While most healthcare professionals in Tennessee provide dependable and consistent care to every patient they interact with, mistakes can and do occur. Unfortunately, when medical workers are negligent, the outcomes for those affected by their reckless or careless behavior are often devastating.
If you had a condition misdiagnosed, suffered unnecessary harm during surgery, or experienced any other negative outcome at the hands of a negligent healthcare provider, it may be in your best interests to speak with a Murfreesboro medical malpractice lawyer. A skilled personal injury attorney could explain your options for pursuing compensation and help you navigate the complex regulations that govern these types of civil claims.
Additional Requirements for Malpractice Lawsuits
On a basic level, medical malpractice lawsuits function just like all other personal injury cases. An injured plaintiff seeks to hold a defendant liable for the harm they caused by breaching their duty of care. However, there are several additional steps required during the filing process for a malpractice case that could severely limit or prohibit recovery if not followed.
For example, once a prospective plaintiff has filed their case, they typically must supplement it with an affidavit of merit—also known as a “certificate of good faith”—within 90 days of their initial filing date. As per Tennessee Code §29-26-122, this certificate must affirm that the plaintiff and their local attorney consulted in good faith with at least one medical malpractice expert who agrees their case has merit.
Additionally, most cases that require an affidavit of merit also require testimony at trial from at least one expert witness. This expert witness must be licensed to practice medicine in Tennessee in the same profession or specialty in which the defendant’s alleged misconduct occurred.
Possible Limitations on Recovery
Unfortunately, Tennessee is one of several states that imposes limits on how much a plaintiff can recover for non-economic damages if their case is successful. For some cases, this cap is set at $750,000 regardless of whether a single act or several successive acts caused the individual’s injuries.
However, the limit to recovery can be $1 million for cases involving catastrophic injuries like paralysis or loss of limb. Furthermore, there might not be a limit whatsoever for cases in which the doctor intentionally tried to cause serious harm, committed a fraudulent act in an attempt to hide their negligence, or was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when they caused the patient’s injuries.
All medical malpractice cases in Tennessee should be filed within one year of the date the plaintiff discovered their injury, and no more than three years after the injury actually occurred, as per Tenn. Code §29-26-116. A medical errors attorney in Murfreesboro could explain if there are any applicable exceptions to this law.
Talk to a Murfreesboro Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
Negligence by medical professionals can often result in debilitating physical, financial, and emotional harm, and unfortunately, that harm is sometimes fatal. If you or a loved one suffered from negligent medical treatment, exploring your legal options maybe your best option for recourse.
A conversation with a knowledgeable Murfreesboro medical malpractice lawyer could help you understand your rights and decide on the best course of action for protecting your best interests. Call today to speak with trustworthy legal counsel about your case and schedule an initial consultation.