Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Chattanooga, TN
Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Chattanooga, TN
As a patient, you put your health and your life in your doctor’s hands. You have the right to expect that they will meet the applicable standard of care when diagnosing and treating your illness or injury. If they fail to do so and you suffer severe harm or a worsened condition as a result, you could be eligible to pursue a medical malpractice claim.
Attorney Scott Davis has the necessary experience and skill to successfully counter the claims of a defendant’s insurance company when they don’t want to pay medical malpractice victims what they deserve.
For 15 years, he worked as an insurance defense lawyer, so he knows the tactics the insurance companies use to deny or diminish valid claims. Today, he employs that knowledge to help injured medical malpractice victims seek justice and the compensation they deserve. Having taken over 200 cases to verdict, Davis is a respected trial attorney who won’t hesitate to take your case to court if negotiations break down.
If you or a loved one was the victim of medical malpractice in Georgia or Tennessee, you need a knowledgeable injury attorney on your side. Scott Davis understands the ins and outs of the process, from working with medical experts to proving the facts needed to win medical malpractice cases.
Call Davis Firm, LLC today to schedule a free consultation with us.
What You Need to Prove in a Medical Malpractice Claim
Proving medical malpractice may seem like a daunting task. The main thing that must be established is a negligent medical error by one or more medical providers. There are steps to proving the facts related to medical negligence that are necessary to win your case, and we can help you through each step.
In any medical malpractice claim, you must prove the following elements:
- Duty – The medical provider had a duty to you. This would be established through showing, for instance, that you had a doctor/patient relationship with a medical provider. When that type of relationship exists, the doctor must treat you with a certain level of care to ensure that you are not injured through their treatment. This is known as the standard of care that the doctor must follow.
- Breach of duty – This means that the medical provider had an obligation to you, and they failed to meet that obligation. In other words, the doctor or health care professional who treated you was supposed to treat you at a level that follows the standard of care, but by either acting or failing to act, the person did not meet the standard of care.
- Causation – The health care professional’s breach of duty is connected to your injury in a way that caused the injury. Because the medical professional either acted or failed to act in a certain way, you were injured, and the provider was responsible for it through their action or inaction.
- Damages – You must show that you were injured as a result of the health care professional’s actions or failure to act. You must prove the extent of your injury and show how much you should be compensated for it. If your injury was not caused by the medical professional’s action or inaction, then medical malpractice does not apply, and you will not be owed compensation.
If you can establish those four factors, you may have a successful medical malpractice case. It is important to understand that you must be able to prove all of them. Our Chattanooga medical malpractice attorneys can evaluate your case and advise you on the best course of action to take to seek recovery for your injuries caused by medical malpractice.
Compensation in a Medical Malpractice Case
A pressing question is how much you may be compensated in a medical malpractice lawsuit. In general, there are two types of compensation or damages that are part of medical malpractice cases. These include economic and noneconomic damages:
- Economic damages – These are the type of things that can be calculated to an exact dollar amount. They include things like lost earnings and lost earning capacity, which refers to income you have lost or will lose in the future because of the injuries you suffered as a result of medical malpractice. Economic damages also include medical bills for procedures to correct the damage done by the medical error. If a patient dies due to medical malpractice, funeral and burial expenses may be included in economic damages.
- Noneconomic damages – These are damages that do not come with an exact dollar amount and receipt. They include things such as pain and suffering and mental distress caused by medical malpractice. Loss of consortium (the loss of benefits of a family relationship) is another item that is included in noneconomic damages. It is typically more challenging to prove noneconomic damages because a number figure cannot easily be put on them. However, many cases have been settled or tried before yours that established a baseline for these calculations.
How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim?
The statute of limitations determines how much time you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Ordinarily, the most significant date is when you become aware or should have become aware that malpractice was committed.
Sometimes, depending on your injuries, you may discover the malpractice immediately. Other times, it may take time for problems to develop or become apparent after the malpractice has been committed by a health care professional.
In Tennessee, you have one year from the date you discover the malpractice to file a lawsuit. The date the lawsuit is filed can be no later than three years after the malpractice incident. Therefore, you must discover the malpractice no later than two years after it occurred in order to have a full year statute of limitations before filing a timely medical malpractice lawsuit.
In Georgia, you have two years from the date you discover the malpractice to file a lawsuit. However, a lawsuit may be filed up to five years after the incident of malpractice occurred. In Georgia, you must discover the malpractice within three years of when it happened to have the full two-year statute of limitations prior to filing a timely medical malpractice lawsuit.
These time limits may seem confusing. The best course of action is to talk to an attorney as soon as possible when you believe medical malpractice has harmed you or a loved one.
Process for Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Claim
The first step in the process of pursuing a medical malpractice claim is developing an understanding of what has gone wrong and an explanation of how it happened. You should seek appropriate medical treatment for the problems caused by the medical error.
Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to begin an independent investigation into what really happened and who could potentially be liable for your losses.
In most cases, you will need to obtain a medical assessment from another doctor to determine that your case has merit. In both Tennessee and Georgia, a filing must be made with the court that states that an expert has reviewed your case and can testify to its merit. This is sometimes called a certificate of merit in medical malpractice cases. It is a way of showing that a medical professional believes your injuries were caused by medical malpractice, and it helps ensure that your case has a chance of success before the lawsuit begins.
Our personal injury lawyers in Chattanooga at Davis Firm, LLC can assist with all the activities necessary to begin a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. Once the lawsuit has been filed, we will fight for your rights throughout the process.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
You may be wondering how much it costs and how you will pay a medical malpractice attorney. In most medical malpractice cases, attorneys are paid on a contingency basis. What this means for you is that you will not have to pay the attorney unless and until you recover money damages for medical malpractice.
At the end of the case, if you receive a settlement or win a verdict at trial, the attorney would be entitled to a certain percentage of the amount you recover. The fee would be deducted from the compensation before you receive the money. This means you never have to pay an attorney’s fee directly out of your pocket.
If you are concerned about how to afford an attorney, please remember that you will only have to pay if you obtain damages in your case and this payment would come from a lump sum you receive if you are successful.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice Our Firm Handles
Health care professionals can commit medical malpractice in endless different ways. There are some common categories that many cases fall into, such as the following:
- Misdiagnosis – This happens when the patient is suffering from an illness or medical problem, but the doctor incorrectly determines that the cause is something else. A doctor may indicate that the person is not sick at all or that they have a condition that they do not have. Commonly misdiagnosed conditions include:
- Tumors or other growths
- Heart attacks and other coronary conditions
- Blood clots
- Delayed diagnosis – This situation is similar to misdiagnosis but is focused more on the fact that a correct diagnosis took too long to be made by a health care professional. If you eventually received an accurate diagnosis, but it took a long while, then you missed out on treatment during the period when you were undiagnosed that could have changed the outcome for you. It is critical in this type of case to determine whether the doctor acted in the way other doctors typically would in a similar situation.
- Failure to treat – This type of malpractice involves recommendations by the health care professional that are off the mark. Instead of suggesting adequate treatment, the proposed treatment is not appropriate for a patient’s condition. Doctors are held to a standard of care of what is reasonable under the circumstances and based on how other doctors would handle a patient.
- Surgical errors – Errors during surgery can happen in many different ways, including performing the wrong procedure, performing the correct procedure on the wrong part of the body, and many others. Given the complexity of many surgeries, there are plenty of opportunities for a doctor to do something that negatively affects the patient. Common issues with surgery include anesthesia administration issues, nerve damage, not controlling bleeding, and leaving a foreign object such as a sponge inside the patient’s body.
- Negligence regarding pregnancy or childbirth – Pregnancy and birth are complex processes involving two lives. Some examples of birth and pregnancy issues that can lead to medical malpractice include the following:
- Excessive bleeding or hemorrhage
- Abnormalities affecting the placenta
- Gestational diabetes
- Oxygen deprivation
- Physical trauma
- Excessive length of labor causing injury to either mother or child
- Surgical negligence during a Caesarean section
- Negligence while administering anesthesia
- Premature birth
- Nerve injuries to the child during labor
- Medical device product liability – When a doctor uses a medical device inside your body as part of treatment, there is an opportunity for adverse effects on your health. Sometimes, a defective device or poorly designed device is used. Whatever the case, if a medical device inside your body causes issues, this may be grounds for a successful lawsuit.
Whether your case falls into one of the above categories or is something altogether different, we are prepared to help you through the medical malpractice lawsuit process.
Get Started on Your Case NowCall Us at 423-756-3591
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Chattanooga
Schedule a free consultation with us by calling us or contacting us online. You will get the compassionate, aggressive representation that you need. Attorney Davis will bring his years of experience, knowledge, and skill to your case, fighting to get you the compensation you deserve for your medical malpractice claim.