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Do you have grounds for filing medical malpractice in Tennessee?

When you entrust your health or the health of your child to a Tennessee medical team, you can reasonably expect every doctor, nurse, practitioner or other staff member involved to act according to the highest accepted standard for patient safety. For instance, if a doctor would approach you to perform a physical examination without first washing his or her hands, that would be a direct violation of standard protocol.  

Sadly, many people suffer illness, injury or, in worst cases, even death, when physicians, surgeons or other medical team members fail in their duties to keep patients as safe as possible. If you seek compensation for damages by filing a medical malpractice claim, however, you are tasked with proving your case to the court.  

Critical factors toward litigation success 

There is a difference between suffering an adverse effect of medical treatment or surgery that doctors warned ahead of time as a common risk of a particular procedure and suffering an injury because one or more of your care providers were negligent. The following list explains conditions you must prove if you claim to be a victim of medical malpractice:  

  • You must be able to provide evidence to the court that you received substandard care. 
  • It is not enough to show that one or more medical staff members were negligent. You must also prove that such negligence caused you harm. 
  • In addition to convincing the court that medical negligence resulted in injury to you or your child, you must also show that such an injury would likely not have occurred if those providing care had not been negligent. 
  • Finally, you must have evidence that the injury you suffered caused mental, physical or economic damage. No one wants to go home from a hospital or doctor's office in worse condition than he or she was in before seeking medical care. As a parent, you may feel betrayed, frustrated and angry if your child suffers injury or illness because a doctor or nurse was negligent.

Determining if grounds exist and pursuing justice

Let's say that a nurse mistakenly gives you the wrong medication; however, since the pill you took was acetaminophen, you did not suffer any adverse health effects and the situation would not necessarily be grounds for filing a medical malpractice claim. If, on the other hand, you or your child suffer lasting injury because of a medication error or other negligence, you may seek legal accountability against any and all deemed liable.

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