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When does the clock start ticking for a Texas malpractice claim?

Time is of the essence. If you’ve never heard that phrase before, raise your hand. Anyone? No? That’s not surprising. It’s a pretty common statement. But try to look up where it came from and you’re likely to find it a challenge to get to the root of the thing.

After a brief search online it becomes apparent, though, that it has its foundation in contract law. It may be put into an agreement in order to emphasize that certain actions are expected to be taken by one or the other party in order for the contract to be fulfilled. If dates and times are missed, the whole deal could be voided.

However, time may be of the essence even in situations where a formal contract might not have been signed. For example, in Texas, state law establishes that if you have been the medical malpractice, there is a time after which you can’t launch a claim for compensation. This is the statute of limitations.

As a general rule, the statute of limitations for health care liability suits in Texas is set at two years. But as specific as the language is, there is some flexibility regarding when the clock actually starts ticking.

For example, the law says a claim must be filed within two years from when the medical error occurred. But, if the patient winds up going to the hospital because of the mistake, the law says the two-year time clock begins when the victim completes treatment.

What’s clear is that timing is important in many facets of life, even in cases when a person has suffered because of someone else’s negligence. This is another reason why it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after you are injured.