Medical professionals who harm patients because of negligence deserve to pay for their actions. If you’re a victim of medical malpractice, you may be wondering how much you’ll be able to recover. The money won’t reverse what happened to you, but it can relieve your financial burdens and help you move on. The amount you can get will depend on several factors including:
- The circumstances and degree of malpractice
- The impact of the incident on your health and life
- The strength of the evidence against the medical professional
- The skills of the lawyers involved
Types of Losses for Which You Can Receive Compensation
Under Georgia’s laws, a victim of medical malpractice can recover economic losses, non-economic losses and punitive damages. Economic losses are those expenses and losses which are financial in nature. These typically include the cost of doctor’s visits and medical procedures along with lost wages and lost earning capacity. Non-economic losses are more subjective. They include things like loss of consortium, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. Punitive damages may be awarded by the court in case of gross negligence or deliberate action.
There are no longer any caps on the amount of non-economic damages an individual can recover in Georgia. Up to 2010, claims against a single medical facility were capped at $350,000. Claims against more than one facility could only be a maximum of $700,000. Since the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that these caps were unconstitutional, there are no absolute limits on the amount you can receive. There is however a $250,000 cap on punitive damages unless the incident involved alcohol, drugs or intentional harm.
The Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Claims
It’s important that you work closely with an Albany, Georgia medical malpractice lawyer. They will ensure that you meet all the deadlines associated with your case. Of note, there’s a time limit within which you must file a medical malpractice claim. In Georgia, it’s two years from the time you sustained the injury. If the cause of the injury isn’t known until sometime later, the statute kicks in from the date it was discovered.
However, there is a five-year statute of repose in place which puts some restrictions on this. Let’s say you underwent surgery on January 1, 2015 but didn’t discover that you were harmed until July 15, 2019. You would have until July 15, 2021 to file a claim. However, if you didn’t discover your injury until January 7, 2020 you wouldn’t be able to seek compensation. That’s because it would be more than five years after the surgery. Regardless of how much you stand to recover, you won’t get anything if you don’t file within the deadline. When you have a skilled attorney representing you, they will keep track of all the important dates.
Who Can Be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice
People often think about medical malpractice in relation to surgical errors. However, most medical treatments involve several professionals. A malpractice claim can, therefore, be brought against a wide range of parties including:
- All medical doctors inclusive of primary care physicians, dentists, and psychiatrists
- Other medical professionals like paramedics, nurses, physical therapists and anesthesiologists
- Treatment facilities including hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and urgent care centers
- Pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers
It is important to remember that you will need to prove that the medical professional was negligent in some way. Not every procedure or medication has the expected results, but this doesn’t mean someone violated their duty of care. Most poor outcomes aren’t caused by negligence. As your attorney will point out, you have to show that the defendant didn’t provide the standard of care they should. You will also need to show that their actions led to your injury. This can be difficult to prove in some instances.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Georgia Today
Medical professionals are supposed to make us feel better. When their actions cause further harm, it can be very difficult to handle. You may be dealing with pain, disfigurement or disability as well as a reduced quality of life. If you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice and seek to recover damages, you need to work within the law. You need to have a Georgia medical malpractice law firm handling your case. At Joe Durham Jr. PC, we will provide you with all the guidance you need and ensure your interests are fully represented. We’ll work hard to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our skilled attorneys.