I believe that my father victim of malpractice by a nursing home, but no lawyer will take my case. Why not?
There are several possibilities.
First, there are relatively few lawyers in the state that represent medical malpractice victims. In fact, my guess is that far less than one percent of lawyers regularly handle medical malpractice cases for patients. I have represented malpractice victims for over thirty years, and have seen the number of lawyers willing to accept these cases dwindle over the years. Therefore, you may be asking the wrong lawyers.
Second, you may not have a valid case. The mere fact that a person is injured during medical care or has an undesirable outcome does not mean that malpractice has been committed. Experienced medical malpractice lawyers do a good job evaluating cases without doing a full investigation of those cases.
Third, your father’s case may have merit but your he may not have sufficient losses such that a lawyer can afford to represent you on a contingent fee basis. The time and expense of handling medical malpractice cases is so substantial that, as a practical matter, only those people who have suffered very serious injuries or death can be helped by a lawyer. This is a tragedy but it is also an economic reality.
Tennessee imposes a heavier burden on people who sue health care providers than is imposed on any other type of litigation. In addition, new laws passed by the Tennessee Legislature limit the amount of damages that can be recovered in such cases.
Therefore, the combination of difficult legal burdens plus limits on damages means that few lawyers are willing to handle these cases and those that do can no longer accept some cases that have merit but cannot be economically pursued. This is exactly what the health care lobbyists intended when they pushed for this legislation.