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Professional Malpractice


In Texas, a “negligence” claim against someone is a claim based on someone’s violation of a duty of care they owed to you. A professional negligence claim is commonly referred to as a “malpractice claim.” This is a negligence claim against a professional you have dealt with, such as your attorneys, accountants, or doctors.

Negligence is by far the most common pled civil cause of action in Texas, because it will usually invoke some type of insurance coverage. Here is a brief discussion of the most frequently asked questions I receive relating to a professional malpractice lawsuit.

What do I need to prove to win a Professional Malpractice Lawsuit?

To win a professional malpractice lawsuit in Texas, you’ll need to prove the following:

  1. The defendant owed a legal duty to you;
  2. The defendant breached this duty; and
  3. This breach caused you to suffer injury.

If you can prove these elements, you will usually be entitled to recover damages for your malpractice claim, and you should consult an experienced attorney immediately to get your case on file.
A “Professional” Negligence or Malpractice Claim is a claim against professionals, which owe you a certain duty of care. Some of the most common professional malpractice claims include those against your attorney, accountant, or doctor.

What duties are owed to me by Professionals, such as Attorneys, Accountants, or Doctors?

What duties are owed to me by Professionals, such as Attorneys, Accountants, or Doctors?

Professionals owe you a duty to act in your best interest by performing at the same level of care that a reasonably prudent professional in that line of work would exercise under similar circumstances. For example, if your lawyer loses your breach of contract case, you may have a Professional Malpractice Claim againstyour lawyer if they made a mistake in your case that would not have been made by a typical and competent lawyer that practices in the field of contract breaches. As another example, if your neurologists fails to diagnose brain cancer after reviewing your brain x-rays, you may have a claim if your typical and competent neurologist would have been able to spot the cancer by looking at the same x-rays at issue.

What type of damages can I recover in a Professional Malpractice claim?

When Professionals act negligently, the damages to you can be severe. In a negligence case, you are entitled to recover your “actual” or “economic” damages. This damage model will focus on recovering things like your loss of income, disgorgement of any payments to the professional, and/or your loss of profits. If the negligence at issue caused you to suffer personal damages, you may also be entitled to non-economic damages such as your pain and suffering and mental anguish.

How long is the statute of limitations in a Malpractice Claim?

The statute of limitations in a malpractice case is two years, which means you should always try to bring your malpractice claim within two years from the date the malpractice occurred. There are some instances where this time period may be extended, but you never want to bank on one of these exceptions applying to you. I always advise clients to get your claim on as early as possible and before any arguable expiration of the limitations period.

Brad Laney. Brad is a litigation attorney in Houston with substantial experience in professional malpractice lawsuits. If you need help with your case, please do not hesitate to contact Brad for your free consultation: Blaney@raleybowick.com or 713-429-8056. Brad is happy to talk with you directly about your case, and your discussion will be kept confidential.