When we go to the doctor, we expect to get better rather than worse. Unfortunately, every year hundreds of thousands of Americans die as a result of medical errors while others survive even though they suffer harm. Medical malpractice can take various forms but at its core, it involves a healthcare professional acting negligently and harming a patient as a result.
Prescription errors can fall into the category of medical malpractice. To bring a successful claim, you will need to prove that a reasonable professional in the same specialty would have acted differently. You will need to hire a Georgia medical malpractice attorney to help you with your case.
Common Medication Errors
Prescribing the “wrong medication” may seem like a simple concept but there are several mistakes that a doctor can make when prescribing medicine. For example, they may:
- Prescribe a medication that is ineffective and doesn’t treat the patient’s condition
- Prescribe a drug that includes ingredients to which the patient is allergic
- Prescribe the wrong dosage
- Prescribe a drug for the wrong duration
- Prescribe medication that interacts negatively with another drug the patient takes
- Prescribe something that harms the patient because of an underlying medical condition
- Prescribe a drug without warning the patient about the risks and side effects
Proving That a Doctor Was Negligent
As with any type of personal injury case, you will have to show that the person in question was negligent. Medical malpractice lawyers in Georgia have to establish that:
- The injured person and the doctor had an official doctor-patient relationship. This means your lawyer will seek to establish the doctor agreed to treat you and you consented to the treatment.
- The physician was negligent. One key element of proving negligence is getting expert witnesses to testify that the doctor’s actions breached the established standard of care. The expert witnesses are usually physicians in the same field as your doctor.
- You were actually harmed. If the doctor made a prescription error but you didn’t suffer any harm, you don’t have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. You will need to prove that the doctor’s actions caused you to develop a new health problem or exacerbated a pre-existing condition. If the error was caught before you took the medicine or you took it but didn’t suffer any harm, you won’t be able to get any compensation.
If you can prove all three factors, you’ll be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Your attorney will help you to quantify all your losses resulting from the incident.
Getting the Compensation You Deserve
Medical malpractice cases are often complex. If you believe you suffered harm because of a doctor’s negligence, you need to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. There are several medical and legal issues that will have to be explored and you won’t be able to handle them alone.
The first thing your attorney will have to do is ensure that you have the correct at-fault party. While you may assume that the doctor is responsible, it’s possible that the drug manufacturer created a dangerous product or the pharmacist gave you the wrong drug. Even you as the patient could have contributed to your harm by neglecting to tell the doctor about your allergies or failing to accurately describe your medical history. If any of these situations occur, you may not be able to sue the doctor.
When you hire a lawyer, they will investigate the matter and do everything possible to ensure you get compensation if you have a valid case. In Georgia, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the date on which you learned or suspected that malpractice occurred.
Unlike some other states, Georgia doesn’t follow the discovery rule so even if you discovered the injury sometime after it occurred, you won’t get more time to file your case. If you try to sue a doctor after the statute of limitations is up, the court will throw out the case. When you contact a lawyer promptly, you’ll be able to file your case in time.
Contact Joe Durham Jr. P.C. to Discuss Your Case
If you suffered harm because of a doctor’s negligence, reach out to our Georgia medical malpractice attorneys for help. You deserve to be compensated for your losses and we will do everything we can to assist you. These cases can be complicated, but we have a team of experienced lawyers who have helped several patients who were injured because of a doctor’s actions. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.