiffs must also obtain an expert report that outlines the case’s merits within 120 days of filing the lawsuit. Failure to meet these requirements and deadlines can result in the case being dismissed.

Conclusion

Missed or delayed diagnosis medical malpractice cases are complex and challenging to pursue in Texas. The stringent legal requirements, procedural hurdles, and gray areas make them more difficult. This is why you must find an attorney who is well-versed in Texas medical malpractice cases. Especially if they involve delayed or missed diagnosis.


If you believe you have been a victim of a diagnostic error, call Powers Taylor today. It’s essential to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who understands the intricacies of Texas law. Powers Taylor can help you navigate the process to seek the compensation and justice you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation. All calls are confidential.


WE'RE HERE TO HELP

FREE CONSULTATION

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.