Medical Malpractice Lawyers

In Tennessee, medical malpractice cases are called Health Care Liability Actions. A Health Care Liability Action is a lawsuit against a person or entity that provides healthcare—such as a doctor, nurse, radiologist, hospital, or nursing home—claiming the provider has caused an injury related to the provision of, or failure to provide, health care services.

The Tennessee Health Care Liability Act (THCLA) has a number of requirements that make healthcare liability actions quite different from other lawsuits. One such requirement is that written notice of a potential health care action must be given to each health care provider that will be a named defendant at least sixty (60) days before the filing of a complaint. This kind of notice is not required before the filing of any other lawsuit in Tennessee.

The notice must include authorization for the release of medical records that allows every potential defendant to obtain the patient’s medical records from every other potential defendant. This authorization must comply with the complex requirements of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Experience with Medical Malpractice Defense

Our firm is quite adept at handling pre-suit notices and HIPAA requirements. In fact, we have been especially successful at defending healthcare liability actions based on inadequacies in plaintiffs’ pre-suit notices, thereby stopping lawsuits before they have even really begun.

The head of our medical malpractice team, David Waite, has been certified as a Medical Malpractice Specialist by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, as recognized and accredited by the Tennessee Bar Association. He has also taught numerous Continuing Legal Education seminars to the National Business Institute and the Knoxville Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section. Such seminars included “Handling Medical Negligence Cases in Tennessee,” “Expert Witness Tactics,” and “Medical Malpractice Mediation from the Point of View of the Plaintiff, Defendant, and Mediator.”

Before joining our firm, David prosecuted healthcare liability actions for over 10 years. However, since joining the firm over 15 years ago, David has dedicated his practice to defending these cases. Our firm also has considerable experience in mediating appropriate cases. With David as lead, our firm has successfully settled 8 long-term care cases, 6 of which involved wrongful death claims and a defamation case. Additionally, we have tried 9 medical malpractice cases to verdict and won all 9 on behalf of our clients.

When a plaintiff files a health care liability action, he or she must prove by expert testimony:

(1)The recognized standard of acceptable professional practice in the profession and the specialty thereof, if any, that the defendant practices in the community in which the defendant practices or in a similar community at the time the alleged injury or wrongful action occurred;

(2) That the defendant acted with less than or failed to act with ordinary and reasonable
care in accordance with such standards; and

(3) As a proximate result of the defendant’s negligent act or omission, the plaintiff
suffered injuries that would not have otherwise occurred.

Knowledge of Medical Terminology

The facts in health care liability cases are medical facts, and an attorney must be knowledgeable about the relevant medicine, comfortable with the use of medical terminology, and able to think like a doctor, as well as a lawyer, to understand these facts.

Understanding the unique aspects of Health Care Liability Actions and the interplay between law and medicine helps our medical malpractice team provide our clients with wise counsel and a strong defense.