Jackson, TN Medical Malpractice Lawyers
We trust doctors, physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals to properly diagnose and treat any conditions we have, but despite one’s best efforts, unexpected medical situations may arise. Those in the medical field are generally well-trained, but they are human and can make mistakes. This is where an area of the law known as medical malpractice serves to protect those who have been injured by medical practitioners who fail to provide the appropriate level of care. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or otherwise been the victim of substandard medical care, contact the Jackson medical malpractice lawyers at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz. With over 30 years of experience handling personal injury cases in West Tennessee, we know what competent and diligent legal representation is all about.
Defining Medical Malpractice
The U.S. National Library of Medicine defines medical malpractice as “any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient.” Medical malpractice is governed under individual state law, so where one lives will have a significant on a case and the applicable legal burden. Tennessee, for example, has its own law, known as the Tennessee Health Care Liability Act. Under this law, a claim for medical malpractice is defined as one “alleging that a health care provider or providers have caused an injury related to the provision of, or failure to provide, health care services to a person.” In this statute, “health care provider” is broadly defined, and it can include a doctor, nurse, dentist, optometrist, chiropractor, cardiologist, anesthesiologist, surgeon, or other medical practitioner.
Common forms of malpractice in the health care field include:
- Surgical errors
- Failure to treat a condition
- Failure to diagnose a condition
- Misdiagnosing a patient
- Labor and delivery errors causing birth injuries
- Medication errors
- Ignoring warning signs
Recovering in a Medical Malpractice Suit
Generally, to prevail in a medical malpractice suit, the plaintiff (injured victim) must show that the medical practitioner acted negligently in caring for the patient, leading to an injury or damages. Specifically, in a negligence action, four legal elements must be met: (1) the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff; (2) the defendant breached that duty; (3) the injuries sustained were caused by the breach; and (4) the plaintiff suffered damages or other harms.
Tennessee law imposes a rather strict statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases. Plaintiffs in Tennessee have one year from the date of the negligent act or discovery of the injury to file a case. The law also places stringent requirements on pre-suit notice to defendants and filing a certificate of good faith. Specifically, before you can file suit in court, a medical expert must sign a written statement confirming he or she believes there is a good faith basis for bringing the lawsuit. Having represented many people in the Jackson area, our medical malpractice lawyers understand the stakes are high– failure to follow these procedural rules will result in dismissal of the case before it can be heard by a jury.
Damages in a “med mal” case include a wide range of harms suffered and typically fall under three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Economic damages are generally objective and more easily quantifiable, such as medical expenses, loss of income, loss of economic opportunity, and other out of pocket expenses. Similar to proving liability, experts are typically needed to prove the extent of these losses. Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify, and include losses like pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life. Punitive damages are reserved for intentional, fraudulent, and reckless conduct, and they serve to deter others from acting similarly in the future.
In a lawsuit for medical negligence, multiple parties may bear legal responsibility. In a claim for personal injury or wrongful death against an individual doctor and hospital/medical clinic, the discovery process will help sort through the issues. One of the defendants may offer a settlement, but another may still refuse to accept responsibility. Our firm has trial experience, and we are not afraid to take cases to court in order to fight for our clients and help them obtain a full recovery.
Our Medical Malpractice Lawyers Are Ready to Speak with You Now
At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, we understand that every case is different and requires special attention. Having fought for clients for more than 30 years across Jackson and West Tennessee, our legal team has the knowledge and resources necessary to diligently pursue any case you may have. In addition to medical malpractice cases, our hardworking attorneys have handled a wide range of personal injury cases, including those stemming from auto accidents, defective products, and nursing home negligence. To set up a free consultation with one of our Jackson medical malpractice attorneys, call our office toll-free at 800-529-4004 or complete our online form. Let us show you why NST is the way to go.