In the event that you or a loved one gets injured or is killed as a result of medical negligence, then you have some legal rights under Georgia law. Doctors and other healthcare providers are expected to provide consistent care in accordance with the standards of practice established by the medical profession and relevant professional bodies. However, when the healthcare provider fails to adhere to these standards, it can result in severe injury and even wrongful death.
Medical malpractice cases are some of the most complicated types of personal injury cases in Georgia. They mainly involve complex medical issues, require thorough investigation as well as expert witnesses. This is why it is crucial to work with a professional Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer. At Greene Legal Group, we have the necessary knowledge, experience, and resources to effectively handle all kinds of medical malpractice cases. You can reach our Atlanta personal injury lawyers at 866-4-LAW-411, to schedule a free initial consultation.
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Who Can Be Held Liable For A Medical Negligence Claim?
In most cases, the health care professional who was negligent will be the one held liable for the injuries. However, a medical malpractice case may include multiple defendants involved in the treatment of the patient:
Hospitals are expected to verify their employees’ skills, licensing, and relevant qualifications before allowing them to work for them. If one of their employees causes injury or death due to medical negligence, then the hospital can be held liable for hospital malpractice.
Freestanding medical clinics
In addition to ensuring that all their staff is well qualified, all medical facilities are also expected to maintain high standards of cleanliness and safety required for a hospital environment.
An anesthesiologist can be held liable if they fail to properly administer the anesthesia and end up causing severe injuries such as brain damage, anesthesia awareness, nerve damage, stroke, heart attack, and so on.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers can be held liable if their products cause harm to patients, especially so when the company fails to inform pharmacists and consumers of potential adverse side effects.
Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
Most medical malpractice cases in Georgia involve negligence on the part of the doctor or health care professional when diagnosing, treating, or advising a patient. The most common types of medical malpractice are grouped into different types, including:
Before any kind of treatment is administered, the condition has to be correctly identified first. This process is called a diagnosis. There are a number of ways in which medical malpractice can occur during diagnosis:
- Failing to carry out appropriate diagnostic testing
- Failure to properly review the test results
- Mistaken diagnosis
- Failing to identify and treat the medical condition in a prompt manner
Even with all the many advancements in medicine and technology, there are still many risks associated with surgical procedures. Here are the common surgery-related mistakes that may lead to medical malpractice:
- Foreign objects left in the patient, for example, clamps or sponges
- Surgical procedure on the wrong part of the body, for instance, amputating a healthy limb instead of the affected limb
- Accidental laceration during surgery
- Organ transplant mistakes
- Plastic surgery mistakes
The administration of anesthesia is a crucial part of any surgical procedure. As such, it needs to be carried out by a well-trained anesthesiologist. Some of the common mistakes when administering anesthesia include:
- Failing to properly prepare the anesthesia medication, equipment, or the patient
- Failing to urgently respond to signs of distress
Considering that the process of giving birth is a very delicate medical procedure, the medical staff attending the expecting mother need to be extra careful and alert when facilitating the process. These are some of the birth injuries that can amount to medical malpractice:
- Medication mistakes that harm the baby or the mother
- Failing to order a necessary C-section or ordering an unnecessary C-section
- Complications related to induced labor
- Other cases of medical malpractice include:
- Dental care injuries
- Chiropractic injuries
- Nursing home negligence
- Home healthcare negligence
- Emergency room errors
What types of damages can I recover in a medical malpractice case?
Under Georgia’s State Law, there are different types of damages that are available to an injured or harmed patient.
Economic damages are in place to help cover for any financial losses suffered by the patient as a result of medical malpractice, and they include:
- Past, present and future medical expenses related to the injuries
- Lost income due to time spent out of work
- Loss of future earnings
- House modifications
- Home healthcare services and equipment
- Funeral and/or burial costs
It is important to note that, in Georgia, there isn’t a limit on the amount of economic damages that a patient can recover.
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate patients for intangible damages that can’t be assigned a monetary value. These damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional distress
While there previously used to be a cap on the amount of recoverable non-economic damages, that law was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Georgia.
Punitive damages are in place as a form of punishment for the negligent party whose actions or inaction led to injury or death. These types of damages are only available in cases where there is substantial evidence that the care provider participated in fraudulent, malicious, and deliberate wrongdoing. Punitive damages are quite tricky to prove, and they are capped at $250,000.
How Can a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help My Case?
As mentioned earlier, medical malpractice cases are amongst the most complex cases in Atlanta, Georgia. When you file a claim against medical professionals or facilities, you need to be prepared to go against a team of highly skilled and experienced attorneys.
To have any chances of success in such claims, you need to meet the high burden of proof required. This includes collecting certified copies of medical bills, radiology films, conducting audit trials, taking depositions of the healthcare providers, and so on. These kinds of cases require the use of expert witnesses who can establish the applicable standard of care and how the healthcare provider breached this standard of care resulting in injury or death to the patient.
Thus, you need to work with an attorney who has the necessary skill and resources to successfully handle your case. Our team of professional medical malpractice attorneys at the Greene Legal Group works with highly qualified medical experts in various areas of medicine, and we have what it takes to build a solid case for you.
How Are Medical Malpractice Claims Proven?
Medical negligence can be defined as a breach of a set standard of care by the healthcare provider. In order to raise a successful medical malpractice claim, you need to prove the following four elements:
- That the doctor, hospital, or healthcare provider owed a duty of care to you
- That the defendant breached this duty of care
- That your injuries were a direct result of this breach in the duty of care
- The injuries you sustained resulted in economic and non-economic losses
A professional medical malpractice lawyer at Greene Legal Group will help you determine whether you have a strong case, and what your chances are.
Georgia Medical Malpractice Claim Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a set time window from the date of the injury within which a victim can file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice cases in Georgia are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. However, there are some exceptions:
- Cases involving surgical items left in a patient’s body can be raised at any time within one year of finding out about the object
- Cases involving wrongful death should be filed within two years from the date of death
You have to keep in mind that the state of Georgia also follows a statute of repose. This means that even if you weren’t aware of the malpractice, you can’t file a claim against the medical professional after five years from the actual date of the accident. For instance, if you discover that an object was left in your body more than five years after the date of the procedure, then you don’t have a legal right to raise a claim.
Get in Touch with a Skilled Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
A medical malpractice injury can have a devastating effect on you and your family. If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, then you need to be fully compensated. Medical malpractice cases are some of the most complex cases that you can deal with. In such situations, you need the help and guidance of a skilled attorney who has extensive experience handling medical malpractice cases and has what it takes to guarantee you maximum compensation. Contact our Atlanta injury firm at 866-4-LAW-411.