What constitutes medical malpractice?

UPDATED: Oct 5, 2011

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What constitutes medical malpractice?

I have been going to a particular clinic for several years with several symptoms that were first thought to be MS but no concrete diagnosis was given. Over time, it has gotten much worse and 2 years ago I lost my job due to all of this. I went to a different doctor a few months ago who sent me for another MRI. The results showed I had 2 congenital defects in my spine which should have been caught on the earlier MRI’s. Both of these defects exhibit the exact symptoms that I reported to the neurologist at the beginning. What are my options at this point?

Asked on October 5, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Tennessee


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Medical malpractice is negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that in this case a reasonable neurologist in the community would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

You should obtain your medical records from the first neurologist and the medical report from the second doctor who correctly diagnosed your condition.  The second doctor's report may provide evidence of malpractice.

Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence against the first neurologist, it may be possible to settle the case with  that doctor's insurance carrier.  Your claim should include the medical bills, medical reports from both doctors and documentation of wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your medical condition and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the neurologist's insurance carrier, you can reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the neurologist.  If the case is settled with the insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

It would be advisable to speak with a medical malpractice attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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