Residents of Nashville rely on the speedy, helpful care of emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. When someone suffers an injury, it is often critical that an ambulance safety and quickly transports them to a hospital. Accident scenes are often chaotic, and paramedics are typically the first medical help to arrive on the scene. An increase in stress, confusion, and adrenaline all contribute to the possibility that an EMT or paramedic will commit medical malpractice.
Emergency medical situations involving paramedics can also result in medical malpractice cases when the paramedics do not use reasonable care when treating patients. Tennessee law allows an injured party to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against the EMTs or paramedics who treated them. To succeed, the injured person must demonstrate that the paramedic’s negligent or reckless treatment caused their injuries. Injuries resulting from paramedic malpractice can range from mild to severe. When the injured person is facing a lifetime of medical complications, a damage award of monetary compensation can help significantly.
Our EMT Paramedic Malpractice Attorney Can Help
If you or a loved one suffered an injury as a result of an EMT or paramedic’s negligence, Cummings Law can help. Attorney Brian Cummings has earned a reputation for being a skilled and assertive trial lawyer in Nashville. He has helped get his clients over $24,000,000.00 in damages for their injuries in just the past few years. He is one of the few attorneys who is Board Certified in Medical Malpractice by the American Board of Professional Liability attorneys. Mr. Cummings has the skills and experience to help you in your Nashville paramedic malpractice claim. If the negligence of an EMT or paramedic caused your injuries, contact our law firm to set up your free initial consultation.
Bringing a Paramedic EMT Malpractice Lawsuit in Tennessee
In Tennessee, plaintiffs can bring a medical malpractice lawsuit against a medical health care provider, including paramedics and EMTs. Tennessee medical malpractice plaintiffs must file their lawsuit within the statute of limitations, which is one year of the date of the injury. The law makes an exception for plaintiffs who didn’t discover their injury until after it occurred.
In no instances, however, may someone file a medical malpractice lawsuit more than three years after the injury took place. If you have questions about the Tennessee statute of limitations in your potential claim, it would be wise to speak to Nashville personal injury attorney Brian Cummings, who will advise you as to the applicable law.
Medical professionals owe their patients an elevated standard of care. All people owe each other a duty of reasonable care to act as an ordinary person would under the circumstances.
Paramedic malpractice plaintiffs must prove that the paramedic or EMT failed to act according to the medical standard of care. A paramedic must use the skill ordinarily processed and used by members of the paramedic profession in a similar practice locality as the paramedic. The plaintiff must prove the following:
- The defendant paramedic or EMT failed to act as a reasonable paramedic in a similar locality would under the circumstances, and
- The paramedic or EMT’s actions caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries he or she would not have otherwise incurred
Common examples of paramedic medical malpractice could include any of the following instances:
- An ambulance taking too long to arrive at a victim’s house resulting in additional brain damage
- An ambulance driver negligently operates the ambulance resulting in a motor vehicle accident that causes injuries
- An EMT gives their patient the wrong medication or an incorrect medication dose, resulting in an injury
- An EMT negligently fails to determine a broken neck or breathing issue resulting in additional injury or death
In Tennessee, a plaintiff can bring a lawsuit against a paramedic and may be able to sue the ambulance company who employed then. The injured party may be able to bring a suit against a city or municipality that employed the negligent paramedic or EMT. The Tennessee Health Care Liability Act requires that a plaintiff submit expert testimony in all medical malpractice cases. Attorney Brian Cummings has decades of experience at trial and will help you determine which defendants to sue as well as the best expert witnesses for your lawsuit.
Tennessee Holds to the Legal Doctrine of Comparative Negligence
Successful paramedic malpractice plaintiffs are entitled to several different types of compensation. Tennessee juries award damages based on the plaintiff’s level of comparative fault. In Tennessee, a jury may find the plaintiff to be at fault to some degree. The jury will subtract the plaintiff’s percentage of responsibility for his or her injuries from the damages amount. Those injured by the negligence of paramedics and EMTs are often not themselves negligent.
Many times, victims of paramedic malpractice are in dangerous medical conditions and at the mercy of the paramedics and EMTs attempting to help them. If you are concerned that your actions contributed to your injuries in some way, Attorney Brian Cummings can skillfully advise you. He enjoys a successful record of securing high settlement amounts and damage awards at trial.
Compensation Available to Successful Paramedic Malpractice Plaintiffs
Compensatory damages are meant to put the plaintiff in the same place he or she was before the injury. Tennessee courts split compensatory damages into actual losses and general damages.
Courts award actual damages to reimburse the plaintiff for any out-of-pocket expenses they experienced as a result of their injuries, such as:
- Medical and physical therapy bills
- The cost of medical prescriptions
- The cost of in-home nursing care
- Lost wages
Courts award general damages to compensate the victim for losses that are more difficult to quantify, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Future medical costs
- Loss of future wages
- Loss of consortium
The last category of damages is punitive damages. Courts only award punitive damages in egregious cases. The plaintiff must prove that the defendant acted intentionally, maliciously, recklessly, or fraudulently with clear and convincing evidence. The Tennessee legislature limited the total amount of punitive damages. Punitive damages cannot exceed two times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever amount is higher.
Contact Nashville EMT Paramedic Malpractice Attorney
EMTs and paramedics are often the first help to arrive in severe accidents and medical emergencies. Typically, first responders help save lives. In some instances, however, EMTs and paramedics act negligently or recklessly and cause their patients to suffer additional injuries. If you or your family member suffered an injury at the hands of an EMT or paramedic or EMT, Nashville medical malpractice attorney Brian Cummings can help. Contact our Nashville office to set up your free consultation as soon as possible.