The Journal of the American Medical Association reported medical negligence to be the third leading cause of death in America—right behind heart disease and cancer. Medical errors result in approximately 250,000 fatalities each year, yet only about 15% of all personal injury lawsuits involve medical malpractice claims. Moreover, more than 80% of these personal injury lawsuits end with no compensation for the patient at all.
However, even though medical malpractice claim rates are low and the probability of failure is high, you may still be able to recover compensation for your damages through an injury lawsuit. To help you get started, we outlined five essential things you need to understand about medical negligence claims in Georgia.
Medical malpractice is when a health-care provider fails to provide the recognized “standard of care” while treating a patient. The standard of care is what a reasonably careful medical physician would have done in similar circumstances. Some examples of medical malpractice include a misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose a medical condition, failure to provide the appropriate treatment, and unreasonable delays in medical treatment.
Georgia code requires individuals filing a medical malpractice suit to include an affidavit along with the complaint. In other words, you must provide a written statement prepared by a medical expert qualified to testify under Georgia law, stating at least one negligent act committed by the defendant including evidence for the allegation.
You have two years from the date of the injury-causing accident to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If during that two year period, you were unaware of your injury, the deadline could be extended to account for the reasonable time it would take to discover your injury. However, if a doctor left a foreign object inside of your body, the statute of limitations is reduced to one year from the date of discovery. Moreover, medical malpractice claims may not be initiated more than five years after the injury causing medical treatment.
Some states limit the amount of money you can recover in medical malpractice lawsuits, but Georgia does not. In 2010, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that damage caps violate the state’s constitution. As a result, the state does not cap damages in any personal injury case.
4. A medical malpractice lawsuit could help you recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages
Depending on your case, you may be eligible to collect payment for any economic and non-economic damages stemming from the medical error. Economic losses would cover any out-of-pocket expenses arising from the injury like medical bills and lost wages, while non-economic damages are designed to compensate you for your pain and suffering.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are difficult to win. These cases involve complicated medical issues, pressure from insurance companies, medical experts to prove liability, and expensive litigation costs. Tiny mistakes can ruin your case, so it would be wise to retain the services of a qualified medical malpractice lawyer. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer that routinely handles medical malpractice claims is a good start at preparing for your date in court.
If you need help filing a medical malpractice claim in Atlanta, Georgia, hiring an attorney can help you secure the compensation you deserve. Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Atlanta and get started on your case today.