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Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Knoxville

Seeking Just Compensation for Victims Injured by Medical Negligence Across Tennessee

Find Out If You Have a Case

Medical malpractice, also called medical negligence, is an injury that a patient suffers from a treatment as a direct violation of the governing standard of care by the health care provider.

One slip-up can have huge repercussions in the medical field. A simple mistake is unacceptable when a human life is on the line.

Unfortunately, these slip-ups, known as malpractice, are all too common in the health care, and patients need reliable legal support to defend them when these mistakes happen.

When a health care provider fails to act in accordance with acceptable professional practice and injures or causes the death of a patient, that health care provider has committed medical malpractice.

Examples of malpractice can include:

Not only do victims of medical malpractice often lose money by not working during the recovery period, they can experience suffering, pain, and a heavy load of medical expenses. In many cases, the cost of medical malpractice reappears years after the injury has occurred.

Estimating your total cost of damages and finding proper representation in court is crucial in medical malpractice cases, where doctors hire a strong defense team to dodge the blame.

Any type of health care provider can commit medical malpractice, including:

  • Hospitals and nursing homes
  • Emergency and walk-in clinics
  • Doctors and psychologists
  • Nurses and nurse's aides
  • Physical therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Chiropractors

How much is your medical malpractice case worth?

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How You Know You Have a Claim

Knowing if you have a valid claim can be tough. Consider your case and evaluate it based on these four qualifications to prove medical malpractice:

  1. A doctor-patient relationship was present. It must be obvious that there was an agreed upon contract between the doctor and patient—the doctor was directly involved with the treatment or operation.
  2. The doctor was negligent. You can't just sue if you're unhappy with the results. The doctor must have "breached" proper conduct and harmed you in a way another competent doctor would not have.
  3. The injury was caused by the doctor's negligence. The injury obtained from the treatment or operation was a direct result of the doctor's incompetence, not a prior condition.
  4. The injury resulted in damages. Even if malpractice occurred, a patient can't sue if no harm was done. There must be proven damages as a direct result of the malpractice.
If you, or someone you know, feel that you have a claim, call (866) 518-4063 for a free consultation.
Don't wait. Let one of our experienced attorneys evaluate your case today.

In the state of Tennessee, medical malpractice damages that may be awarded to patients fall into three categories:

  • General: these are damages the patient receives from mental and physical suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and/or loss of future earning capability. General damages are not measurable—thus difficult to calculate—but real nonetheless, and our expert malpractice attorneys are highly-skilled at determining the cost of general damages.
  • Special: damages received for the measurable costs of malpractice—medical bills and missed work—as well as the estimated cost of future medical expenses.
  • Punitive: damages that are a direct result of intentional negligence by the doctor. These cases are less common, but occur when the doctor deliberately and unnecessarily puts the patient in a harmful circumstance.

Patients injured by medical malpractice are entitled to compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages and future loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and future pain
  • Suffering and future suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life, and future loss of enjoyment of life

If a death occurs, the patient's loved ones can also request compensation on behalf of the victim. Wrongful death and survival statutes assist the surviving family in recovering the expenses of medical bills, compensation for loss of income, as well as pain and suffering from grief.

In a Tennessee wrongful death action, the family of the patient is entitled to compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost wages from the time of injury to death
  • Lost future earnings of the deceased
  • Loss of companionship for certain immediate family members

Why You Need an Experienced Attorney

Medical malpractice is a complex lawsuit that involves an in-depth knowledge of the medical field, and an expertise with the specific laws concerning medical malpractice in the state in which it is filed.

Since 1973, Gilreath & Associates has continually provided the best representations for patients seeking just compensation for medical injuries. Our Tennessee lawyers are the best in the state and have won cases all around the southeast region, both in and out of court.

In 1994, our skilled medical malpractice attorneys won a $7.6 million case for a woman paralyzed during neck surgery—Steele vs. Ft. Sanders Anesthesia Group, P.C. Another $3.5 million was claimed for a client who sued for failure to diagnose a fracture that resulted in paralysis. These are just a couple of our many malpractice wins.

At Gilreath & Associates, we specialize in medical malpractice in the state of Tennessee and surrounding communities, and we offer our clients expert representation that only comes from years of experience in the courtroom.

In addition to decades of experience, we offer:

  • Free consultations
  • Expert attorneys
  • Specialized knowledge of medical malpractice cases
  • The perfect combination of legal skill, aggressive advocacy, and concerned support for every client

Medical malpractice is serious. And so are our attorneys when it comes to fighting for proper compensation for our clients.

In medical malpractice cases, time is critical. Act now.

What is the Tennessee statute of limitations on filing a malpractice claim?
Generally, you only have 1 year from the date of injury to file a medical malpractice claim in Tennessee.

In some circumstances, if the injury is not discovered in that 1 year period from the date of injury, the time period to file a claim is extended to 1 year from the date of discovery.

Any suit for medical malpractice in Tennessee must be brought within 3 years of the wrongful act or omission regardless of when it was discovered, absent fraudulent concealment. Patients seeking just compensation for medical negligence need to act now to obtain proper representation.

Any medical malpractice action is a highly complicated endeavor requiring meticulous handling by a highly experienced malpractice attorney. The short time to file a claim, coupled with the complexity of proving negligence on the part of the health care provider, makes this a highly specialized area of the law.

medical malpractice cases

Our associates are the premier medical malpractice lawyers in Tennessee, with the experience and knowledge to assist you in your time of need.

Elements of Damage

If you prevail in a medical malpractice issue in Tennessee, you are entitled to compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses, past and future
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain (past and future)
  • Suffering (past and future)
  • Loss of enjoyment of life (past and future)

In a wrongful death action, you are entitled to recover:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Lost wages (from the time of injury to death)
  • The difference between the present value of your earning capacity less the present value of projected living expenses
  • Loss of companionship and services for certain close family members.

Medical Malpractice FAQ

What is medical malpractice in Tennessee?

Medical malpractice is the failure of a health care provider to act in accordance with acceptable professional practice, which causes a patient an injury. Medical malpractice is another name for medical negligence. Click here to read a review of recent decisions affecting medical malpractice lawyers (from The Tennessee Trial Lawyer) by Richard L. Duncan.


Who can commit medical malpractice?

Any type of health care provider can commit medical malpractice. The medical malpractice lawyers from our Tennessee offices are experienced in negligence cases including hospitals, nursing homes, emergency clinics, walk-in clinics, doctors, nurses, nurse's aides, physical therapists, pharmacists, psychologists, chiropractors, and podiatrists.

A bad result is NOT enough to have a medical malpractice case.

Under state law, you must prove the following with enough evidence to win a medical malpractice lawsuit in Tennessee:

First, what is the standard of care in the profession and specialty of the defendant (the person or entity sued) in the community or in a similar community?

Then prove:

  1. That the defendant failed to comply with that standard ("breach" of the standard of care).
  2. That the plaintiff was injured as a proximate result (legal result) of the breach of the standard ("proximate cause" and "injury"), which injury would not have otherwise occurred. The negligence must be "a" proximate cause of injury; but it does not have to be the "only" cause. All of the above need only be proved to a 51 percent likelihood.

Because of the complexity of medical malpractice cases in Tennessee and elsewhere, we recommend contacting one of our knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyers in Tennessee for a free consultation.


How do you prove the standard of care?

Standard of care must usually be proved by a witness in a relevant profession or specialty who has practiced in Tennessee or a contiguous state within the one year prior to the alleged injury or wrongful act ("the expert witness"). It is very difficult to find a competent respected expert who will testify for the plaintiff, and to do so costs thousands of dollars. An expert is usually needed to prove proximate cause as well. Tennessee doctors almost never testify that another doctor has committed medical malpractice. Like members of most professions, doctors are reluctant to testify that another doctor committed medical malpractice. Our professional medical malpractice lawyers at our offices in Tennessee will guide you through this process.


What is informed consent?

A physician must follow the standard of care in giving you information prior to performing treatment on you. In Tennessee, the standard is determined by what information a reasonable doctor would give the patient, not what information a patient thinks is important. Usually, you must sign a form indicating your consent prior to anesthesia and surgical procedures. Consent to perform surgery is not consent to perform surgery negligently. A patient consents only to the risks that occur when the physician is doing what he/she is supposed to be doing, not to injuries that result from negligent acts.


What are defenses to a medical negligence suit?

  • The healthcare provider did not deviate from the standard of care
  • Any deviation from the standard of care did not cause the injuries complained of
  • The injuries were caused by an unavoidable process
  • The plaintiff was partially or entirely at fault*
  • The injuries were caused by the negligence of someone else

*In Tennessee, if the patient is 50 percent or more at fault, the patient recovers nothing. If a patient is 49 percent at fault, the patient is awarded 51 percent of damages. So if damages of $100 are awarded the patient receives a judgment for $51.

As always, the best defense in a negligence suit is the help of medical malpractice lawyers, such as ours in Tennessee. Contact us today.


What is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases?

In general, you have 1 year from the date you are injured to file a medical malpractice suit in Tennessee for claims under state law, or you may lose your rights. If the injury is not discovered in that period, the period of limitation is 1 year from the date of discovery. In any event, the action must be brought within 3 years of the wrongful act or omission, absent fraudulent concealment. Statute of limitations issues can be complicated. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice in Tennessee or elsewhere, act as quickly as possible to protect yourself. For more information, contact one of our medical malpractice lawyers today.


What is the statute of limitations in wrongful death cases?

In cases for wrongful death, the start of the statute of limitations period usually begins on the date of the negligence, which is not necessarily the date of death.

Wrongful death cases require substantial claims. It costs a substantial amount of money and requires a substantial investment of time by an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to pursue this type of case in Tennessee. This tremendous commitment of resources requires competent attorneys handling these cases to limit their acceptance of cases to meritorious cases involving significant injuries. Some cases cannot be pursued even if there was malpractice because the benefit of the suit is small compared to the expense and risk.

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilreath & Associates offer free and personal consultation to help you evaluate your legal options.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping you recover financially from an injury stemming from someone else's negligence.