In Georgia, medical malpractice is a serious issue that affects many individuals. According to recent data, Georgia ranks 16th among U.S. states with the highest malpractice costs per person, per year. This means that many Georgians suffer injuries and losses due to their healthcare providers’ negligence.
Fortunately, the law gives victims of medical malpractice the right to claim compensation for their losses. However, the legal procedures for filing a medical malpractice claim can be complicated, which is why many victims turn to a Valdosta medical malpractice attorney for help.
At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., we receive numerous inquiries from Valdosta and Dougherty County residents seeking legal assistance for their medical malpractice cases.
Some of our clients are well-informed about their rights and the legal process but prefer to enlist our help to save time and effort. Others have no idea whether their case qualifies as medical malpractice and seek our guidance to assess their options.
To ensure that our clients receive the information and advice they need, we often begin discussions by defining medical malpractice. This enables our clients to understand whether they have a valid case or not. Our goal is to provide our clients with the best possible legal representation and help them receive the compensation they deserve for their losses.
What is Medical Malpractice or When to Consult a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Valdosta?
Medical malpractice is defined as a tort under Georgia Code section 51-1-27. This means that healthcare professionals can be held civilly liable for their actions. According to the law, healthcare providers must employ reasonable care and skills, and any failure to do so can be grounds for civil action.
Victims of medical malpractice may seek compensation for their injuries or losses. However, to obtain compensation, they must prove that their healthcare provider failed to follow the appropriate protocol. They must demonstrate that:
- The medical provider acted in a way that a reasonable person in their position would not have acted
- The medical provider’s actions caused the injuries or losses for which the claimant seeks compensation
- The injuries and losses warrant the amount of compensation requested by the claimant.
It’s important to note that waiting too long to pursue a medical malpractice claim could cost victims their right to compensation. That’s why it’s crucial to act quickly. The specific timeframe for filing a medical malpractice claim in Georgia is two years from the date of the injury or discovery of the injury, whichever comes first. This timeframe is known as the statute of limitations. If the victim fails to file the claim within this timeframe, they may lose their right to compensation.
What are the Statutes of Limitations on Medical Malpractice In Georgia?
It is crucial for victims of medical malpractice to act fast in seeking compensation for their losses. The statutes of limitations in Georgia for medical malpractice actions set a deadline of two years from the day of the malpractice occurrence.
However, there are exceptions to this rule, such as the discovery rule or statute of repose, which extends the deadline to a maximum of five years if the healthcare professional’s error remains undiscovered for some time.
Other exceptions include cases where a patient has a foreign object left in them or if the patient is younger than five or legally incompetent at the time of malpractice. Victims who want to take action after the two-year deadline must prove their special circumstances and seek the help of an experienced Georgia medical malpractice lawyer.
At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., we encourage clients to act fast and seek our help in pursuing the compensation they deserve. We assess their case, identify the defendant, and recommend the best course of action to pursue.
The Importance of the Expert Affidavit
An expert affidavit is a document prepared by a medical professional who specializes in the same field as the defendant. It explains why the defendant’s actions fell short of the expected medical standard. The affidavit needs to support the claimant’s argument that the defendant acted negligently, and their actions caused the injury or loss. The expert affidavit has to be submitted to the court before the case begins.
At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., our medical malpractice attorneys in Valdosta, GA, work closely with medical professionals. We rely on their expertise and insights to build strong cases for our clients. We know how important it is to choose the right defendant and prepare an expert affidavit.
We also know how to deal with the challenges of medical malpractice cases. That is why we offer free initial consultations to our clients. We want to understand their case and offer guidance and advice. We also work on a contingency fee basis.
That means our clients do not have to pay any upfront costs or fees. We only get paid if we win the case for them. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.
When pursuing a medical malpractice claim, the first step is filing a lawsuit by submitting an initial complaint to the court and notifying the medical professional of the claimant’s intent.
The complaint should present accusations against the healthcare professionals, accompanied by an affidavit of expert, which is the professional opinion of another healthcare provider. The expert’s qualifications and expertise must exceed those of the defendant, lending credibility to the claimant’s case.
In cases involving brain surgery malpractice, for example, the claimant needs to supply another brain surgeon’s affidavit with higher qualifications and experience than the defendant.
The affidavit will detail what the defendant did wrong and which standards they breached. Failure to provide an expert affidavit may lead to a time extension request, which is only possible when filing the claim with less than ten days before the statute of limitations expires.
The claimant’s medical malpractice lawyer can obtain the time extension, provided they have taken over the case within 90 days of the expiration date, and the court will give them 45 days to file the affidavit.
At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., obtaining the affidavit of expert is a priority as it ensures the timely acceptance of complaints and avoids delays. The law firm has access to a long list of reputable experts to help recover losses their clients may have incurred.
Losses a Georgia Medical Malpractice lawyer May Recover
The amount of compensation a victim of medical malpractice can receive in Georgia depends on various factors. These include the nature and severity of the malpractice, its impact on the patient’s health and quality of life, the evidence available against the defendant, and the skill of the medical malpractice lawyer representing them.
There are different types of losses that victims can claim, such as economic losses (quantifiable expenses), non-economic losses (subjective, difficult to quantify losses), and punitive damages (awarded to punish intentional wrongdoing or gross negligence).
Prior to 2010, Georgia had several non-economic damage caps, but these were deemed unconstitutional by the Georgia Supreme Court. At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., we have a successful track record of obtaining impressive compensation for our clients, and the sooner we start working on a case, the better the chances of maximizing benefits for our clients.
A skilled medical malpractice attorney in Valdosta can be a tremendous help in such a situation. They can initiate a thorough investigation into the incident and gather all the necessary evidence to build a strong case.
They will also help the victim to estimate the future losses they may incur due to their condition. Additionally, they will interview expert witnesses and use case precedents to defend their client’s interests and maximize their compensation.
The victim can recover their expenses, lost wages, and future losses as well as receive compensation for their pain and suffering and any partial disability caused by the malpractice. If their spouse leaves them, they may also claim loss of consortium.
The Importance of Working with a Skilled Attorney
With the help of a skilled attorney, the victim can focus on their recovery while their legal team works to secure the compensation they are entitled to.
An experienced medical malpractice attorney in Valdosta, Georgia, can be crucial for patients seeking compensation for their injuries and losses. Proving a medical malpractice case requires specific knowledge and expertise, as well as access to resources and contacts.
An attorney can handle the strict court procedures, conduct investigations, identify and interview potential witnesses, estimate future losses, and negotiate a fair settlement.
With the help of an attorney, patients can focus on their recovery while ensuring their interests are defended against all odds. Cases handled by experienced lawyers generally settle for higher amounts, and attorneys prioritize their clients’ interests above all else.
Consult an Valdosta Medical Malpractice Lawyer Now!
If you have suffered injuries or losses due to medical malpractice, you may be feeling confused and uncertain about your legal rights and options. But you don’t have to face this difficult situation alone. At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., we have extensive experience handling medical malpractice cases in Valdosta, Georgia, and we’re here to help you.
Whether you contact us by phone or by filling out our online form, we offer a free consultation with one of the top medical malpractice attorneys in Valdosta. We will review your case, answer your questions, and guide you through the legal process.
Our goal is to use our knowledge and expertise to help you recover the compensation you deserve. If you decide to work with us, we will handle all the formalities and work tirelessly on your behalf.