To have a valid Tennessee medical malpractice claim, you must first establish that the healthcare professional breached, or violated, the standard of care while providing treatment to you.
A standard of care is the generally accepted practices and procedures for a group of medical professionals in the same geographic area regarding patients who are suffering from a particular illness. This standard of care will vary depending on a number of factors, including the patient's age and medical history. For example, the standard of care a doctor must subscribe to when treating a teenager who has an eye infection may be different than the standard of care used to treat a 50-year-old man with the same condition.
For the purposes of medical malpractice, a healthcare professional can be anyone involved in the treatment process, including doctors and nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nursing homes among many others. Treatment can be any one of a number of things, including making a correct diagnosis, the administration of anesthesia, surgery, or prescribing medication.
In addition to showing that the medical provider breached the standard of care, your attorney will also have to show that this breach resulted in your injury. An injury can take many forms under the laws in Tennessee. Birth injury, amputating the wrong limb, and leaving a foreign object inside a patient, failure to make a correct diagnosis, failure to timely treat an injury or infection are all examples of injuries and the types of cases we have handled.
Tennessee malpractice cases can be difficult to prove because they require both legal and medical knowledge. Your attorney will likely have to call upon medical experts to testify on your behalf to prove your case.
According to Tennessee malpractice law, a medical malpractice claim must be brought within one year after the patient discovers the injury. However, the patient only has up to three years from the date that the doctor breached the standard of care to bring suit. This means that if an injury is discovered four years after treatment was administered, the patient may not file a lawsuit. This, limit, however, does not apply to cases involving foreign objects left inside a patient.
These strict deadlines underscore the importance of reaching out to a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible after you notice an injury.