Knoxville Medical Malpractice Attorney
Handling the Full Range of Health Care Liability Actions in Knoxville and East Tennessee
The Knoxville medical malpractice attorney at Brezina Law, PLLC, excels in helping victims of medical errors across the spectrum of health care liability actions in Tennessee, including medical malpractice, nursing home malpractice, and dental malpractice. These complex and highly technical claims require a special level of skill and expertise to uncover medical malpractice and explain it in a way that proves your case to a judge or jury.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Known as health care liability actions in Tennessee, medical malpractice is a claim alleging that a health care provider caused an injury related to the provision of health care services or the failure to provide health care services. In Tennessee law, the term “health care provider” includes doctors, hospitals, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacy techs, orderlies, and others related to the provision of medical or health care services.
Medical malpractice can include any of the following types of errors, for example:
- Surgical Mistakes – making an incision on the wrong part of the body, causing nerve damage, performing the wrong surgery on the wrong side of the body or the wrong patient, leaving surgical tools inside the patient
- Misdiagnosis – failing to diagnose cancer, unreasonably delaying a proper diagnosis, misdiagnosing the patient’s condition, misreading lab results, failing to take a patient’s medical history
- Birth Injuries – improper use of forceps, delayed c-section, failure to monitor maternal or fetal health, resulting in fetal injury, including Cerebral Palsy, Erb’s palsy, shoulder dystocia, brachial plexus injury and potentially death
- Medication Errors – prescribing or administering the wrong medication or dosage, negligent delivery of medication through injection, failing to check for drug interactions or patient allergies
- Anesthesia Mistakes – delivering too much or too little anesthetic, dangerously prolonged sedation, negligent or improper intubation, failure to monitor vital signs, failure to monitor and assess the anesthesia vaporizer machine and/or patient intra-operatively
- Hospital-Acquired Infections – failing to sanitize hospital surfaces, failing to sterilize medical instruments, failing to wash hands before handling patient, failing to sterilize site before injection or catheterization, negligent wound care
- Lack of Informed Consent – failing to inform the patient about the risks and benefits of a procedure, failing to discuss alternatives to the proposed treatment, performing a procedure or treatment that goes beyond the bounds of a properly obtained informed consent
- Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Malpractice – prescribing medication without proper authority, working without supervision, working without a required written protocol, performing services beyond the range of competence and skill
- Hospital Malpractice – failing to supervise staff, failing to have written protocols in place, negligent training, understaffing, failing to clean surfaces and instruments
- Dental Malpractice – failing to diagnose oral cancer or periodontal disease, nerve damage, extracting the wrong tooth or unnecessary tooth extraction, causing infection, improper administration of anesthesia
- Nursing Home Malpractice – physical abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, neglect, bedsores, malnutrition, improper use of restraints, medication errors, failure to diagnose or consult a doctor
Anatomy of a Knoxville Medical Malpractice Claim
Tennessee medical malpractice law requires the plaintiff to provide pre-suit notice to the doctor or hospital that they are about to be named as a defendant in a health care liability action. The law is very specific and detailed about what must be included in this notice and how it has to be served on the defendant. This notice gives the potential defendant 60 days to gather relevant medical records and other information about the claim and hopefully resolve the matter before a lawsuit is filed. Properly filing this notice also extends the one-year statute of limitations imposed on health care liability actions in Tennessee, giving the plaintiff an extra 120 days to decide whether to file a lawsuit or not.
Every bad outcome in a hospital or doctor’s office is not the result of negligence, and the fact of an injury alone does not create a presumption that the doctor or hospital was negligent. Instead, the plaintiff bears the burden of proving:
- The recognized standard of acceptable professional practice applicable to the defendant (i.e., the “Standard of Care”);
- The defendant acted with less than ordinary and reasonable care or failed to act with ordinary and reasonable care (i.e., they “deviated” from the Standard of Care); and
- As a proximate result of the defendant’s negligent act or omission, the plaintiff suffered injuries which would not otherwise have occurred.
Proving these facts typically requires testimony from medical experts. Tennessee law specifies the requirements for a qualified expert witness in a health care liability claim.
After a period of litigation known as discovery, where both sides gain access to important medical information about the injury and why it happened, the parties can hopefully agree on an appropriate amount of compensation and settle the matter. If not, the case proceeds to trial where it is litigated to a jury. Attorney Michael Brezina has extensive trial experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in Knoxville and East Tennessee medical malpractice claims. Whether your case settles or goes to trial, Brezina Law, PLLC, has the right set of skills and experience to ably represent you and get results.
Free Medical Malpractice Case Evaluation at Brezina Law, PLLC, in Knoxville
If you believe that you or a family member were harmed by medical malpractice, call Brezina Law, PLLC, at 865-500-3121 for a no-cost consultation with a skilled and experienced Knoxville medical malpractice attorney. There is no fee unless we win your case.