Medical Malpractice in Texas: Requirements for Experts and Expert Reports
An injured person who files a medical malpractice or other healthcare liability claim in a Texas court is required to serve an expert report and the expert’s curriculum vital on each defendant no later than the 120th day after the date each defendant’s original answer is filed.. The courts want this report to establish that the plaintiff has sufficient evidence of their medical malpractice claim. The expert report requirement is a significantly technical and often costly additional step that medical malpractice plaintiffs have to do in order to pursue their claims. If the expert report is not served within 120 days, the court may dismiss the case “with prejudice,” which means the plaintiff cannot filed the claim ever again.
Texas law requires that an expert report summarizes:
· An expert’s opinion regarding the applicable standard of care,
· How the defendant failed to meet that standard, and
· The causal relationship between the failure and the harm inflicted on the plaintiff.
Texas also has a law governing who qualifies as an in a medical malpractice case. Texas requires that an expert:
- Is a physician,
- Practicing medicine at the time he gives testimony (or was practicing medicine when the claim arose),
- With knowledge of the accepted for the care, diagnosis, or treatment of the illness, injury, or condition alleged in the case, and
- Qualified on the basis of experience or training to offer an expert opinion on the accepted standard of medical care.
Generally, a physician is considered qualified for purposes of serving as an expert witness if he is board-certified, has substantial training or experience in the areas of medicine related to the medical malpractice claim, and/or is actively practicing medicine in the same areas related to the claim.
The requirements of the content of expert reports in Texas medical malpractice cases is highly technical, is constantly being litigated and is ever-changing. It is best to consult with an attorney with substantial experience in this area of the law.
Robert Greening is the principal attorney at Greening Law, P.C. He has dedicated his 24 years of practice to the litigation of wrongful death and serious injury cases. If you have any questions about your medical malpractice or personal injury case, contact Greening Law, P.C. at 972-934-8900.