Tennessee Medical Malpractice Lawyer

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Medical malpractice occurs when doctors, counselors, psychologists or psychotherapists act negligently when treating a patient. This most often occurs through erroneous actions or failure to meet the accepted level of care upheld in the field. This can mean a failed diagnosis, improper monitoring post-operation, surgical errors, and much more. When failure to meet standard or medical error becomes overwhelmingly evident, the patient can pursue a lawsuit. However, with the complexities surrounding the medical field and the malpractices they commit, it is necessary to hire a medical malpractice lawyer to handle the case.

Seventy-three percent of settled medical malpractice cases to date have involved a medical error, and a recent study revealed that an average of 195,000 deaths in hospitals from 2000 to 2002 were related to preventable medical errors. Errors that do not result in death are not necessarily harmless, though. Costly rehabilitation and return visit fees, equipment purchases, and loss of work can all come about due to medical malpractice. Luckily, medical malpractice laws are in place to prevent victims from being responsible for paying for costs created by malpractice. In the state of Tennessee, the law does not place limits on medical malpractice damages lawyers can claim for their clients.

Tennessee expert witnesses must be licensed in Tennessee and other neighboring states before practicing medical malpractice law and must have been in medical practice for at least a year before the date that the plaintiff's injury occurred. They are called upon to describe the standards of care relevant to a given case and identify any breaches that may have occurred. For example, if the standard of care for monitoring a new born baby includes screening of temperatures at a set time interval, and temperatures were not adequately taken on time and the baby falls increasingly ill when early detection was possible, there may be a case for medical malpractice. An expert witness would describe to the court the standards of care for infant care.

There may be one or more defendants liable in medical malpractice lawsuits where a patient suffered when being cared for by a medical practitioner; in this case, each individual defendant is responsible for the entire monetary amount awarded to the plaintiff.

According to the statutes of limitations in Tennessee, medical malpractice cases must begin within a year of the date that the injury occurred, or one year from the date of discovering the injury. The defendant can never bring a medical malpractice case to trial after three years, unless it is a case of fraudulent concealing of evidence. For medical malpractice cases that involve a foreign object that the doctor has negligently left in the patient's body, the suit has to be filed within one year after the injury or wrongful misdiagnosis occurs. For minors, the statute of limitation starts when the minor turns 18 years of age.

Specific elements to a medical malpractice case must be brought forth in order for a case to be deemed viable. First, it must be shown that a duty was owed, meaning that there was a legal duty that existed between the patient and provider. This element of the case is important because it shows that a medical or health care provider took on the responsibility of treating the patient—it\'s the foundation of the case. Next, it must be shown that the care provider breached or failed to meet the standard of care owed to the patient. Third, it must be evident that the breach or failure to meet the standard resulted in injury. Last, it must be proven that the specific breach or failure resulting in ailment placed a burden on economic and/or non-economic damages. The steps vital to winning a claim are complex and often difficult to prove, making it all the more necessary to retain the services of a qualified Tennessee medical malpractice lawyer.

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