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Knoxville Medical Malpractice Attorney > Blog > Medical Malpractice > How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim?

How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim?


Medical malpractice causes some of the most serious injuries every year. If you have been the victim of medical negligence, you can file a claim against the healthcare provider who caused your harm. However, there are many laws that govern these claims and one of the most important is the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the amount of time you have to file your claim. The statute of limitations in these cases is not always straightforward. Below, our Knoxville medical malpractice attorney explains more.

The Statute of Limitations in Medical Malpractice Claims 

As in all states, Tennessee law places a very strict statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. If you have been the victim of malpractice, you have one year to file a claim against the negligent healthcare provider who caused your injuries. If you do not file your claim within that time, you will likely lose your right to claim any compensation at all, even if your case has merit.

Medical negligence is unfortunately not always discovered right away. When this is the case, patients have one year from the date they discovered that medical negligence caused their injury.

The Statute of Repose 

Tennessee law also outlines a statute of repose in medical malpractice claims. Under the statute of repose, any medical malpractice claim must be filed within three years of the date the alleged malpractice occurred. In most cases, this means that if three years have passed since the malpractice took place, victims are barred from receiving any compensation at all. This law too, though, has some exceptions.

If fraudulent concealment occurred, victims of medical malpractice must be filed within one year of the discovery of fraud. Fraudulent concealment occurs when a doctor or other healthcare professional tries to conceal the fact that medical negligence occurred.

When malpractice involves a foreign object left in the cavity of a patient’s body, victims have one year from the date of discovering the object to file a medical malpractice claim. For example, sponges are the most common foreign object left in body cavities during surgery. Sponges absorb bodily fluids and so, look very similar to bodily tissue. Medical teams must count all supplies before and after surgery to ensure that no objects are left inside a patient.

In the event that malpractice involves fraudulent concealment or a foreign object, patients have one year from discovering these facts to file a claim. Patients in these situations can file a claim even if more than three years have passed since the malpractice occurred.

Our Medical Malpractice Attorney in Knoxville Can Help with Your Claim 

The laws surrounding medical malpractice are complex so before filing your claim, you need the help of an experienced Knoxville medical malpractice attorney. At Atkins Brezina, PLLC, our seasoned attorney works with an MD/JD so you have the best chance of proving your case and obtaining the full and fair damages you deserve. Call us now at 865-500-3121 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to get the legal help you need.




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