Two Important Requirements For Medical Malpractice Cases In Tennessee
People trust their doctors and other healthcare professionals to provide the highest standard of care that will not cause them to suffer further injury. While most healthcare providers in Tennessee do just that, sometimes these professionals act negligently. When they do, patients suffer some of the most serious injuries. If you have been hurt, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the healthcare professional or facility that caused your injury. These claims are incredibly complex, though. Below, our Knoxville medical malpractice attorney outlines two very important laws to know before you file.
The Requirement for a Written Notice of Claim
Under state law, any defendant named in a medical malpractice lawsuit has the right to receive written notice prior to the lawsuit being filed. The notice must be sent a minimum of 60 days before the lawsuit is filed and it must be sent by the plaintiff or their authorized agent, such as their lawyer. It is important to work with an attorney when sending notice, as it must contain very specific information. Some of the most critical details to include in the written notice of claim is as follows:
- The full name and date of birth of the plaintiff
- The name and address of the individual who gave authorization for the notice and their relationship to the plaintiff, if another individual serves the notice
- If applicable, the name and address of the lawyer who sends the notice
- A complete listing of all providers who will receive a notice, including their names and addresses
- A medical authorization document that is HIPAA compliant and that allows each provider to obtain the medical records from other healthcare providers who were sent a notice
The Requirement for a Certificate of Good Faith
In addition to the written notice of claim requirement, the majority of plaintiffs in medical malpractice claims must also file a certificate of good faith. These certificates were introduced into Tennessee law in an attempt to reduce the amount of frivolous lawsuits filed against medical professionals.
Certificates of good faith must be obtained from a medical consultant who has consulted with the plaintiff’s attorney. The certificate must state two important declarations. These are as follows:
- The medical professional is considered competent under state law to express a professional opinion in the case, and
- The medical professional believes, after reviewing the plaintiff’s medical records, that there is “good faith basis” for the claim.
If you do not obtain a good faith certificate, there is a good chance the court will dismiss your case. The only exception to this is if you can show good cause for not submitting the certificate. For example, if one of the healthcare providers named in the lawsuit refuses to provide access to records, that could constitute good cause for failing to submit the certificate.
Our Medical Malpractice Attorney in Knoxville Can Help You Meet the Requirements
At Atkins Brezina, PLLC, our Knoxville medical malpractice attorney can help you meet the above two important requirements in your case. Our attorney can provide the necessary notice and works with an MD/JD who can provide medical advice, as well as additional legal counsel. Call us now at 865-500-3121 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.