Tennessee’s Deadline for Filing A Health Care Liability (Medical Malpractice) Case

Tennessee law requires that appropriate action must be taken to initiate a Tennessee medical malpractice lawsuit (now known as a health care liability action) within one year of the date of the incident that causes an injury.  Cases are initiated by serving a formal notice on the persons or entities that may be sued in the case.  Filing the notice is a complicated endeavor, and it is recommended that you seek legal advice and a lawyer’s help in giving notice.  I strongly discourage a patient from attempting to comply with the notice law without the assistance of a lawyer.

Under certain circumstances, you may have additional time to file suit.  That is, the date the one-year period for taking legal action may begin on a date later than the date of the error that caused the injury or death.  However, determining whether one of these exceptions applies to your claim is a complicated, risky endeavor, and you are advised to never assume that the deadline for taking legal action will expire after the one-year anniversary date of the incident which caused the injury or death.  Seek the advice of an experienced Tennessee medical malpractice lawyer for help identifying whether any exception to the general rule applies under the facts of your situation.

Usually, a lawyer will need to review your medical records to determine when the deadline for taking legal action.  It can take six weeks or more to obtain the appropriate records from the health care providers.  Do not – I repeat, do not – wait eight or nine months after an injury has occurred to seek the advice of a lawyer.  An experienced medical malpractice lawyer needs time to obtain and evaluate the medical records.


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