At times, patients know when they've been given sub-standard medical care and have suffered as a result. Even though it may be clear that doctor, nursing or hospital negligence contributed to a medical injury, the steps needed to move forward with a medical malpractice claim might not be so obvious, especially given that personal injury laws can vary by state.
Of course, every medical malpractice case is unique and presents its own challenges, but Tennessee law outlines basic steps that are required when patients or their loved ones would like to move forward with a suit.
The first formal step, according to statute, is to send a written notice of potential claim at least 60 days before the official suit is filed. Notices of a claim must include, but are not limited to, the following pieces of information:
- The injured patient's name and date of birth
- The full list of medical providers included in the malpractice claim
- Authorization for the providers named in the suit to access complete medical records
Beyond the information included in the notice, the law also spells out how the notice should be delivered. It's possible for the notice to be delivered directly or by mail. Additionally, there are specifications enumerated for each mode of delivery.
It's important to make sure all of the legal requirements are met when compiling the notice of claim. Failure to be thorough in this regard could jeopardize the success of the suit when it is filed with the court.
Knowing how complex -- and specific -- state law is in regard to lawsuit notification, it's worth noting that this blog post shouldn't be considered specific legal advice. A trustworthy attorney can provide more guidance. More than anything, injured patients can benefit from understanding their rights and steps they must take to be covered for their losses.