Tennessee Birth Injury Attorneys
Click here for a free & confidential case review
Medical malpractice can cause serious birth injuries (e.g. cerebral palsy and brain damage, shoulder dystocia) from trauma and deprivation of oxygen during labor. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has published a position paper that attempts to set forth criteria for brain injury caused by birth trauma. The report acknowledges that certain intrapartum events can cause cerebral palsy.
Families facing a lifetime of care for a profoundly challenged infant need legal counsel on whether there is a case and, if so, how to successfully bring the suit and provide a life care plan for the future.
Our firm has tried (and settled) a significant number of birth trauma and cerebral palsy cases that have resulted in million and multi-million dollar settlements -- often with structured settlements and special needs trusts to ensure that Medicaid and Social Security benefits remain in place.
To evaluate birth trauma cases we have prepared a questionnaire for download: Birth Trauma Client Questionnaire:
David Randolph Smith of Nashville, Tennessee is one of only ten attorneys in the State of Tennessee certified as a Medical Malpractice Specialist by the Tennessee Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization. There are over 13,000 attorneys in Tennessee.
The firm has handled a number of landmark Tennessee Supreme Court medical malpractice cases cases for the plaintiff including:
Jordan v. Baptist Three Rivers Hospital, 984 S.W.2d 593 (Tenn. 1999) which changed 100 years of Tennessee wrongful death law by recognizing the right to recover damages for the loss of the deceased's love, affection, companionship and consortium;
Ashe v. Radiation Oncology Associates, 9 S.W. 3d 119 (Tenn. 1999) establishing causation standard in medical malpractice informed consent cases;
Foley v. St. Thomas Hosp., 906 SW2d 448, 453 (Tenn. 1995) establishing rights of next of kin in autopsy cases;
Recently the firm successfuly clarified the law on qualification of medical experts under Tennessee's medical malpractice locality rule in Travis v. Ferraraccio (Tenn. Ct. App., Sept. 19, 2005).
The firm has obtained millions of dollars in settlements and judgments in medical malpractice cases in Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Louisiana.
Cerebral Palsy Information
Cerebral palsy is a permanent, non-progressive condition caused by damage to the cerebrum, the largest area of the brain, where movement is controlled. The most common symptoms of cerebral palsy include difficulty moving and controlling various muscles. This may result in problems walking, using the arms or hands, speaking, swallowing, breathing, hearing, seeing, and learning. Seizures may also occur in some cases. There are four types of cerebral palsy: spastic cerebral palsy (the most common, it involves stiff, contracted muscles in one to four limbs), ataxic cerebral palsy (creates problems with balance, depth perception, and fine motor skills), athetoid cerebral palsy (includes uncontrolled movements in arms, hands, legs, feet, face, mouth, or tongue), and mixed cerebral palsy (means two or more types are found in the same individual).
Causes of cerebral palsy may occur during pregnancy, during the birth process, or after a child is born. Lack of oxygen to the brain, trauma to the baby's head, and certain infections are possible causes of cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is sometimes a result of a medical mistake or miscalculation. For example, the baby may move into an improper position that makes a caesarian-section necessary during the birthing process. If the doctor does not recognize or respond to the situation early enough, the baby's oxygen supply may be inadequate and cerebral palsy may result. Unfortunately, medical errors are sometimes due to medical negligence or medical malpractice. If you are a victim of medical malpractice or medical negligence and need the assistance of a leading medical malpractice lawyer, contact us today
Medical Malpractice Information
Medical malpractice can result from an action taken by the medical practitioner, or by the failure to take a medically appropriate action. Examples of medical malpractice include: misdiagnosis of, or failure to diagnose, a disease or medical condition;failure to provide appropriate treatment for a medical condition;unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed medical condition.
Medical malpractice actions can be brought by the injured patient against any responsible licensed health care provider, including doctors, counselors, psychologists and psychotherapists.
Limits on Malpractice Damages
Tennessee does not limit damages in medical malpractice cases.
Collateral Source Rule
Under a traditional collateral source rule, a defendant may not seek to reduce its liability by introducing evidence that the plaintiff has received compensation from other sources, such as the plaintiff's own insurance coverage. In Tennessee there is a mandatory offset, except for private insurance or for assets purchased by the plaintiff.
Rules for Expert Witnesses
Expert witnesses must be licensed in Tennessee or in a contiguous state, and must have been in practice for at least one year prior to the date of the plaintiff's injury.
Statute of Limitations
Under Tennessee law, medical malpractice actions must be commenced within one year of the date of the injury or discovery of injury but in no event more than three years from the date of the accident or occurrence (except in the case of foreign objects or fraudulent concealment).
Limits on Attorney Fees
Contingent attorney fees are limited to 1/3 of the recovery.
Tennessee law provides for voluntary arbitration.
Why Use A Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice law is a highly technical field of law, and malpractice lawsuits tend to be fiercely defended by well-funded defense firms. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be exceptionally expensive to pursue, with costs often exceeding $50,000.00. Due to the technical skills involved in prosecuting a malpractice claim, the possibility that an inexperienced lawyer may not be sufficiently conversant with the medical issues, or might make a technical error which causes a case to be lost or dismissed, and the very high costs the malpractice law firm typically must advance, an injured patient is very well served by going with a specialist firm.