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What is professional negligence in Tennessee?

On Behalf of McNabb, Bragorgos, Burgess & Sorin, PLLC | Sep 7, 2022 | Premises Liability

Negligence is an act done without concern for the safety of others. Tennessee has laws surrounding ordinary negligence and professional negligence. An example of ordinary negligence is a driver texting while driving. Professional negligence is when a professional causes harm to you in their line of work when they shouldn’t have.

Standard of acceptable professional practice
Tennessee’s professional liability law outlines guidelines for what an acceptable professional practice is to help protect consumers. If a service provider breaches the standard of acceptable professional practice, then you might be able to file a lawsuit.

Duty of care
To file a lawsuit for professional negligence, the provider must have owed you a duty of care. If you get into a client-professional relationship, they owe you a duty of care. The standard of care that they must provide for you is what another competent professional would.

Breach of duty
When you take a professional to court for negligence, you need to prove that they breached their duty of care. This may involve consulting with medical professionals in their field about what reasonable care you should have received. Doctors must diagnose conditions correctly and in a timely manner. Surgeons have the professional liability to operate on the correct body part and remove surgical tools before closing the wound.

Harm or loss
Tennessee requires the plaintiff to prove that they experienced harm or loss because of the professional’s breach of duty. This could be physical injury, pain and suffering or financial loss. Lost wages and earning capacity count as financial harm.

Statute of limitations
You typically have one year from when you discovered the negligence to file a professional negligence lawsuit in Tennessee. For medical malpractice lawsuits, you must file a lawsuit within three years of the incident occurring.

People in Tennessee are held liable for both ordinary and professional carelessness. However, you normally have less time to file a case in this state than in other states.