How Does TN Hold Doctors Accountable for Medical Malpractice?

Doctors play a critical role in our society, and we need them desperately over the course of our lives. But sometimes, things can go wrong. After a case of medical malpractice in Tennessee, who pays? And how can we get justice for the people harmed?

How Medical Malpractice Happens In the First Place

Medical malpractice happens when a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare worker makes a mistake while giving medical care, and their mistake hurts the patient.

These mistakes can include things like:

  • giving the wrong medicine
  • making a wrong diagnosis, or
  • not providing the right treatment.

In extreme examples, a doctor may operate on the wrong patient or wrong part of the body. Many cases require additional surgery to reverse the harms – and sometimes, reversal is impossible. In some cases, malpractice can lead to paralysis or even death.

Some people assume medical malpractice only happens if a doctor intends to do harm. High profile cases might include lying about one’s education or certification, using drugs or alcohol before a surgery, or otherwise behaving in a criminally negligent way.

But in most cases, accidents simply happen. Our healthcare providers are human beings who make mistakes, working within vast healthcare systems that also make mistakes.

At our firm, our Memphis medical malpractice attorneys have seen a range of causes for malpractice. But regardless of what caused the injury, the question becomes: who pays when mistakes happen?

The Limitations of State Medical Boards

In most states, including Tennessee, the state medical board is the first line of defense against dangerous doctors. For example, if a hospital finds a surgeon lied about their qualifications or has a history of botched procedures, they might report this person to the state medical board.

The board can then investigate the situation and make a recommendation. They have the power to suspend doctors and remove medical licenses. This offers the possibility of justice in egregious cases, where the doctor has a pattern of wrongdoing.

However, in reality, state medical boards can be extremely slow to action. Notoriously, doctors and other healthcare providers feel uncomfortable reporting their own associates. And even if reported, the medical boards tend to show a lot of leniency to other doctors.

In addition, not every healthcare provider who makes a mistake deserves to lose their license. Most people don’t want their hospitals or doctors’ offices to close down just because someone made an error. We all need our doctors, human flaws and all, and we depend on these institutions every day.

Most people who fall victim to medical malpractice only want two things: they want whoever was responsible to admit what happened and be transparent about it, and they want compensation to cover their losses. While state medical boards can offer some avenue for justice, they can’t do anything for the victim who desperately needs compensation to cover additional medical care.

Gavel and Stethoscope Medical Malpractice Lawyer Memphis TNHow Personal Injury Laws Protect the Public

As an imperfect but useful remedy, we have medical malpractice law.

Medical malpractice law helps to figure out what happened and who is responsible if a mistake was made. It’s like a set of guidelines that helps people who have been hurt by medical mistakes to ask for help and get compensation for their injuries.

When you file a medical malpractice claim with one of our attorneys, we investigate your case and help you understand who was responsible and why. We look at the reasonable standard of care other doctors would follow, and we try to determine whether what you experienced veered from that standard.

Some people wrongly assume we fight doctors and don’t like them. In reality, we work with doctors every single day and have enormous respect for what they do. In fact, it’s doctors who help us determine the reasonable standard of care. They will often stand in as expert witnesses to describe what should have happened for our clients.

Most doctors are healers with vast training and people we depend on — not just as lawyers working in this field, but also as human beings who depend on healthcare ourselves. We’re very grateful for their work and for setting a standard everyone else should follow.

medical malpractice lawyer Memphis, TNWho Pays After Medical Malpractice in Tennessee?

When used correctly, medical malpractice and lawyers who practice it can make doctors better. We hope to make healthcare institutions aware of their own fallibility and the critical impact of their work. We demand they treat their clients with respect, honesty, and obligation. In other words, we hold them accountable when no one else will.

We don’t like to think about medical malpractice as a moral issue. In most cases, no one intended for anything to go wrong.

Instead, the question becomes who pays after medical malpractice in Tennessee? Should it be the person who actively made the mistake or the person who fell victim?

Under the law, no one injured by a doctor or hospital in the United States should have to pay for their own recovery as a result. Instead, through medical malpractice law, we help them get compensation through their healthcare provider’s insurance company.

Our lawyers work with expert witnesses, investigators, and others to build your claim. We fight to understand everything that happened to you and represent you in front of the insurance companies and at court if necessary. And we don’t make anything unless and until we win your case.

If you believe you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, we would love to speak with you and help you understand your options. To get started, contact us online today or call us at 901-327-2100.