What Is the Discovery Rule and How Can It Affect Your Texas Medical Malpractice Claim?

Free Consultation713-781-5200

  • SuperLawyers General
  • MMDAF logo
  • Million dollar advocates badge 1 1
  • abota bdg
  • 233 2331196 top 40 under national trial lawyers top 100
  • logo av
  • whos who
Law gavel stethoscope
Legally reviewed by:
Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr.
November 1, 2023

Victims of medical malpractice claims are unique from other forms of personal injury in that it can sometimes take months, or even years, to discover that something reckless has occurred. This can be for a wide variety of reasons, the most common being delayed or undiagnosed side effects of the medical malpractice. 

This can put victims of reckless healthcare professionals in a tricky situation, as Texas currently has a two-year statute of limitations for filing a claim. When you have missed the deadline due to delayed discovery, it is vital you reach out to a dedicated attorney as soon as possible. The discovery rule is a legal principle that says the statute of limitations does not start until it is reasonable that you have knowledge of your injury. With the help of a knowledgeable attorney from Davis & Davis, you may be able to ensure a successful outcome. 

What is the Discovery Rule?

The discovery rule identifies the process of the clock starting on the statute of limitations when it is reasonably expected the plaintiff knows they have been injured. This is helpful for victims who do not know they have been injured or whose injury is latent, meaning it takes time for the symptoms and side effects to reveal themselves. For prescription errors, misdiagnosis, and even wrong-site surgical errors, the victim can go potentially unaware of their sustained medical malpractice for extended periods of time. 

The tricky part is demonstrating that the plaintiff did not know of their injuries and therefore should be eligible for a modified statute of limitations. Your attorney can help you gather and analyze any potentially relevant evidence, including detailed medical records and expert testimony to help verify your claims. 

How the Discovery Rule Can Benefit Your Medical Malpractice Claim

If you are successful in invoking the discovery rule, you are giving yourself the opportunity to still file a lawsuit for damages. With a knowledgeable attorney on your side, you can demonstrate that you were not aware of your injuries and that you are legally entitled to an extended period for filing your claim. The defendant will likely argue you should have reasonably known about your injury before you did, so it is important you back yourself up with an attorney who is able to conduct a thorough investigation and collect relevant evidence. 

Once the court has approved your extended statute of limitations deadline, the claim process will look the same as other medical malpractice cases. Your attorney will file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance and negotiate for a settlement worthy of your losses. Medical malpractice claims in Texas entitle you to recover both economic and non-economic damages, which is compensation for your tangible and intangible losses. 

Injured in a Medical Malpractice Accident? Our Team Can Help Today

When the discovery rule is invoked by your attorney, they are giving you a fighting shot at recovering the financial compensation you need to move forward after your injury. Nobody should have to suffer the consequences of a reckless healthcare professional because of latent symptoms. Our team of medical malpractice attorneys at Davis & Davis has over 70 years of combined experience and has handled more than 300 jury trials in our time serving our Texas community. We are proud to handle medical malpractice cases of all types and will gladly evaluate your case today. 

Let us handle the hard parts while you focus on resting and recovering. To begin the process with a free consultation, please call our office at (888) 522-9444 or use our online contact form.

John A. Davis, Jr.


John A. Davis, Jr. and Steven R. Davis

November 1 2023

Steven R. Davis and John A. Davis, Jr. are experienced attorneys at Davis & Davis, a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases in Texas. With a deep commitment to justice that guides their ethical approach, Davis and Davis have dedicated their careers to helping victims of medical negligence. They and their team continue to advocate for clients, despite the challenges posed by Texas's cap on recoverable damages in malpractice lawsuits. Davis & Davis pride themselves on their extensive experience in the field and their readiness to meet clients across the United States.

✓ Fact Checked