In our society, we trust doctors and other healthcare professionals to treat our injuries and take care of us when we are ill. However, there are times when this trust is misplaced, and those who are supposed to care for you end up causing you injury. In some situations, this mistreatment can even lead to death, and according to the Journal of Patient Safety, there are an estimated 400,000 deaths in the United States each year due to preventable medical harm.
If you or a loved one has been injured or lost their life because of suspected medical malpractice, then you may want to take legal action. However, it may be difficult to fully proceed with a case on your own. As such, you may want to work with a Nashville medical malpractice lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC. Our team may be able to assist you with understanding your legal rights and moving your case forward. You can contact our team at 800-641-8998 to learn more about how we may be able to help you with your medical malpractice case.
Definition of Medical Malpractice
When you go to a medical professional for treatment, there are certain state and federal standards for care that they must adhere to. This is to ensure you receive proper treatment, no matter what your circumstances are or what medical issue you may be dealing with. However, it is possible that the doctor, nurse, or another medical professional who is treating you makes a mistake or oversight, or neglects something that violates these standards and causes you to not receive the medical care you should.
For a free legal consultation with a medical malpractices lawyer serving Nashville, call 800-641-8998
Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can occur in several different ways. Some examples of malpractice can include:
Misdiagnosis of an Illness/Disease
Patients trust their doctors to use their medical knowledge to properly diagnose them when they are evaluated for potential illnesses or diseases. Unfortunately, there are situations when a doctor fails to diagnose you correctly. A misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor either provides a wrong diagnosis or fails to detect the condition. This misdiagnosis can seriously impede your quality of life, and even lead to death, depending on the disease or illness. If your misdiagnosis happened because of negligence, medical malpractice may be applicable to your case.
Delay in Diagnosis
Aside from accuracy, patients also trust medical professionals to perform a diagnosis in a relatively speedy manner. This is to ensure that they can begin any appropriate treatment as soon as possible. A delay in a diagnosis could cause you to suffer injuries that otherwise may have been avoided.
Prescription medications can be useful for treating current illnesses and preventing other ones from developing. However, a doctor may prescribe the wrong medication or multiple drugs that can cause dangerous interactions. Taking the wrong prescription medication or the wrong combination of medications can lead to serious injuries, and may potentially be fatal.
Surgical errors may also be grounds for a medical malpractice case. For example, a doctor may be liable for medical malpractice if they negligently cause nerve damage, organ damage, or perform a procedure on the wrong side of the body. Even something like operating with non-sterile equipment can be considered a surgical error.
An anesthesiologist is tasked with providing a patient with the correct amount of anesthesia, along with reviewing their medical history to determine a safe dosage. They must also watch the patient’s vital signs during the procedure. Failing to practice the proper standard of care could cause a patient to suffer from lifetime injuries and possibly result in death.
Proper medical care is extremely important during a patient’s pregnancy, the birth of their child, and immediately afterward. If the medical professionals overseeing a birth are negligent, then both the mother and child could suffer from life-threatening injuries.
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Medical Malpractice in Nashville
Statute of Limitations
Under Tennessee Code Ann. § 29-26-116, an injured party must file a medical malpractice claim within one year of discovering their injury. However, they typically cannot file a claim if more than three years have passed since the injury occurred. For instance, if you had surgery two years ago, but only just discovered an injury that was caused due to malpractice during that surgery, you could still file a claim, as long as you do not allow another year to pass before doing so.
There are some exceptions to these rules, so be sure to ask your lawyer if you may qualify for a medical malpractice suit, even if you believe time has already run out.
Caps for Damages
Tennessee does not cap economic damages that can be awarded due to medical malpractice, meaning you can recover the full amount. These would include damages for things such as lost wages or medical bills.
However, there is a cap on non-medical damages, such as loss of enjoyment of life or pain and suffering. Normally, this cap is set at $750,000, but if you suffer “catastrophic injuries,” this cap is raised to $1 million. Catastrophic injuries may include:
- Spinal cord injuries that result in paralysis
- Amputation of both hands, both feet, or one of each
- Third-degree burns that cover 40 percent or more of the body
- Wrongful death of a parent to a minor child or children
Additionally, there are no damage caps when the defendant:
- Purposely intended to cause injury
- Purposely destroyed, hid, or falsified records to hide liability
- Was under the influence of an intoxicant or stimulant when the malpractice occurred
Help from a Nashville Medical Malpractice Lawyer
A Nashville medical malpractice attorney from Ben Crump Law, PLLC may be able to help you with your case in several ways, such as by:
- Fulfilling expert witness requirements by filing an affidavit of merit and consulting with medical experts who can show how you were the victim of medical malpractice
- Gathering important evidence and testimony that shows that you did not receive the type of care required by law
- Fighting for fair compensation based upon the economic and non-economic damages you have suffered
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Contact Ben Crump Law, PLLC
There is no need to delay in getting your medical malpractice case underway. A Nashville medical malpractice lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC may be able to review your case, prepare it to be filed, and assist you every step of the way. Give our team a call at 800-641-8998 and learn more about how we may be able to help you.