Georgia is one of the top states in the United States when it comes to malpractice costs per person per year, ranking 16th. Sadly, many individuals in Georgia suffer injuries and losses due to the negligence of their healthcare providers.
However, the law allows these victims to seek compensation for their losses, and this process can be complex.
That’s why many turn to an experienced medical malpractice Lawyer in Douglas to help them navigate the legal system and get the compensation they deserve.
Defining medical malpractice is crucial to understanding whether you have a case or not. In essence, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the standard of care, causing injury or harm to the patient.
The standard of care is the level of care and treatment that a reasonably competent and skilled healthcare provider would provide under similar circumstances.
If your healthcare provider fails to meet this standard, resulting in injury or harm to you, you may have a medical malpractice case.
It is essential to note that not every medical error or negative outcome is malpractice. The standard of care must have been breached, resulting in harm or injury.
If you believe you have a medical malpractice case, it’s crucial to consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who can evaluate your situation and help you determine your options.
What is Medical Malpractice and When to Consult with Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Douglas?
Medical malpractice is defined and classified as a tort by Georgia Code section 51-1-27, which means that those responsible can be held civilly liable.
According to the law, healthcare professionals are required to utilize reasonable care and skills, and any evidence of a lack of care or skill may result in a civil lawsuit.
Victims of such torts may pursue compensation for their losses or injuries, but they must demonstrate that their healthcare provider failed to follow protocol.
To do so, they must prove that the medical provider acted differently than any reasonable person in their position, that they caused the injuries and losses the claimant is seeking compensation for, and that the amount requested as compensation is justified.
Victims should act promptly because waiting too long could jeopardize their right to compensation. We will discuss why and for how long in the following lines.
What are the Statutes of Limitations on Medical Malpractice In Georgia?
The statutes of limitations are time limits set by the law for parties to take legal action. In the context of medical malpractice cases, victims must act within a specific time frame to seek compensation or enforce their rights.
The duration of these time frames varies depending on the nature of the case and from state to state.
In Georgia, code section 9-3-71 establishes the deadline for medical malpractice cases. Victims have two years from the day the malpractice occurred to seek compensation for their losses.
While actions initiated after this two-year period may not be admissible in theory, experienced medical malpractice lawyers in Georgia can often succeed in extending the deadline by invoking certain exceptions allowed under Georgia law.
It’s important for victims of medical malpractice to act fast and consult with skilled medical malpractice lawyers as soon as possible to ensure their legal rights are protected.
While the statutes of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Georgia can be complicated, there may be exceptions that can extend the deadline for taking legal action.
For example, the “discovery rule” or “statute of repose” may apply if the healthcare provider’s error remains undiscovered for some time.
In such cases, the countdown begins on the day of the discovery, but the deadline cannot exceed five years from the time the malpractice occurred.
Other exceptions may apply for patients who have foreign objects left in them, patients under the age of five, or patients who were legally incompetent at the time of the malpractice.
Qualified medical malpractice lawyers can provide guidance and help victims navigate the legal process to seek the compensation they deserve.
It is important to note that the process of seeking compensation for medical malpractice can be complex and time-consuming.
It requires extensive knowledge of the legal system and medical procedures. That is why it is highly recommended to seek the help of experienced medical malpractice attorneys.
They can guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or losses due to medical malpractice, do not hesitate to contact us at Joe Durham Jr., P.C. We are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Defendants Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Douglas May Choose for Their Claims
Georgia Code Section 9-11-9.1 outlines the possible defendants in a medical malpractice case. The specific defendant will depend on the details of the case and the evidence available. The list of potential defendants includes:
- Medical doctors
- Physician assistants
- Radiological therapists.
In a medical malpractice claim, the defendant may not always be a healthcare professional. Depending on the circumstances of the case, Douglas medical malpractice attorneys may suggest pursuing action against other entities, such as:
- The medical facility where the patient was treated
- The laboratory or clinic where the patient underwent diagnostic tests
- A third-party service provider (such as equipment maintenance, cleaning and disinfection, or drug supplier)
Choosing the correct defendant in a medical malpractice case is crucial. As the burden of proof falls on the claimant, it is necessary to pursue action against the party with the most evidence against them.
Medical malpractice claims also require an expert affidavit, which is a specific requirement not present in other injury claims.
The Expert Affidavit and Its Importance for Georgia Surgical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical malpractice claims are resolved through legal proceedings in court. The claimant must initiate a lawsuit by filing an initial complaint.
This document serves as a formal notification to both the court and the healthcare professional being sued, outlining the allegations being made against them.
To illustrate, let’s consider a hypothetical case of brain surgery malpractice with the surgeon as the defendant. In order to pursue the case, the claimant must submit an affidavit of an expert in the same field, who has higher qualifications and more experience than the defendant.
This expert’s opinion should identify and establish the defendant’s negligent act, and the court will rely on their testimony to assess the validity of the claim.
Their affidavit will provide a professional opinion on the defendant’s actions and identify the standards that they breached.
This testimony will be given under oath and will provide strong arguments for the claimant’s case. If a claimant does not have an expert’s affidavit, they may request a time extension to obtain one.
To request a time extension to supply the affidavit of expert, the claimant must file a motion with the court. However, this option is only available when the claim is filed with less than 10 days before the statute of limitations expires.
Moreover, the claimant’s attorney must have taken over the case with less than 90 days before the statute of limitations expires. If the court grants the motion, the claimant’s medical lawyer will have an additional 45 days to obtain and file the affidavit.
At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., we understand the crucial role of the affidavit of expert in a medical malpractice case. As soon as we take on a new case, we prioritize obtaining the affidavit promptly to prevent any delays in the acceptance of our complaints.
Thanks to our extensive network of reputable experts, securing the affidavit is a routine matter for us. We are committed to doing everything in our power to help our clients recover any losses they may have suffered.
Types of Losses Georgia Medical Malpractice Lawyers May Recover for Their Clients
Several factors influence the value of a medical malpractice claim in Georgia, including the severity and circumstances of the malpractice, the impact on the patient’s life and health, the available evidence against the defendant, and the experience and skills of the medical malpractice lawyer.
In Georgia, the value of a medical malpractice claim depends on various factors such as the circumstances and severity of the malpractice, the impact on the patient’s health and life, the evidence against the defendant, and the skills and experience of the medical malpractice lawyer.
Under Georgia laws, malpractice victims can claim and recover different types of losses, including economic losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. Non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of consortium, are also recoverable.
In certain cases of intentional wrongdoing or gross negligence, the court may award punitive damages to punish the defendant. However, Georgia Code Section 51-12-5.1 limits punitive damages to a maximum of $250,000.
Prior to 2010, Georgia had caps on non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases, including a limit of $350,000 for claims against a single medical facility and $700,000 for claims against multiple facilities, with an overall cap of $1.05 million per case. However, the Georgia Supreme Court later ruled these caps unconstitutional.
The compensation a claimant can receive in a medical malpractice case is not absolute and depends on the factors mentioned above. Joe Durham Jr., P.C. has a track record of obtaining impressive compensation sums for our clients. Starting to work on a case early on typically leads to more benefits for our clients.
The Importance of Working with a Georgia Medical Malpractice lawyer
In Georgia, most medical malpractice cases are settled in court and require strict adherence to procedures.
While the average person may not be familiar with these procedures, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Douglas is well-versed in them.
They will ensure that all procedures are followed in a timely and proper manner, keeping their clients informed of progress and alleviating their concerns.
In proving the malpractice, the responsibility is on the claimant, but their medical lawyer will take over the process.
They will conduct their own investigations, interview potential witnesses, and estimate future losses. They will also consult with expert witnesses and cite relevant case precedents, tirelessly advocating for their clients’ interests.
This example highlights the immense value a medical malpractice lawyer in Douglas can provide.
Suppose a medical practitioner administered the incorrect medication to a patient, causing them to go into anaphylactic shock and lose consciousness.
As a result, the patient’s brain was deprived of oxygen for a brief period, resulting in partial disability. To recuperate, the patient will require lengthy therapy, rehabilitation, and hard work.
The law grants them the right to obtain compensation for all the expenses, lost wages, and future losses.
Furthermore, they are entitled to receive compensation for their partial disability and the pain and suffering they have experienced. If their spouse chooses to leave them due to the situation, they can also claim loss of consortium.
To actually obtain compensation, the patient will need to prove several aspects:
- That the doctor prescribed or administered a treatment they were allergic to,
- That the doctor should have expected the allergic response and taken preventative measures,
- That the doctor failed to exercise reasonable care by not performing a tolerance test
- That the treatment induced the anaphylactic shock and its consequences
- That the patient’s expenses, losses, and suffering justify the value of the compensation claim.
For a partially disabled patient, proving all the necessary aspects to obtain compensation is almost impossible. It requires extensive knowledge of the treatment administered, safety protocols, side effects, and more.
Estimating future expenses and documenting already-incurred ones can be overwhelming for an inexperienced patient.
On the other hand, an experienced medical malpractice lawyer knows exactly what to do and where to look. They have the required knowledge, resources, and contacts to secure a fair compensation for their client.
In general, cases handled by an experienced medical lawyer settle for higher amounts. Medical malpractice lawyers in Douglas, GA, do not accept the first settlement offer they receive.
Instead, they do their calculations and negotiate with the defendant until they reach a favorable agreement. They prioritize their clients’ interests and defend them against all odds.
Consult With Our Douglas Medical Malpractice Lawyers Now!
Are you a victim of medical malpractice in Douglas, Georgia? It can be a confusing and overwhelming experience to know your rights and what steps to take next.
We at Joe Durham Jr., P.C. have the necessary experience and expertise to help you navigate through the process.
Simply give us a call or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. One of our top medical malpractice lawyers will be happy to review your case and answer all your questions.
We will take care of all the formalities and work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.