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If you’ve been seriously injured, you need serious advice. Put our years of experience to work for you and your family. Contact us today for a FREE evaluation.

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If you’ve been seriously injured, you need serious advice. Put our years of experience to work for you and your family. Contact us today for a FREE evaluation.

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Johnson City

Personal Injury Lawyers

Seaton Lawyers

For more than three decades, the experienced injury attorneys at Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC have been fighting to protect injured individuals across Tennessee. When someone else’s reckless or careless actions cause you harm, turn to a team that knows how to get you the answers, compensation, and justice that you deserve.

We firmly believe that you deserve more than just an apology when a catastrophic accident impacts your health, your finances, and your family. We are here to help you get the money you need to pay your medical bills, replace or repair damaged property, and get back on your feet.

Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC are active members of our community and we have been helping clients all over Upper East Tennessee since 1984. Our charitable efforts include volunteering at “Say No To Drugs, Say Yes To Fishing,” providing clothing, toys, and winter apparel to the children of our local Headstart Program, collecting food donations for the Junior League’s annual Food Drive 2016, volunteering at the 2015 Blue Plum Festival, and collecting school supplies for Good Samaritan Ministries annual School Supply Drive, among other events and activities. Tony Seaton also offers monthly Free Legal Advice Clinics.

We are passionate about our community, and we are committed to helping you if you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Turn to us for the qualified legal counsel that you need and deserve. Call (423) 282-1041or complete an online contact form to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable member of our team today.

Our Results

$1.4 Million

$1.4 million in punitive damages assessed by jury to apartment complex owner after woman fell on ice.

$4.5 Million

Recovered $4,500,000 for a family of 4 who were severely injured when the driver of a tanker truck was speeding through a red light and plowed into the family’s vehicle.

$625 Thousand

Recovered $625,000 for a lady who was grocery shopping when she slipped on grease in the floor causing severe injuries and resulting in a total hip replacement.

$500 Thousand

Recovered $500,000 for an elderly lady who was severely injured when a negligent driver pulled out in front of her causing a crash.

$440 Thousand

Recovered $440,000 for a woman after she was t-boned by a negligent driver causing severe, permanent back injuries.

$2 Million

Recovered over $2,000,000 for a family of 4 who sustained permanent, life threatening injuries in a car crash caused by a negligent driver who crossed the center line and hit the family head on.

Tony Seaton
Tony Seaton is a sixth generation, upper East Tennessean who has practiced in Upper East Tennessee for over 38 years.  He started his own practice 34 years ago concentrating his skills in serious injury law.  In the past five years Tony and the lawyers in his firm have spent hundreds of hours per year developing state of the art trial skills through the Keenan Trial Colleges.
Robert Bates
“I grew up the son of a cattle farmer.  I learned the value of hard work and what it’s like to be the little man.  That’s why I fight.  I enjoy the fight.  I see myself and my family in the good people I represent.  I am honored to earn their trust and I do not take it for granted. God willing, I will always stand up to corporations and insurance companies and enforce rules that keep us all safe.”
Jesse Campbell
Jesse Campbell is a lifelong native of Northeast Tennessee. After graduating from High School, Jesse attended East Tennessee State University before enlisting in the United States Army shortly after 9/11. After nearly a decade of service that took him around the world, including deployments to Iraq, Bosnia, and the Horn of Africa, Jesse left the Army and took advantage of the G.I. Bill to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Tusculum College, followed by a law degree at the Appalachian School of Law, where he graduated with honors.
Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of Tennessee, Thomas earned his law degree at the University of Tennessee College of Law where he graduated with a concentration in advocacy and dispute resolution in 2016. While in law school, he was a member of the Tennessee Law Review from 2014-2016.

Cases We Handle


Amber was truly worth her weight in gold. She became to be almost a family member. She helped us keep the faith that there would be a light at the end of the long road.

Mr. Bates was very efficient and helpful throughout the entire process. My case seemed pretty cut and dried. However, by the time he was finished, I came out much better than I expected. He and his staff were professional while personable at the same time. They put me at ease and consistently reminded me that I had done nothing wrong. I would not hesitate to return to Bob myself or to recommend him to friends and family.

- Carol

The experience I had with Tony Seaton was perfect. He takes the time to listen to your needs and he is down to earth. He is someone you can actually talk to. He is no like other lawyers.

- Dale

I found Robert to be very in tune with what I needed in this process in regards to my personal situation. The follow-up from him and his assistant, Jennifer, was very consistent. I found them both to be very personable, related well, and were interested in not just a settlement but also that all my needs were being addressed. I can only say that Robert does what he says and kept me in a very knowledgeable position throughout the process. It is my belief that Robert would continue to be very consistent in all of these traits with anyone he represents.

- Gary

I was very pleased with Mr. Bates as my attorney. He was very knowledgeable and respectful. He kept me informed of my case and asked my opinion on everything. He took care of my needs and got the suit over with much faster than I anticipated. He answered all questions of mine quickly and was very helpful. He also greatly reduced my medical bills in a short amount of time. I would highly recommend him to anyone who needs a personal injury attorney due to an accident.

- Dylan

Robert picked up my case from another in-house attorney and never missed a beat. He stayed the course in a longer than usual process. His insight was good and he kept me informed. … plus we won our case!!!

- Jim

Seaton Lawyers

About Our Firm

Seaton & Bates

Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC emphasizes a team approach to every case. You will not just get one attorney, but an entire team of legal specialists.

Tony Seaton is a sixth generation, upper East Tennessean who has received an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a peer rating denoting the highest level of professional excellence. He is Board Certified Specialist in Civil Trial Practice.

Mr. Seaton has more than three decades of legal experience and won the Tennessee Association for Justice Paladin Award in 2012. He is a member of the American Association of Justice and the Tennessee Association of Justice. Robert Bates has extensive trial experience and has achieved seven-figure verdicts and settlements. He is a member of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association who was a Dean's Scholar and graduated in the top five of his class at the Appalachian School of Law.

Mr. Bates was named a Top 10 Lawyer Under 40 Years Old by the National Association of Personal Injury Attorneys in 2015. He is a member of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association and Washington County Bar Association. Our lawyers are active participants in seminars and legal courses, so they are continually studying new trial techniques. We have a dedicated staff that will always be ready to help you in any way we can, and our firm will always answer every one of your questions.

Tennessee Personal Injury Statistics

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security reported there were 4,073 total crashes in Washington County in 2017, including 10 fatal crashes, 664 injury crashes, and 3,399 property damage only (PDO) crashes. There were 4,204 crashes in Sullivan County, including 17 fatal crashes, 1,070 injury crashes, and 3,117 PDO crashes, and there were 1,231 crashes in Carter County, including five fatal crashes, 254 injury crashes, and 972 PDO crashes.


TN Accidental Deaths in 2016


TN Traffic Fatalities in 2016


TN Pedestrian Deaths in 2016

In 2017, Washington County had 10 traffic fatalities, Sullivan County had 17 traffic fatalities, and Carter County had five traffic fatalities. In 2016, Washington County had eight fatalities, Sullivan County had 16 fatalities, and Carter County had seven fatalities.

According to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Washington County had 155 large or medium truck crashes in 2006, 142 crashes in 2007, and 117 crashes in 2008. There were 179 large or medium truck crashes in Sullivan County in 2006, 163 in 2007, and 131 in 2008. There were 42 crashes in Carter County in 2006, 33 in 2007, and 42 in 2008. Statewide in Tennessee, there were 115 traffic fatalities involving large trucks statewide in 2017, 111 in 2016, 119 in 2015, 113 in 2014, and 119 in 2013.

The Department of Safety and Homeland Security reported that 147 motorcyclists were killed in Tennessee in 2016, and 133 of the 147 fatalities were wearing helmets. The total number of fatalities and the number of helmeted fatalities were both the highest totals of any year since 1998.

The 302 bicycle accidents in Tennessee in 2018 included five fatal crashes, 280 injury accidents, and 17 PDO crashes. In 2017, there were 435 total bicycle accidents, including eight fatal crashes, 375 injury accidents, and 52 PDO crashes.

What Type of Compensation Could I Receive?

When you have been involved in an accident, the insurance company for the negligent party is usually likely to resolve the case through a settlement. Insurers prefer to settle cases rather than bearing the costs of going to trial, not to mention risking a possibly jury award.

Settlements are supposed to cover all of the expenses a victim has incurred or will incur because of their injuries. When a settlement is not possible, then the victim may have to file a lawsuit to try their case in court.

When a victim proves their case by a preponderance of the evidence, they can be awarded compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are usually a combination of economic damages and noneconomic damages.

Economic damages refer to tangible losses a person has suffered that can be calculated and proven, like medical expenses, lost income, and property damage. Noneconomic damages are far more subjective and do not have financial values, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.

Tennessee Code § 29-39-104 also allows punitive damages to be awarded if a victim proves by clear and convincing evidence that a defendant acted maliciously, intentionally, fraudulently or recklessly. Punitive damages cannot exceed an amount equal to the greater of two times the total amount of compensatory damages awarded or $500,000.

The limitation (or “cap”) on punitive damages does not apply when a defendant had a specific intent to inflict serious physical injury, was under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or any other intoxicant or stimulant, was convicted of a felony as a result of their actions, or intentionally falsified, destroyed or concealed records to evade liability.

FAQs About Personal Injury in Tennessee

Under Tennessee Code § 28-3-104(a)(1)(B), a civil action needs to be commenced within one year of the date of the accident. A person also has one year to file a wrongful death claim, but the limitations period begins on the date of a person’s death instead. The date a person dies may be several days, weeks, or months after their original accident.

Yes. Tennessee once allowed the common law defense of contributory negligence, which prohibits a person from recovering any damages when their own negligence contributes to an accident in any way, even just 1 percent of fault. The Supreme Court of Tennessee replaced this system with one of comparative fault with its decision in McIntyre v. Balentine, 833 S.W.2d 52 (Tenn. 1992). The Supreme Court of Tennessee ruled that a plaintiff can recover damages as long as they were less negligent less than a defendant, but the damages will be reduced in proportion to the plaintiff’s negligence. In other words, a person who is awarded $100,000 but is found to have been 25 percent at fault for their injuries would have their damages reduced by $25,000 and ultimately receive $75,000.

A contingency fee is essentially a percentage of an award that will be paid to an attorney for legal services. Contingency fee agreements work such that a person does not pay anything up front for legal representation. Instead, the fee is only collected if the person receives a monetary award. Contingency fee agreements typically work out well for all parties because accident victims already facing financial stress do not have to worry about new money problems and lawyers can increase their own share by negotiating a maximum settlement or verdict.

Did you suffer severe injuries or was your loved one killed in an accident caused by another party’s negligence in the greater Johnson City area? It will be very important for you to make sure you retain legal counsel before you speak to any insurance company about your accident.

Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC can fight to help you recover every dollar of compensation that you are entitled to. You can have our attorneys discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call [phone-number] or complete an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.