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Columbia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When you are sick or injured and need healthcare, you trust medical professionals to provide you with a high-level standard of care. While most healthcare providers stand by their best policies and practices, mistakes can happen. Unfortunately, some patients experience the effects of intentional or unintentional misconduct and suffer greatly. The injury you suffer from may result from healthcare professionals failing to provide the necessary treatment, take appropriate action, or provide the standard of healthcare they should. 

If you have been injured due to medical malpractice and live in Columbia, Tennessee, or the surrounding area, contact Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers at 800-800-4600 for a free consultation with a member of our medical malpractice team

You have rights and will need a law firm on your side with experience in medical malpractice cases. Our law firm will ensure you are treated like family and that our personal injury lawyers in Columbia will always keep your best interests in mind.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Doctors and hospitals are expected to provide professional medical care. Medical malpractice is typically a medical error such as a misdiagnosis, incorrect treatment, improper health management, or negligent aftercare that caused a patient injury, sickness, or death. 

Medical malpractice can occur anywhere, and healthcare professionals may be held liable and legally responsible for any patient injury or sickness due to a lack of standard and proper care. 

If you feel you have become a victim of such mistreatment, contact the lawyers at Hughes & Coleman law firm today at 800-800-4600 for your free case consultation, or fill out a contact form online

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How to Prove Medical Malpractice in TN

As an injured patient, you must be able to prove that your injuries were caused by the negligent act of a healthcare provider or facility. Tennessee state law requires the following elements to be proven in a case of medical malpractice: 

  • A patient is owed a professional duty
  • A healthcare provider or facility failed to provide the medical care required 
  • A patient suffers injury due to the lack of care provided
  • A patient suffers long-term damages from injury 

Sometimes it can be complicated to prove medical malpractice. Reaching out to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can help you when filing a claim and proving negligence. Our lawyers at Hughes & Coleman law firm have years of experience and the resources needed to support your claim to be successful. Contact our law office today for a consultation with a member of our legal team. 

Types of medical malpractice 

Not all injuries or negligent acts are from doctors or staff. Some injuries can result from malfunctioning equipment, patient suicide, or hospital fires. However, in 2016, John Hopkins scientists stated that medical errors should be listed as the third-leading cause of death in the United States. 

Medical malpractice law firms such as the highly reviewed firm of Hughes & Coleman can help determine if your case includes any proven medical errors. 

The following is a short list of the types of errors we have seen in medical malpractice claims we handle: 

  • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnose a patient
  • Failure to perform appropriate tests, or test results are not acted on
  • Wrong medication is given, or the dosage is wrong
  • Incorrect or unnecessary surgery
  • Items left in the patient’s body during surgery
  • Persistent pain following surgery prevents the patient from recovering fully
  • Bedsores, pressure ulcers, or life-threatening infections while in the hospital
  • Failure to follow up with the patient
  • Premature discharge

What is informed consent?

Doctors or healthcare providers can be held liable if they perform a medical procedure when the patient did not give consent and sustained an injury, even if a procedure is carried out without error.

You, as the patient, have the right to refuse treatment if you know of potential risks. That’s why the rule of informed consent is in place. Our law firm has experience in medical malpractice lawsuits and will ensure your rights are defended. 

Call Hughes & Coleman today at 800-800-4600 to get personalized help from our experienced medical malpractice lawyers.

Statute of Limitations in TN

Tennessee law states that an injured individual has a single year from the time the injury was discovered to file a medical malpractice claim, or else three years from the time the injury occurred. Foreign objects that were left inside the body are exempt from this statute of limitations. 

If you are under the age of 18 or not of sound mind, the statute of limitations can be extended by one year after you turn 18 or when you are deemed of sound mind. 

Suffering from a personal injury can be overwhelming. When you work with us, though, you and your family can rest easy knowing our client reviews support any one of our medical malpractice lawyers’ dedication. The team at Hughes & Coleman law firm is highly experienced in Maury County and ready to help you with your case. Contact our legal team at 800-800-4600 for a free case evaluation. 

Medical Malpractice Damage Caps in TN

Like other states, the law in Tennessee limits non-economic damages, such as compensation for pain and suffering or loss of quality of life. However, medical malpractice damage caps do not include future or past medical bills incurred. 

Tennessee law caps medical malpractice non-economic damages at $750,000 per person. This limit applies regardless of whether the injury was caused by a single act or a series of actions. On the other hand, if the injury is catastrophic, the cap may be increased to $1 million per person. 

Tennessee medical malpractice laws consider devastating injuries, including the following: 

  • Amputation of one or both of a person’s hands or feet
  • Paraplegia or quadriplegia caused by spinal cord injuries
  • 40 percent or more of the body or face covered by third-degree burns
  • Loss of a parent of one or more minor children to wrongful death 

Tennessee medical malpractice law protects you from negligent healthcare providers. If you can prove one of the following acts was performed, then damage caps may not apply:

  • The healthcare provider intended to cause serious physical injury
  • The healthcare provider or facility intentionally destroyed, falsified, or concealed records 
  • The healthcare provider was under the influence of alcohol or other stimulants when the injury occurred

If you need help in proving one of the acts above were performed in your case, reach Hughes & Coleman today at 800-800-4600 to schedule a time to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer.

Medical Malpractice Expert Witness Requirements

During a Tennessee medical malpractice lawsuit, you and your lawyer must provide testimonies of an expert medical witness. The law states there are specific requirements that must be met when consulting an expert witness. 

An affidavit of merit requirement, also known as the certificate of good faith, is the first requirement. You as the injured person, or your attorney, must file a statement proving an expert medical witness was consulted. This expert must provide a written statement claiming whether a basis for medical malpractice can or cannot be determined in good faith. 

The court can then dismiss your case if this requirement is not met within 90 days of filing the claim. If the judge dismisses the case with prejudice, you will not be able to file the same malpractice claim again. 

Tennessee law also places the requirement that experts must have a license to practice in the profession relevant to the injuries sustained. The expert witness must also have a license to practice in Tennessee or the bordering state. Depending on the case, if such an expert cannot be found, the Tennessee courts may waive this requirement. 

Essential elements

The injured party and his or her lawyer will prove to the courts that the following elements resulted in medical malpractice:

  • The healthcare provider or hospital owed a duty to the patient
  • The healthcare provider or hospital failed to uphold the duty of care 
  • The failure to provide the duty resulted in an injury
  • The patient suffers from substantial physical, emotional, or financial damages 

The case process

The process for a healthcare malpractice case may not be simple or short. Some cases may be dragged out for years – but you don’t want that, and neither do we. If you want your case of medical negligence to be proven and settled quickly so you can receive your compensation and move on in life sooner, you need one of the most highly experienced medical malpractice law firms in the area, Hughes & Coleman, to work for you.

You and your lawyer can bring your evidence against the healthcare provider, who will also bring evidence and go before a judge when and if it becomes necessary. Most cases may be settled out of court if both parties come to an agreement. 

If the medical malpractice case does go to trial, both parties and their lawyers will bring their expert medical witnesses to trial to speak on their behalf. The judge and/or jury will be the determining factor regarding who has the most valid evidence and credible witnesses. The judge will then decide on who is the prevailing party. 

If the judge decides the injured patient has a credible claim of malpractice, the judge will determine the amount of damages the healthcare provider must pay. Both parties can request that the court adjust the number of damages to suit their needs. 

The losing party has the right to ask for an appeal from the courts as well. If the appeal is granted, this will result in a new trial. 

Damages an Injured Person Can Receive and How to Get Them

The damages an injured person can receive are compensatory and punitive. 

Compensatory damages include economic damages. Economic damages are considered past and future living expenses, medical expenses, and lost wages. 

Compensatory damages also include non-economic damages. These take into account the injury itself, physical and psychological harm. Physical and psychological harm includes injuries such as losing your vision or limbs, being in extreme pain, and suffering from emotional distress. 

Punitive damages are the punishments a healthcare worker may face if it is proven he or she was intentionally malicious. Punitive damages are paid in correlation with compensatory damages. 

You need to know your rights. At law firms like Hughes & Coleman, lawyers do not collect any fees until you are awarded damages for your case. Before you begin your malpractice lawsuit, call the Hughes & Coleman law firm at 800-800-4600 to speak with one of our legal representatives today.

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