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Possible Defenses in Georgia Medical Malpractice Cases

August 22, 2019

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Were you the victim of medical malpractice and you are now trying to recover your losses? You should expect the defendant to work with one of the best medical malpractice lawyers in Georgia to defend their interests. In fact, if you have not done it already, you should consider getting legal help too. There are many defense strategies healthcare providers and insurers can turn to. An experienced lawyer will be familiar with all of them and help you prepare accordingly. Until you get to consult one, we will review possible defenses in Georgia medical malpractice cases in the following lines.

Possible Defenses in Georgia Medical Malpractice Cases

1. Standard Defenses in Negligence Cases

Medical malpractice is just another form of negligence, so many of the defenses in standard negligence claims apply here are well. For example, the healthcare provider may argue that they provided standard care or that the injuries were not the consequence of a medical error.

For example, let’s say a patient sues the hospital for an infection they acquired during treatment. The hospital may argue that the patient was already infected at admittance or they acquired the infection outside the facility, from an unapproved visitor, etc.

2. Contributory Negligence

Sometimes, patients contribute to their own injuries as well. Even if you did not, the defendant to your claim may sustain that you did. Common examples of contributory negligence in Georgia medical malpractice cases involve:

  • Mixing prescriptions or drugs against medical recommendations
  • Failure to reveal important medical history data
  • Disobeying doctor orders regarding effort, diet, exercise regimen, etc.

3. Respectable Minority Principle

In some cases, healthcare providers decide to apply new, radical treatment forms when treating patients. Despite of possible deviation from the usual protocol, the healthcare provider may be off the hook if they can prove that they followed a line of treatment supported by a respectable minority.

The success of their defense will depend on their ability to prove the respectability of the minority, the fact that they informed you of all risks. If they acted without your consent, this defense strategy will not help them.

4. The Good Samaritan Law

Georgia Code section 51-1-29 may represent an escape for healthcare providers as well. According to it, they cannot be held responsible or prosecuted for their actions while rendering emergency care or trying to save you. This is true even if they omitted or failed to make arrangements for further treatment.

5. Statute of Limitations

If more than two years have passed from when the medical malpractice occurred, you can expect the defendant to deny your claim. They have the right to do so according to Georgia statute of limitations. Your only chance would be to prove that your case qualifies as an exception (objects left inside the body, minor or disabled claimant, etc.).

6. Assumed Risk

“Assumption of risk” rarely works as a defense to medical malpractice but it helps to be prepared. The defendant may get away if they can prove that you:

  1. a) Had actual knowledge of the danger
  2. B) Understood and were able to appreciate the risks
  3. C) Voluntarily exposed yourself to the risk

Experienced medical malpractice lawyers in Georgia can easily assess whether assumption of risk is a possible defense by requesting and reviewing the documents their client signed while receiving medical care. Sometimes, they can counteract the defense even when the defendant can prove that the claimant was informed and agreed to the treatment or procedures they underwent.

Depending on case circumstances, other defenses may be possible as well.  Even leaving defense strategies aside, obtaining compensation for damages related to medical malpractice is not easy. It takes an expert affidavit, and many medical professionals prefer to avoid testifying against their peers.

It also takes solid evidence, not only of the deviations from the standards of care but also of the losses the claimant incurred. A Georgia medical malpractice attorney can help you obtain everything and handle all procedures on your behalf. They will fill in the paperwork and represent you during hearings and negotiations. They will not rest until they compensate you for all your losses, including pain and suffering.

Get Help from one of the Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Georgia Now!

Are you filing a medical malpractice claim and you would like what to expect? At Joe Durham Jr. P.C., you can get all the information you need, for free. We provide free preliminary consultations, so schedule yours as soon as possible. Our Georgia medical malpractice attorney will answer all your questions and provide all the advice you need.