Kingsport's Commercial Litigation and Personal Injury Lawyer

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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Personal Injury?

Personal injury is any physical injury to a person that results from another person’s negligence or harmful act. Personal injury lawsuits falls under civil law as opposed to criminal law (which are brought by the State of Tennessee against a defendant). Personal injury can occur in a wide variety of ways. The following are some of the most common accidents resulting in personal injury:

  • Auto Accidents
  • Dangerous or Defective Product Injuries
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Boating Accidents
  • Slip and Fall Accidents/Premises Liability
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Birth Injuries

 

What financial compensation can I recover in a personal injury claim?

Accident victims are entitled to recover monetary damages for all losses and expenses suffered from the accident. Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following:

  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages, including overtime
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Physical Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional Trauma
  • Mental Disability
  • Property Damage

 

What is Nursing Home Neglect?

The State of Tennessee has special laws enacted for the specific purpose of protecting the elderly population (over 65) and dependent adults. These laws were designed to encourage victims and their attorneys to pursue legal cases against all persons or entities that abuse or neglect this vulnerable segment of society. Elder, disabled and dependent adults depend on nursing homes to provide most if not all of their daily care, which includes food, water, medicine, toileting, grooming, social and physical stimulation, as well as regularly being turned in their beds. However, because nursing homes are not sufficiently staffed, and the staff there is generally underpaid, millions of elder and dependent adults are repeatedly being neglected and abused. Signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:

  • Bed sores (pressure sores, decubitus ulcers)
  • Burns
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Heavy sedation
  • Inability of caretakers to explain patient’s condition

Whether it is a single incident that causes injury or repeated neglect or abuse, the victim or his/her next of kin has a right to bring claims against the nursing home under the nursing home neglect laws. If the nursing home is found to be negligent or abusive, the victim and/or next of kin will generally be awarded monetary compensation and the nursing home could potentially lose its certification for failing to supply the expected care (leading to a loss of federal funding).

The best prevention of neglect and abuse is for family members to remain attentive on an ongoing basis and to stay aware of the general health of their vulnerable relatives. If you suspect that you or a loved one is or was subject to abuse or neglect, it is important to report that abuse or neglect right away. Attorney William Wray has prosecuted many cases involving the abuse or neglect of the elderly and provides free consultations to any individuals who believe that abuse or neglect may have been committed.

 

What happens when an elderly person is a victim of wrongful death?

In the same manner that the death of a child might not produce a large sum of monetary compensation, the death of an elderly person also has somewhat limited recovery potential. The reasons for such modest awards are attributed to the assumption someone past the age of retirement no longer has substantial earning potential, and that the children of elderly citizens are usually adults who no longer need significant support, or nurturing from their parents.

 

Under what circumstances can a wrongful death occur?

Wrongful Death Law provides for financial compensation to the family of a person whose death was caused by the negligent, willful or wrongful act or omission or default of another. Wrongful death cases are filed as a result of a variety of situations, including:

  • Medical malpractice resulting in a patient’s death
  • Neglect or abuse on the part of a nursing home that results in a patient’s death
  • Automobile, bus, train, airplane or other common carrier fatality accident
  • Occupational exposure to hazardous conditions or substances (exposure to asbestos, etc.) resulting in death
  • Death during a supervised activity (sports tournament, field trip, etc.)

 

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

A wrongful death case alleges that the decedent was killed as a result of the negligence of the defendant, and that the decedent’s immediate family members (often called “distributees”) are entitled to monetary damages as a result of the defendant’s conduct. The most common distributees are surviving spouses and children, and sometimes parents.

Wrongful death damages are primarily calculated on pecuniary (financial) loss. Pecuniary injuries include the loss of support and services that would have been provided by the decedent, the decedent’s medical and funeral expenses, and the distributees’ lost prospect of inheritance. In cases where the defendant engages in serious or malicious wrongdoing, punitive damages may also be awarded to punish the wrongdoer, and/or deter others from behaving similarly.

 

What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice is negligence committed by a professional health care provider whose performance of duties deviates from a standard of practice of those with similar training and experience, resulting in harm to a patient or patients. Medical malpractice cases are often based on the concept that the patient was harmed because the health care provider failed to meet the required standards of skill and care, in accordance with generally accepted standards. Medical malpractice actions may be brought against doctors, nurses, dentist, technicians, hospitals, or hospital workers. Instances of malpractice might include surgical errors, misdiagnosis, failure to follow testing procedures, failure to disclose risks, or prescribing prescription drugs not suited to the patient’s condition.

 

Can damages be recovered for medical malpractice in Nursing Homes?

Nursing home residents that have suffered injury may receive compensation under applicable medical malpractice Tennessee laws. Because nursing home residents require special care and attention, it is important that the nurses and staff of the nursing home provide proper care to the residents. If you or someone you know resides in a nursing home and has been injured as a result of improper care, consultation with medical malpractice. The Wray Law Firm can help you determine if you have a valid claim.

 

How do I know if I need an attorney?

If you have been seriously injured in East Tennessee or Southwest Virginia, and are unsure about the outcome of your injury, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Make sure this is done before you give any official statements or sign papers of any kind. State laws require lawsuit filing within a specific period of time. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, you may be prohibited from filing a lawsuit and obtaining any compensation for your injuries if you delay. The Wray Law Firm, can advise you on the applicable statute of limitations for your injury case.

 

How much does the Wray Law Firm charge for personal injury counsel?

The Wray Law Firm has very competitive prices, which fall within the range of the industry standard, and tailors fee arrangements for each client’s needs. Due to the nature of law, each case is unique and the firm has many fee structures to accommodate each client and each client’s case based upon:

  • Contingency
  • Retainer
  • Deposits
  • Set Fees
  • Billable unit rates or any combination of the above

The Wray Law Firm gives every case individual attention and will work with you to find the best rate plan. There will be no hidden costs. You will be informed of the fees for your case during your first meeting with William T. Wray, Jr.