Going to the hospital is rarely a pleasant experience, and many people have severe anxiety regarding health care. When things go wrong because of your doctor’s negligence, you can hold them responsible.
Common examples of medical malpractice lawsuits in Tennessee include foreign objects left inside the body after surgery, inexcusable misdiagnoses, prescribing a toxic mix of prescription medications, and more. Filing a medical malpractice claim is no easy feat. You must abide by laws that require a notice of your claim to the defendant and a certificate of good faith from another medical expert. Important evidence will include your medical records and a history of your injuries or illnesses before and after the defendant treated you. The statute of limitations on your case may begin to run on the date you were injured or discovered the injury, whichever is later.
If you sought medical treatment from a healthcare professional and ended up with worse or additional injuries, you might have a medical malpractice case. Call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 to schedule a free case review with our Tennessee medical malpractice attorneys.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice Cases in Tennessee
Tennessee law refers to medical malpractice claims as “health care liability actions.” According to T.C.A. § 29-26-101(a)(1), a health care liability action includes any civil action alleging that a health care provider (e.g., doctors, nurses, licensed practitioners) caused an injury by providing, or failing to provide, health care services. Our Tennessee medical malpractice lawyers can help determine if your injuries resulted from negligent medical treatment.
This does not mean that every mistake a health care provider makes is grounds for a lawsuit. Health care providers sometimes commit reasonable mistakes when they believe they are acting in the patient’s best interest, and reasonable complications also occur in many cases. A health care liability action tends to arise from negligent treatment that does not mean standards of medical care.
A common example of medical malpractice is surgery gone wrong. Suppose a surgeon negligently operates on the wrong body part, performs surgery without consent, or leaves foreign objects behind when completing the surgery. In that case, they can be held civilly liable for their negligence. Similarly, health care providers might be held responsible for negligently misdiagnosing a patient or failing to inform the patient of certain risks involved with treatment.
How to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Tennessee
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Tennessee requires a few more legal hoops to jump through than ordinary lawsuits. First, we must submit a notice of your claim to the defendant. While all lawsuits require notice to be served upon defendants, the notice in a medical malpractice case must contain very specific information. Second, we must have your injuries evaluated by another medical expert who can issue a certificate of good faith.
According to T.C.A. § 29-26-121(a), we must submit a written notice of your claim to all health care providers named in your case at least 60 days before filing the complaint. The complaint is the filing that kicks off the lawsuit, so the notice of claim must be submitted before we file the case in court. The notice must include details about you and your attorney in addition to a HIPPA-compliant medical authorization allowing the health care providers to obtain complete medical records from the other providers being sent a notice.
When we file your complaint with the court, we must also submit a certificate of good faith from a medical expert. According to T.C.A. § 29-26-122(a), the certificate is based on the assessments of a medical expert that your injuries are real and that you have a good faith basis to maintain a health care liability action against the defendant. Complaints submitted without a certificate of good faith may be dismissed by the court. Our Tennessee medical malpractice lawyers can help you obtain a certificate of good faith and submit a timely notice of claim to the defendant.
Important Evidence in Tennessee Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Evidence in a medical malpractice lawsuit primarily revolves around the plaintiff’s medical records and medical history. We must present information to the jury about your injuries and how they were made worse by your doctor. Our Tennessee medical malpractice lawyers must also establish that the treatment provided by the doctor was negligent or failed to meet standards of care.
Your medical records are crucial to your case. Without official medical records, it is highly unlikely that you will win your lawsuit. Fortunately, you can demand a full copy of your records for our Tennessee medical malpractice attorneys to review. Your records can help us shed light on the condition of your injuries before and after getting negligent medical treatment.
While your medical records are important, they are only one piece of the puzzle. We need a medical expert to review your records and testify about how your injuries happened. Unlike ordinary lay witnesses, expert witnesses are permitted to give their opinion about how they think your injuries happened and whether the defendant is responsible. As such, a medical expert is crucial to your case.
When to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Tennessee
The statute of limitations for health care liability actions can be found under T.C.A. § 29-26-116(a). Under the law, plaintiffs have 1 year from the date of their injuries to file a complaint. However, this is not the only statute of limitations, and different deadlines might apply in different circumstances. Our Tennessee medical malpractice attorneys can help you determine when you should file your case.
The 1-year deadline does not necessarily begin the day your injuries occurred. Many patients do not realize they were injured because of a doctor’s negligence until much later. In such cases, the statute of limitations would not begin to run until the day the injury is discovered if it is discovered after the first year passes by. However, the claim cannot be brought any later than 3 years after the injuries occurred. Additionally, the 3-year maximum limit does not apply to cases where a foreign object was left behind inside a patient’s body, and the deadline begins on the date the foreign object is discovered.
Call Our Tennessee Medical Malpractice Attorneys for a Free Case Evaluation
Medical professionals and care providers are meant to help, not harm. If you were injured by a doctor or nurse’s negligence, our Tennessee medical malpractice attorneys can help you get compensation for the pain you have endured. For a free case review, call Howe Law at (844) 876-4357.