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An act of medical malpractice in Knoxville, Maryville, or another region of east Tennessee can cause devastating injuries and even a wrongful death. Unfortunately, Tennessee has one of the shortest statutes of limitations in the nation, giving grieving families just one year in which to assert a claim or else have their right to recover money damages barred by the statute of limitations.

While contacting a Tennessee wrongful death attorney may be a difficult and emotionally taxing step in recovering from the death of a family member, it is vitally important that this be done as soon as possible so that the attorney can have adequate time to investigate the matter, prepare the paperwork for the claim, and file the necessary documents before the statute of limitations runs.

Those who wait too long to hire an attorney may find themselves unable to find a qualified legal professional willing to put their name and reputation on the line when too little time is left to properly research a claim. This was exactly what happened to a widower who lost his wife to an alleged act of medical negligence. He had no choice but to file the claim pro se (although he was able to retain an attorney later). Unfortunately, the family spent the next 12 years arguing about whether this action complied with the statute of limitations.

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mother and baby
When a child’s life is catastrophically altered by a birth injury or brain injury just as his or her life is beginning, there is untold heartbreak for the family.

While money can never “fix” what went wrong, a fair settlement or judgment in a Tennessee medical malpractice case can help offset the considerable expenditures that the family will incur due the child’s injury or disability in the coming years. Unfortunately, medical providers often resist a finding of liability, urging juries to believe that these types of injuries “just happen sometimes” without it being anyone’s fault.

Facts of the Case

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manKnoxville personal injury cases in which a government entity is named as a defendant proceed differently from claims against businesses or individuals. Recovering fair compensation in such cases can be more difficult than in other personal injury cases, since different rules apply.

Generally, cases in which the State of Tennessee is a defendant must be filed in the Tennessee Claims Commission, rather than in the circuit court of the county where the alleged act of negligence took place.

If a plaintiff is successful in the claims commission, he or she can recover monetary damages against the State but only up to an amount set by statute. No punitive damages can be awarded, and the plaintiff must bear all of his or her litigation costs. (Sometimes costs are shifted to the losing party in other cases.)

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If you or a loved one has been hurt in a Knoxville car accident, three of the most important words to you right now should be “statute of limitations.” Failing to file your claim by this important deadline can seriously jeopardize your chances of recovering fair compensation.

For this reason, it is critically important to consult an attorney as soon as possible after an accident so that he or she can be investigating the case and preparing the necessary paperwork so that untimeliness will not be an issue in your case. It is important to note that Tennessee has a very short statute of limitations for personal injury claims – just one year. The deadline can slip past very quickly, especially in a serious accident in which the plaintiff’s physical recovery is ongoing or in a wrongful death case in which a family is grieving the loss of a loved one.

Facts of the Case

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Over the past few years, it has become increasingly difficult to hold negligent medical providers legally liable for the harm that they cause. Among the reasons for this are the various procedural hurdles that have been put in place for those who file malpractice claims.

Failing to comply with these procedural requirements can result in the dismissal of a plaintiff’s otherwise valid claim for medical negligence.

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Medical negligence can leave victims with permanent injuries and, in some cases, even result in a wrongful death.

In a recent case, both a mother and her newborn child were seriously injured due to the alleged negligence of a doctor and others during the child’s birth.

Unfortunately, their claims were not filed within the applicable statute of limitations period (which is quite short in Tennessee) due to their alleged disabilities, and the court of appeals was asked to consider whether their cases met one of the small handful of exceptions to the general rule requiring the dismissal of untimely lawsuits.

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hospital bedSeptic shock is a very dangerous, potentially life-threatening medical condition that can occur when the body attempts to fight a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. Possible complications from septic shock include heart failure, kidney failure, stroke, liver failure, or respiratory failure.

Although septic shock can be fatal, a patient’s prognosis is better if the condition is promptly diagnosed and properly treated. Time is of the essence, and any delay can hurt a patient’s chances of recovery.

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ambulanceIn Tennessee, there are certain procedural hurdles that must be addressed in filing a cause of action under the Tennessee Health Care Liability Act.

Failing to comply with these requirements can result in the dismissal of an otherwise valid claim against an allegedly negligent health care provider.

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service of processFiling a lawsuit for medical malpractice or another act of negligence can be fraught with potential procedural pitfalls:  missing a statute of limitations, naming the wrong party as a defendant, or – as happened in a recent case – an allegation that the person who accepted service of process on the defendant was unauthorized to do so.

In some instances, a procedural misstep can result in the dismissal of an otherwise valid claim against a defendant purely on technical grounds. However, the plaintiffs in one case were determined to have their day in court, filing a second lawsuit against the allegedly unauthorized person who accepted service of process, causing their malpractice case to be dismissed as to a certain doctor.

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fireSometimes, it’s hard to understand why insurance companies do the things they do; other times, it’s just plain impossible. For example, why would an insurance company refuse to pay more than $2,000 to a family who lost their home and all of their possessions when they were insured for over $100,000?

The trial court in a recent case asked that same question. Not being satisfied with the insurance company’s answer, the court ordered the insurance company to pay not only the amount due under the policy but also interest and a bad faith penalty.

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