This article has been fact checked by an experienced birth injury attorney. Sources of information for the article are listed at the bottom.
For any content issues please Contact Us.
If your child has been discriminated against or has cerebral palsy due to the negligence of medical professionals, you have the right to take legal action. You have a chance to win justice for your child, but it’s essential to understand the basic steps of the Tennessee cerebral palsy lawsuit filing process. Let an experienced lawyer who understands complicated state laws guide you and give you the best shot of winning your lawsuit.
What Kind of Lawsuit Do I Need to File in Tennessee for My Child with Cerebral Palsy?
Medical malpractice is a legal term that refers to a situation in which medical negligence harms a patient. In the case of cerebral palsy, there are many mistakes a doctor or other professional might make that could trigger brain damage and contribute to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
For instance, if your doctor failed to track fetal distress during delivery and realized a C-section was necessary, your child could develop brain damage. This can lead to cerebral palsy.
Get Matched with a Leading Birth Injury Attorney in Your AreaGet Help Now
Discrimination and Disability Rights
The laws of Tennessee, as well as federal laws, prohibit discrimination in several areas based on disability. But if your child or your family is experiencing discrimination, it can lead to less access, limited services, limited housing options, and fewer opportunities for your child.
To resolve the situation and, in some cases, recover damages, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education.
The Filing Process for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Tennessee
To get through this process as smoothly as possible, it helps to understand Tennessee’s laws better related to medical malpractice lawsuit filing. You must follow specific steps and meet specific deadlines and requirements:
- Statute of Limitations. To begin, you need to make sure you are filing within Tennessee’s statute of limitations. You must file within one year of the negligent medical incident or within one year of discovering it if it was not immediately apparent. Even if you go by the second part of the law, you cannot file any more than three years after the incident.
- Damages. Tennessee has capped non-economic damages at $750,000. You may recover up to $1 million in the case of catastrophic harm. Economic damages are not capped. Let your lawyer access your medical records and bills and all other relevant expenses to estimate straight losses to seek for past, current, and future costs of cerebral palsy in your child.
- Certificate of Good Faith. Tennessee law requires that you submit this certificate before beginning a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is a document certifying that your lawyer has consulted with a qualified medical expert to ensure that your case is not frivolous. The expert must express a good reason to believe negligence occurred.
- Filing. With the certificate complete, your lawyer can file the complaint that officially begins the lawsuit. It details your allegations, notifies the defendants, and begins a period of discovery during which both sides investigate and build a case.
- Settlement. Before going to trial, your lawyer is likely to begin negotiations for an agreement. Most malpractice cases end here, but you have the right to approve or reject any settlement offers from the defendants.
- Trial. If a settlement cannot be reached, you and your lawyer will take your case to court, present evidence, call on witnesses, and prove to the jury that malpractice occurred and harmed your child. The jury decides in the end and awards any damages.
Filing a Discrimination Complaint or Lawsuit in Tennessee
If your child experiences discrimination, you can file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission (HRC). The process varies depending on the situation, but generally, the complaint will serve to notify the respondent and trigger an investigation by the HRC.
The HRC will also try to mediate a resolution, but if this fails, the investigation will lead to a decision.
If the HRC finds reasonable cause for discrimination, you may resolve the issue in a guided conciliation or go through a hearing. Tennessee also allows you to take private action, suing those responsible.
If your complaint is related to educational services, your lawyer can help you take the appropriate steps.
You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education, as federal laws ensure disabled children receive a free and proper education.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Tennessee Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?
Yes, you need the right lawyer for the filing process. You can legally represent yourself and your child, but doing so means risking everything you can gain from a lawsuit.
You need an advocate who understands the state laws that apply and how to go up against the high-powered legal teams of doctors and hospitals.
Find the right Tennessee cerebral palsy lawyer by searching for an individual or firm specializing in the kind of lawsuit you want to file.
The state bar association can help you in your search, but you may also want to turn to people you know, other parents, or a local organization that works with disabled people.
As you begin the process of filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit for your child in Tennessee, remember that your lawyer will provide you with valuable advice and guidance.
Rely on the right legal professional, get a better understanding of the filing process and state laws, and you can be sure that you are doing everything possible to give your child a better life.
- Morton, H. (2021, July 13). Medical Liability/Medical Malpractice Laws. National Conference of State Legislatures.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/medical-liability-medical-malpractice-laws.aspx
- Morton, H. (2021, August 11). Medical Liability/Malpractice Merit Affidavits and Expert Witnesses. National Conference of State Legislatures.
Retrieved from: https://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/medical-liability-malpractice-merit-affidavits-and-expert-witnesses.aspx
- Complaint Process. (n.d.). Tennessee Human Rights Commission.
Retrieved from: https://www.tn.gov/humanrights/file-a-discrimination-complaint/complaint-process.html