Nashville Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical malpractice lawsuits are common in Tennessee. They can occur when a doctor, medical professional, hospital, or another type of medical facility causes a patient to suffer harm, either through a negligent act or omission. Medical malpractice can take place in an emergency room, operating room, or doctor’s office. Doctors and nurses are humans, and simple mistakes can be made by accident. Unfortunately, innocent mistakes in the medical field can lead to permanent and life-altering harm to a patient.
If you’ve been injured due to negligence on the part of a healthcare provider, you need legal representation from a lawyer well-versed in medical malpractice law. The Nashville attorneys at NST Law will review your situation and help you determine your next steps in a medical malpractice case.
Table of Contents
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor, or other health care professional causes an injury to a patient due to a negligent act. The negligence can consist of an error in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management. To be considered medical malpractice, a claim must include the following elements:
Violation of the Standard of Care
The medical profession recognizes that there are certain medical standards that are adopted as acceptable medical treatments by reasonably prudent health care professionals.
A patient is entitled to expect treatment per these acceptable conditions. If the standard of care has not been met, then negligence may be established.
Injury Caused by the Negligence
For a medical malpractice claim to be valid, the patient must prove that they received an injury that would not have occurred in the absence of negligence. There must be proof that negligence caused the injury. Your attorney may demonstrate this proof with the assistance of medical experts.
Injury Resulted in Damages
To ensure the viability of a medical malpractice case, the patient must show that the injuries sustained as a result of the negligence caused disability, loss of income, pain and suffering, or significant past and future medical bills.
What are some examples of medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice can take many forms. A few examples of medical negligence include:
- Failure to diagnose an illness or injury
- Misdiagnosis of an illness or injury
- Misreading or ignoring laboratory results
- Unnecessary surgery
- Surgical errors or wrong-site surgery
- Improper medication or dosage
- Poor follow-up or aftercare
- Premature discharge
- Disregarding or not taking an appropriate patient history
- Failure to order proper testing
- Inability to recognize symptoms
If you believe that you’re a victim of medical malpractice, contact an experienced attorney at NST Law. We will review your case and determine your options.
How do I know if my doctor committed medical malpractice?
If you believe that your doctor committed medical malpractice in Nashville and you have suffered an injury as a result, you should consult with a qualified attorney at NST Law so that they can review your case and help determine your eligibility for compensation.
For medical malpractice to have occurred, your claim should meet three main conditions to be valid: the standard of care was violated, the injury would not have occurred if the doctor did not behave negligently, and the damages that resulted were severe.
Will I need another doctor or witness to confirm my injury?
Under Tennessee law, you’re required to obtain a second opinion from an expert doctor who will review your case. The doctor should provide an affidavit stating that the case has merit. This process is used to prevent fraudulent lawsuits. The statement must be submitted within 90 days of filing the lawsuit.
An expert witness is also needed during a medical malpractice trial. The witness must work in a field that is relevant to the case. They must also be licensed in Tennessee or a neighboring state and understand the standard of care expected in the location where the injury occurred.
What do I need to prove in a medical malpractice case?
There are four factors involved when filing a medical malpractice case. These include:
The doctor must have agreed to provide treatment for the patient. A doctor-patient relationship doesn’t exist if the patient was simply obtaining advice from a friend or acquaintance with no cost for the services. The patient must have actively sought out their services and established themselves as a client.
Breach of Duty
The patient must show that the doctor or physician didn’t provide the same level of care as other professionals with the same degree of training and level of experience.
In cases of medical malpractice, other doctors who practice in the same field may provide their opinion of the treatment given to the patient. They can advise whether they believe the treatment was reasonable or not.
The patient must prove that the provider somehow caused the injuries. This could be done by failing to diagnose an illness, providing improper medication, making a surgical error, or carrying out another activity that resulted in suffering. A connection must be established directly from the injury to the medical treatment given.
The final element in a medical malpractice case is damages. You must prove that the injury caused you significant harm, such as pain and suffering, disability, or substantial medical bills.
How much is my case worth?
The compensation that you may receive as the result of injuries sustained by medical malpractice is determined by the extent of your injuries, your current and future medical expenses, whether you can work, and other factors. Types of damages that the court may consider in a medical malpractice case include:
Economic damages include the cost of past, present, and future medical bills. They may also include lost wages or loss of ability to work in the future. These are the easiest damages to prove since they can be shown through evidence from invoices and pay stubs.
Non-economic damages include loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering. These are more difficult to prove, as they can’t be shown through tangible sources. However, treatment obtained by a therapist or psychologist may support a non-economic damages claim.
Punitive damages may be awarded in cases where the negligence that occurred was egregious and the court wants to set an example to other medical practitioners. Punitive damages are given at the behest of the court. They are relatively rare except in cases of extreme or gross negligence or intentional wrongdoing.
How long do I have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Nashville?
The statute of limitations or time restriction for filing medical malpractice lawsuits in Tennessee is technically one year and 120 days. It’s broken up into two parts.
The injured party must send the medical provider a written notice of the claim within one year from the date of the incident, when the injury was discovered, or when it should have been discovered. Upon filing the notice, the patient’s deadline for filing a lawsuit is extended by 120 days.
Tennessee also has a statute of repose. The statute of repose sets a time limit for filing a medical malpractice claim of three years. If a patient discovers the injury after the three-year limit, it’s usually too late to file a claim.
Why should I hire NST Law for my medical malpractice claim?
NST Law has a Nashville-based personal injury firm well-versed in medical malpractice law. We have over 30 attorneys experienced in state and federal medical malpractice cases. For a free consultation and case review, contact us today.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you or your loved one suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, you likely have many questions. The attorneys at NST Law believe in transparency and strive to be accessible to our clients to respond promptly to your questions and concerns.
Your doctor must receive your informed consent before conducting a medical procedure except in emergency cases. Other situations where informed consent is not required may be discretionary and require additional review of the facts of your specific case.
Check with an attorney at NST Law if you believe a doctor performed a procedure on you without proper consent.
You have the right to request copies of all of your medical records directly from your physician or health care provider under HIPAA. You may contact your doctor at any time for copies of your records. In some cases, your medical records may be available online through a secured website for the facility.
Medical malpractice cases may end up in court if no settlement between the patient, health care provider, and insurance companies can be reached. These types of cases can be lengthy since they may require the expertise of multiple professionals to testify. An attorney can advise you on the potential outcomes of your case.
If you are a parent or guardian whose child received an injury due to medical malpractice, you may sue the physician or health care provider for damages. You’ll need to follow the same procedure as an individual who believes they have experienced medical malpractice. Consult with an attorney for further advice.
No, not necessarily. The elements required for medical malpractice must be met to initiate a lawsuit. Contact an attorney at NST Law for a case review to determine whether medical malpractice may apply.