Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Memphis, TN
When we visit the doctor, we trust that they will appropriately diagnose and treat us. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Doctors and nurses CAN make mistakes, and these mistakes can cause serious injuries or potentially even kill the patient they are working with. Medical Malpractice is a complex area of law and can be challenging to prove, as a medical expert must determine a breach in the standard of care required by your healthcare provider. In addition, there must be solid evidence that your injury was a direct result of this breach. A major issue with these claims is that many medical procedures carry risks, and an undesirable outcome does not necessarily constitute malpractice.
Medical Malpractice LAW
Medical Liability Cases
While these cases are extremely complex, they are not impossible to prove. When you speak to our Memphis medical malpractice attorneys during your free initial consultation, we will thoroughly assess your incident and advise you on the merits of your case. If our medical liability lawyers determine that medical negligence was present, we will vigorously promote your rights through a legal claim against the individual doctor, as well as the medical facility.
What is Medical Malpractice?
In Tennessee, medical negligence, injury, and malpractice can occur at any medical facility, including hospitals, physician clinics, dental practices, and nursing homes. In addition, doctors are not the only individuals who may be at fault. Medical malpractice can also be caused by nurses, anesthesiologists, pharmacists, surgeons, and dentists.
Common forms of medical malpractice include:
- Birth injuries
- Anesthesia error
- Nursing error
- Surgery error
- Failure to diagnose
- Brain injuries
- Emergency Room error
- Hospital acquired infections
- Hernia complications
Other forms of medical negligence may include administering the wrong drug or dosage, medical equipment malfunction, or operating on an unstable individual. Medical malpractice claims are only viable if the healthcare professional provided care that was considered below standard. Your claim may not be viable simply because your doctor did not live up to your expectations or deliver your desired outcome. In addition, the malpractice in question must have left you with either injuries or additional expenses. If there are no identifiable problems due to medical malpractice, your claim will not be actionable.
What Types of Medical Malpractice Damages Can You Recover?
For medical malpractice cases in Memphis, there are three categories of damages:
- General - refers to the cost of a patient’s suffering. By its nature, there isn’t a definitive price for these damages. However, the price of these damages is determined by evidence regarding a patient’s pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and loss of future earning capacity. This must be addressed by expert testimony and estimation of damages.
- Special - refers to more exact damages (more quantifiable), such as medical bills and missed work. These damages are easier to attach a monetary value to and account for. It’s not a bad idea to have an expert assist with special damages, even though they’re more straightforward.
- Punitive - the general requirement to recover punitive damages is for a medical practitioner to have known he or she behaved in a harmful manner. The amount of damages awarded is up to the judge or jury.
It’s important to remember the statute of limitations set in Tennessee for medical malpractice claims. Unless an extenuating circumstance has been identified, claims must be filed no later than one year after the malpractice occurred or no later than one year after its discovery. However, the statute of limitations should not discourage you from contacting a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Memphis, TN
Since medical malpractice cases are so complex, you need to hire an experienced malpractice lawyer to appropriately settle a medical malpractice case in Memphis and receive full compensation for damages. Don’t expect to recover everything you need by navigating your case on your own. You need a professional who knows the process and knows how to recover damages for each category, based on your case.
Medical Malpractice FAQs
What can be considered Medical Negligence?
Medical negligence is when a doctor or nurse fails to act with proper care and in turn causes injury or death to a patient. However, medical negligence is NOT simple mistakes, and not every mistake a doctor makes can be considered medical negligence in a court of law. Examples of common situations of medical negligence are:
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- Errors during surgery
I signed a consent form, can I still file a medical negligence lawsuit?
When you undergo a medical procedure, your doctor must fully explain both the risks and benefits, as well as give you other options if they exist. If you choose to follow through with the procedure, you will be directed to sign a consent form stating that you understand those risks. However, even if a consent form is signed, you may still be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit if any of the following apply:
- Your doctor did not give all of the information necessary for you to make an informed decision
- Your doctor decided to go further with the procedure than what you consented to
- Your doctor made a mistake larger than the required standard of proper care normally expected
Who do I actually file against in a medical malpractice claim?
Any individual who committed the malpractice can have a claim filed against them. Most often, this will be a doctor, but could also be a nurse, anesthesiologist, or another member of the hospital staff. If the person responsible can not be immediately identified, many different individuals may be filed against. In addition, the hospital or entity that employs the defendant may also be filed against in certain situations.
What is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Tennessee?
In the state of Tennessee, you must file your medical malpractice lawsuit no later than ONE YEAR after the malpractice was discovered. There is also an overarching law that states that medical malpractice lawsuits cannot be filed later than three years after the malpractice occurred. The reason for these two laws is that malpractice is not always discovered immediately. However, the three-year limit can be eliminated if any of the following happens:
- The defendant, or in this case your doctor or hospital, is fraudulently concealing the malpractice
- A foreign object has been left in the patient’s body
What can I recoup in damages in a medical malpractice case in Tennessee?
Non-economic damages in medical malpractice claims are capped at $750,000 per claim which also includes related claims made by the injured patient’s family. However, if the medical malpractice caused catastrophic injuries such as paralysis or amputation, the cap may increase to $1 million in damages. On the other hand, economic damages such as past or future medical care or reimbursement for loss of income are not capped in the state of Tennessee.
Need Help With Your Medical Malpractice Case?
Contact The Chiozza Law Firm at 901-526-9494 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.