Surgery is usually the last resort for both doctors and patients since even minor operations can cause complications. Usually, patients recover after their surgeries and they move on with their lives. However, there are cases where something goes wrong during the procedure and the outcome isn’t what anyone expected. The patient may wake up to find their condition has worsened. Sometimes, it’s no one’s fault but other times, patients have grounds to sue for medical malpractice.
Naturally, you would be upset if your surgery didn’t turn out the way you expected. However, you must know what medical malpractice is and what it isn’t. Medical malpractice refers to when a healthcare professional acts negligently and causes harm to a patient. Negligence means they acted in a way that an equally skilled physical wouldn’t. This means that medical complications or mistakes which couldn’t be prevented aren’t considered malpractice. Therefore, a poor outcome doesn’t necessarily mean you have a case. However, you should consult a medical practice attorney for advice.
Types of Surgical Errors Which Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Georgia See
All surgeries involve risks. That’s why you’re asked to sign a form indicating that you understand the risks before the procedure. However, several types of surgical errors can be made during surgery. Surgical errors are preventable mistakes that go beyond the usual risks. For example, the surgeon may puncture an organ or blood vessel, damage a nerve, remove the wrong body part. They may also leave surgical tools inside the patient. Nurses and other staff can also make mistakes that cause a patient’s condition to worsen during or after surgery.
These errors can be due to a range of factors including:
- Insufficient preparation
- Poor communication
- Drug or alcohol use
How Surgical Malpractice Lawyers Will Help You
If you believe a medical professional acted negligently during your operation, you should contact a lawyer. You must do this as soon as possible since malpractice cases are complicated and it will take time to prepare your case. Your attorney will have a lot to do including getting an affidavit from an impartial doctor. This is crucial if you want the court to hear your case. The affidavit should state how your surgeon acted negligently and how another physician would have acted differently. Depending on the nature of your case, it may be difficult to find a doctor who will testify against your surgeon. The sooner your lawyer can start looking for an expert, the better it will be for you.
There’s another reason why you need to act quickly. If you don’t file your case in time, the court will likely refuse to hear it. Georgia has a statute of limitations regarding medical malpractice lawsuits. You usually only have two years from the date on which the error occurred to file your case. However, there’s also a five-year statute of repose in place. It may be applicable in cases where the surgical error wasn’t discovered right away. However, if a foreign object was left in your body, you must file your lawsuit within a year of discovery.
If you don’t pay attention to these timelines, you could be left without recourse, even if you’re seriously ill. That’s why you must contact an attorney as soon as possible. They will analyze the facts of your case and keep track of all the important deadlines.
Damages You Can Receive if You Sue for Medical Malpractice in Georgia
Once your Georgia medical malpractice attorney can prove that malpractice occurred, you are entitled to damages. Compensatory damages ensure you get reimbursed for medical bills and other financial losses connected to the surgical error. Non-economic damages cover pain and suffering and other intangible losses. Sometimes, the court awards punitive damages. This is usually when the surgeon is guilty of malice, fraud or deliberate misconduct.
There are no longer any caps on the amount of compensation victims of medical malpractice can receive in Georgia. Your compensation will, therefore, be based on:
- The extent of your injuries
- The cost of treatment
- The losses caused by the injuries
If you want to get full and fair compensation, you need to hire an experienced lawyer. The surgeon and/or the medical facility will mount a strong defense against your accusations of malpractice. They will have the best attorneys they can afford on their side, so you also need to have competent counsel.
Contact Joe Durham Jr. P.C. to Discuss Your Case Today!
If you believe you have a case to sue for medical malpractice, a Georgia medical malpractice attorney can help. Reach out to our firm as soon as possible. We are highly skilled, experienced lawyers who work hard to ensure each client receives the best outcome possible. If your health worsened because of a surgical error, you should get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation today!