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I need help with a medical malpractice case against a hospital. What are exceptions to statute of limitations of of 1 year inTN?

Pulaski, TN |

I want to sue a hospital for criminal negligence and medical malpractice in Tennessee. I was a patient in a mental hospital in December of 2011 and was raped by another patient. The nurses said it was not rape but "nonconsensual sex" and they told me that it had been taken cared of and that I did not need to talk about it anymore. I did not get a medical exam, no rape kit, no therapy, and the police did not talk to me. I know the statute of limitations for Tennessee for medical malpractice is one year, but there are supposed to be exceptions that can lengthen it to 3 years. But I cannot find those exceptions anywhere online and have not found a lawyer who is willing to give me advice about my case. I am disabled and receive disability payments from the government and have PTSD.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

When it applies, the "discovery rule" allows a lawsuit to be filed within a certain period of time after the injury is discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered.

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Posted

Thank you for your reply. I am not sure how the discovery rule would apply in a psychiatric case. I did not decide that a lawsuit was warranted until sometime in the summer of 2012 when I realized how much pain the hospital caused me in mishandling my rape and silencing me. My primary concern was finding and prosecuting the rapist. A couple of weeks ago, the police department in Nashville found the man and he is now claiming that he never had sexual contact with me (even though he admitted to it the night of the rape when the nurses asked him about it). The failure of the hospital staff to perform a rape kit or medical exam has caused considerable damage to my case against the rapist since I do not have actual evidence that he sexually assaulted me, and it has basically turned into "He said, she said". Would that count as an injury being discovered and apply to the "discovery rule" or is it a moot point since I already suffered emotional damage from how the hospital handled the situation? Thank you.

Posted

You need to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. In Tennessee if proper notice is given to a potential medical defendant, it extends the statute of limitations by 120 days. Giving notice is very detail oriented process that has to be done in a very specific way. You need to obtain copies of all your medical records from that facility and your case needs to be evaluated to determine whether there is any additional cause of action other than medical malpractice as well.

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Posted

Thank you for your reply- it was very helpful. I will get the medical records tomorrow when the office at the hospital opens. I have had professionals tell me this is a classic case of "criminal negligence" and even accessory after the fact. My uncle is a lawyer and could help me evaluate the case further, although he is a public defender and does not specialize is representing plaintiffs. Thank you.

Posted

I agree with Mr. Hardin. Your best option is to consult with a local Medical Malpractice attorney to review the details of your case and advocate on your behalf. I hope you found my answer helpful.

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It was helpful. Thank you- I have been trying to find a lawyer to take my case for months now and have learned a lot in my search.

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