Medical Malpractice Questions and Answers

Our Johnson City Medical Malpractice Lawyers Answer Commonly Asked Questions

Medical malpractice claims can not only help you get compensation for your injuries, but a successful claim could also potentially save someone from being harmed in the future by the same doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, pediatrician, surgeon, or nursing home staff member.

Our Johnson City medical malpractice lawyers have years of experience representing clients who have been the victim of doctor or hospital negligence. We continue to advocate for our clients’ rights as we hold medical professionals responsible for their errors.

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We know these kinds of cases can be complicated, especially when you are trying to heal. Read our answers to some frequently asked medical malpractice questions below or contact us to get personalized service based on your case needs. The Haynes Firm offers free initial consultations for all new clients.

Contact our experienced Johnson City Medical Malpractice Attorneys online or at (423) 451-4999 today.

How can a medical malpractice claim help me?

When you are healing, the last thing you want to think about are bills and other expenses. As a part of our work in your medical malpractice case, The Haynes Firm may be able to help you obtain compensation to cover your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages related to your injuries.

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Will I have to go to court for my medical malpractice case?

If your claim cannot be settled outside of court, it could go to trial. While many medical malpractice claims are resolved without trial, our Johnson City medical malpractice attorneys prepare each case as if it will proceed to trial. Our attorneys have extensive litigation experience and can effectively represent you and advocate for the compensation you may deserve, whether we are in court or not.

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Am I still able to file a malpractice claim if my insurance company already paid my medical bills?

Yes! As a victim of medical malpractice, you have the legal right to pursue compensation for your medical bills whether or not your insurance company has already paid them. However, Tennessee healthcare liability laws relating to compensation for medical bills are different from other personal injury cases, so you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney who can explain the differences. You may also seek compensation for other losses including lost wages, pain and suffering, scarring, therapy costs, and more.

How long do I have to file a medical malpractice claim in Tennessee?

According to the Tennessee medical malpractice statute of limitations, if you or someone you know has been injured due to a doctor, nurse, or hospital’s negligence or wrongdoing, you must place the provider on notice of your intent to file a claim within one year from the day the injury occurred or within one year of the day when the injury was or should have been discovered.

The notice must be provided in a very particular manner in accordance with Tennessee’s healthcare liability statutes. In most cases, after three years from the date of the malpractice, you are no longer able to file a claim. You should not conclude that your case is barred by the statute of limitations or repose without first speaking to an attorney who practices in the area of medical malpractice.

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What can I do if I’ve experienced poor medical care, but a malpractice lawyer can’t take my case?

Not every failure on the part of health care can result in the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Unfortunately, we hear of stories of malpractice and/or poor medical care every day, and we are simply unable to represent all the victims. Egregious carelessness or offensive behavior on the part of healthcare may not result in a legally actionable injury. However, sometimes, the behavior nonetheless needs to be addressed.

There are several options for taking action on your own in the event that our firm is unable to pursue a healthcare liability case (medical malpractice) on your behalf.

The state of Tennessee has a process wherein the Division of Healthcare Facilities will review the specifics of your complaint or concern and investigate the incident(s). The healthcare facility involved is then notified of the complaint. The complaint process can include a finding that the healthcare facility’s behavior warrants a citation or penalty.

What Type of Compensation Is Available in a Medical Malpractice Case?

In Tennessee, victims of medical malpractice can seek two main types of damages: economic and non-economic.

  • Economic damages cover tangible losses such as medical expenses, lost income, costs for rehabilitation, and decreased earning capacity. These expenses can be calculated based on both your current and projected future expenses and are not capped by the state. This means you can seek dollar-for-dollar compensation for these specific damages.
  • Non-economic damages are for intangible losses like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disability or disfigurement, and loss of consortium. Because there is no establishable cost, it can be much harder to determine the worth of non-economic damages, but even if it were simple, they are capped at $750,000 in most cases.

While non-economic damages are capped in Tennessee, if the malpractice results in catastrophic injuries, such as paralysis or the wrongful death of the parent of a minor child, this cap may be increased to $1 million at the discretion of the court.

Determining the worth of your medical malpractice claim is seldom cut-and-dry. Several considerations must be taken into account, including how your injury will impact your life and livelihood in the long term. During your FREE case review at our Johnson City office, we will give you the time you need to detail your experiences, carefully review your medical documentation, and help you determine which damages you may be entitled to seek.

Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim for a Misdiagnosis?

In Tennessee, you can file a medical malpractice claim for the misdiagnosis of a serious or deadly disease or illness. However, the bar for determining if a misdiagnosis was malpractice is fairly high.

When it comes to medical malpractice claims for failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, or misdiagnosis, it’s absolutely essential to prove that the healthcare provider failed to offer the standard of care expected in similar circumstances and that their failure resulted in your harm. This may include things such as failing to order the appropriate tests, ignoring your symptoms, or failing to treat your condition with the gravity it deserves.

The medical malpractice attorneys at The Haynes Firm have helped clients receive fair compensation following the failure to diagnose several illnesses and diseases, including

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, cauda equina syndrome, pediatric sepsis, multiple types of cancer, and much more. We have the resources and experience necessary to identify misdiagnosis, and the drive to take these claims as far as needed in our pursuit of justice.

What Role Do Expert Witnesses Play in Medical Malpractice Cases?

Expert witnesses play an essential role in Tennessee medical malpractice cases. They are typically healthcare professionals who provide specialized knowledge to help the court understand the medical aspects of the case. These experts can offer opinions on whether the standard of care was breached and if this breach caused your injury. Their testimony is vital in establishing the liability of the healthcare provider.

The type of witness needed may be dependent on the specifics of your case. They can include nurses, doctors, billing and coding specialists, and others who can identify malpractice and offer insight into the cause of your injury. In our firm’s decades of experience, we have developed strong relationships with several expert medical malpractice witnesses, enabling us to draw on the right professionals for every case.

Is There a Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Medical Negligence?

Medical malpractice and medical negligence are often used interchangeably, but they can have distinct legal meanings. Irrespective of their definitions, both can lead to serious and lasting harm, and demand the attention of an experienced attorney.

Medical malpractice often refers to a healthcare provider’s failure to meet the “standard of care”—a legal term referring to the degree of care a reasonable person would provide under similar circumstances—resulting in serious or fatal harm. This might involve a conscious act, a careless oversight, or an easily avoidable omission in your treatment. Medical negligence, on the other hand, may refer to injuries that occur inadvertently.

No matter if your injury is the result of negligence or malpractice, you have every right to hold the responsible party to full account. During your cost- and obligation-free consultation, we will review the specifics of your case to help you determine what may have led to your injury.

Can I Sue a Hospital for Medical Malpractice?

In Tennessee, you can sue a hospital for medical malpractice for administrative failures such as inadequate staff training or insufficient verification of a doctor’s qualifications. You may also be entitled to file suit against a hospital if employees, like nurses, lab technicians, paramedics, or on-site pharmacists commit malpractice while working.

It is important to remember that many doctors, surgeons, and medical professionals are actually independent contractors who practice at the hospital under permission, but not as employees. In these cases, a lawsuit against the individual practitioner is likely required.

Is It Challenging to Pursue a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Even under the most favorable circumstances, medical malpractice claims can be extremely difficult to win. A twenty-year study reported by the National Institutes of Health found that healthcare providers prevail in a majority of medical malpractice cases.

When evidence is weak, doctors win approximately 9 out of 10 medical malpractice cases. Even when a case is relatively strong, doctors prevail in as many as 7 out of 10. Building a strong and compelling case that can withstand trial—if necessary—is one of the biggest challenges facing medical malpractice cases in Tennessee.  Your choice of law firm will play a direct role in the success of your case, making it important that you choose an attorney with the resources and tenacity to win.

The Johnson City medical malpractice lawyers at our firm have decades of experience handling these cases and a proven track record of winning them. We have secured multiple four-, five-, and even six-figure settlements for victims of negligent doctors, nurses, and more, and are fully dedicated to taking these claims as far as needed in our pursuit of fair compensation.

Our lawyers have been awarded several distinctions—including recognition among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the nation—and have earned their reputation as skilled negotiators and litigators. During your complimentary consultation, we will review the details of your claim, discuss its likelihood of going to trial, and help you understand how best to seek the full compensation you deserve.

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Contact our experienced Johnson City medical malpractice lawyers today at (423) 451-4999 to schedule a free consultation!

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