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Call us today at (423) 282-1041 if you’ve been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence.

Johnson City Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Patients should be able to expect a certain standard of care from the medical professionals they entrust with their lives. When that standard is breached, patients can hold them accountable under medical negligence or medical malpractice laws.

Some of the reasons for filing a medical malpractice claim include failure to diagnose, medication errors, misreading X-rays, performing procedures without consent, failure to warn of the risks or side effects of treatment, and other actions or inactions. Serious medical errors can have significant consequences that can include costly corrective procedures or lifelong complications for the patient. In other cases, the results can be fatal.

If you suffered catastrophic injuries or your loved one died as a result of medical malpractice in the Greater Johnson City area, you’ll want a skilled personal injury attorney working on your behalf. The Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC handle medical malpractice cases for clients in communities all over Upper East Tennessee and works to make sure victims get every dollar of compensation they need and deserve. Though no amount of money can take away your pain and suffering or bring back your loved one, recovering financial compensation can help you stay financially stable and find some closure after such a horrific incident. For an honest and thorough evaluation of your case, call us at (423) 282-1041 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

Do I Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

Medical malpractice claims are much different from ordinary personal injury actions. Tennessee state law requires that any person who intends to file a medical malpractice lawsuit first give written notice of any claim to each health care provider against whom the claim is being made. An expert witness will also be required for an affidavit of merit.

An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you deal with these types of requirements. Also, your lawyer will handle all communications with any insurance company, so you don’t have to.

Insurers occasionally offer victims lump-sum settlements to resolve their cases, but people who accept these amounts quickly learn that they are not adequate for covering future medical expenses. The Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC can make sure you get a settlement that accounts for all your past, present, and future bills.

Why Choose the Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC to Handle My Case?

Tony Seaton is a board-certified specialist in Civil Trial Practice with over 30 years of legal experience and an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He also was the recipient of the Tennessee Association for Justice Paladin Award in 2012.

Robert Bates was named to the Top 40 Under 40 list by the National Association of Personal Injury Attorneys in 2015. He was also a Dean’s Scholar who graduated in the top five of his class at the Appalachian School of Law.

The Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC take a team approach to every case, so you will have multiple skilled attorneys assisting with your case. We will consult with medical experts to prove negligence and get you the justice you deserve. Our firm will conduct an independent investigation of your procedure to collect the necessary evidence and identify all potentially liable parties. We have years of experience dealing with medical records.

Our firm also handles these cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that there is no cost to you unless you receive a monetary award. The Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC will negotiate a fair and full settlement to your case, but we can also file a lawsuit when the settlement negotiations are unproductive.

Types of Medical Malpractice Cases We Handle

The Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC handle a wide variety of medical malpractice claims. Some of the most common kinds include but are not limited to:

  • Failure to Diagnose or Misdiagnosis — A failure to diagnose involves a medical professional not diagnosing a disease or condition when they should have; a misdiagnosis occurs when the wrong condition is diagnosed. Conditions commonly involved in these cases include cancer, stroke, and heart attacks.
  • Birth Injuries — Birth injuries are different from birth defects. A birth defect is an unavoidable genetic condition, but a birth injury is caused by medical negligence. Common birth injuries include cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injuries, and injuries caused by forceps.
  • Surgical Errors — Doctors can make an error during a surgical procedure. These errors can be the result of performing surgery on the wrong area of the body, leaving a piece of equipment in the patient, or causing nerve injuries during an operation.
  • Medication Errors — Doctors may prescribe drugs that are not ideal for their patients. In some cases, miscommunication with a pharmacy can result in a patient receiving the wrong medication.
  • Anesthesia Errors — Anesthesia needs to be administered correctly. An error in the anesthesia dosage, delay in the delivery of anesthesia, and failure to monitor anesthesia are some of the most common mistakes.

Questions may arise about who qualifies as a health care provider. According to Tennessee Code § 29-26-101(2), a health care provider is defined as:

  • A health care practitioner licensed in Tennessee, including medical resident physicians, interns, and fellows
  • A licensed nongovernmental health care facility
  • The employee of a health care provider involved in the provision of health care services
  • A professional corporation or company or any legal entity that is not itself required to be licensed but which employs one or more licensed health care practitioners

Any or all of these people or entities may be held liable for your medical malpractice accident, depending on the details of your case. Your lawyer will be able to investigate your accident to identify all the liable parties.

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is an especially technical area of the law, and many people who find themselves caught up in a medical malpractice claim may feel overwhelmed and confused. We have provided the answers to some of the questions we hear most frequently at our office below, in order to alleviate some stress.

Under Tennessee Code § 28-3-104(a)(1)(B), you must file a civil action within one year of the date of the medical malpractice or the date that medical malpractice is discovered. A person cannot file a lawsuit any later than three years after the date that the malpractice occurred. If the victim is a minor, then the limitations period does not begin until their 18th birthday. In fatal medical malpractice cases, the limitations period for the wrongful death action begins on the date of a person’s death, which can be much later than when medical malpractice occurred.
Many medical malpractice cases are resolved through settlements. These settlements are typically designed to cover all costs a victim has incurred or will incur as a result of their injuries. When a case does go to court, a victim could be awarded compensatory damages, which often include economic damages and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are tangible losses that can be calculated (such as medical bills and lost wages), but noneconomic damages are more subjective and cannot be quantified (such as pain and suffering or loss of consortium).

A damage cap usually refers to a limit that a state imposes on certain kinds of damages in personal injury cases. In Tennessee, noneconomic damages are capped at $750,000 in medical malpractice cases, but exceptions for catastrophic injuries can result in the cap being raised to $1 million. Some of these catastrophic injury exceptions include:

  • Third-degree burns that cover 40 percent or more of the body or the face
  • Amputation of two feet, two hands, or one of each
  • Spinal cord injuries causing quadriplegia or paraplegia
  • The wrongful death of a parent of a minor child or children

The cap does not apply when a defendant 1) intentionally concealed records to avoid liability, 2) was under the influence to the point of substantial impairment causing injury or death, or 3) had a specific intent to inflict serious physical injury.

According to the 2017 Health Care Liability Claims Report from the Department of Commerce & Insurance, 1,605 health care liability claims were reported as closed in 2016. Another 1,271 claims were otherwise resolved, possibly through private trial, dismissal without action, or through by a reporting entity.

Claimants asserted a total of $3,386,968,735 in damages for health care liability related injuries in claims reported as closed in the 2016 reporting year, but were paid damages totaling $66,223,568 or 1.95 percent of the damages declared.

The top five types of health care liability claims in 2016 were:

  • Treatment-related (504 cases)
  • Surgery-related (287)
  • Diagnosis-related (264)
  • Monitoring-related (178)
  • Medication-related (86)
The top five causes of injury ranked by frequency in 2016 included:
  • Improper performance (188 cases)
  • Failure to monitor (155)
  • Failure to diagnose (134)
  • Vicarious liability (127)
  • Failure to treat (82)
The top five causes ranked by damages paid in 2016 were:
  • Failure to monitor ($16,891,713)
  • Improper performance ($13,224,863)
  • Failure to recognize a complication ($7,283,403)
  • Improper management ($6,035,400)
  • Failure to diagnose ($5,945,828)

Patients file medical malpractice claims for a variety of reasons, and each situation is unique. If you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, you’ll want legal representation to ensure fair compensation.

Contact a Johnson City Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you sustained serious injuries or your loved one was killed as a result of medical malpractice in the Johnson City area, do not wait to retain legal counsel. Medical malpractice claims in Tennessee are extremely complex, and an experienced attorney will know how to satisfy strict court requirements.

Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC understands how to obtain the kinds of evidence necessary in these types of cases and has access to an extensive network of medical experts. Call (423) 282-1041 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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