Having to file a suit for medical malpractice is never a goal that anyone sets out for. In the United States, you expect a certain standard of medical care, and medical professionals should always meet that standard.
However, that’s not always the case. When someone in the medical field is responsible for your care and doesn’t provide you with adequate treatment, they may be held liable for any damages you incur as a result.
Read on to learn more about medical malpractice in the state of Georgia.
What Is Considered Medical Malpractice?
In order to file a suit for medical malpractice, you must be able to prove the following four elements:
- You were owed a professional duty
- There was a breach of that duty
- You were injured as a result of the breach of duty
- You incurred damages as a result of the breach of duty
If you are awarded damages for your injury, you may be able to recover compensation for both actual economic loss and noneconomic loss, for instance, pain and suffering.
To recap, in order to be awarded monetary compensation for your medical negligence injury, you must be able to prove that you received substandard medical care and as a result, you experienced an injury.
Statute of Limitations
If you intend to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice in Georgia, you have two years to do so from the date of your injury.
In addition, Georgia law states that no medical malpractice action should be taken more than five years following the date of the negligent or wrongful act. This may be frustrating for people who don’t experience symptoms of wrongdoing until after the five year period has passed, because no legal action may be taken at that point.
That’s why it’s so important to address these issues head-on, right away. It’s never a good idea to wait to file suit when it comes to medical malpractice since symptoms of harm don’t always present themselves right away.
However, Georgia does allow for one exception regarding the five-year rule. If a medical professional left a “foreign object” in your body, you must file suit within one year following your medical negligence discovery.
Frequent Types of Medical Malpractice
There are many different forms of medical malpractice, and some types appear more often than others. The majority of medical malpractice claims are represented by one of the following categories:
- Failure to diagnose - You may have a legitimate medical malpractice claim if a proficient doctor would’ve ascertained your illness or made another diagnosis, which could’ve resulted in a better outcome than what you experienced.
- Improper treatment - If a medical professional treats you in such a way that another proficient doctor never would, you may have a viable medical malpractice case. Similarly, if the doctor chooses the proper treatment but provides inadequate care, you also may be able to recover damages.
- Neglect to warn you of recognized hazards - Medical professionals are legally required to warn you about recognized hazards of any procedure or treatment before administering care. This is referred to as the “duty of informed consent.” If you would’ve chosen not to follow through with a procedure had the doctor presented all of the necessary warnings, you may be able to hold the doctor responsible for your injuries that resulted due to the procedure.
Georgia state law requires that you seek an affidavit from a qualified medical expert that provides their sworn opinion with respect to no less than one negligent act from the health care provider that you intend to sue. The expert must also include their factual basis for their opinion.
If you don’t file an adequate “affidavit of expert,” the court is likely to dismiss your case. The court could, however, provide you with an opportunity to amend the affidavit and re-file it.
If you believe you have a viable medical malpractice case, our attorneys at The Tolson Firm, LLC are here to help. Our team has helped many others achieve the justice they deserved, and we can help you too. Don’t hesitate to contact our firm with your case right away. Your health is nothing to gamble on.
Call the Atlanta lawyers at The Tolson Firm, LLC today at (404) 846-8800 to speak with an attorney about your medical malpractice case.