People who have been the victims of medical malpractice have the right to pursue litigation against the parties responsible for their injuries. A physician can be sued if he or she failed to properly diagnose the patient’s condition. In some cases, the hospital could be held legally liable for employing a medical professional who deviated from the normal standard of care. All medical professionals are tasked with providing a standard of care to their patients that is recognized as acceptable by other similar healthcare providers. When a healthcare provider breaches their duty, they can be sued for damages.
Proving Medical Malpractice
In order to be successful in winning a claim for medical malpractice, the plaintiff must be able to prove the following four legal elements:
• Duty of Care—The doctor owed a duty of care to the plaintiff because a doctor/patient relationship existed at the time.
• Breach of Duty—the doctor breached his duty because he deviated from the normal standard of care. This means that the doctor’s treatment fell below the acceptable standard of care in the medical industry.
• Proximate Cause—the doctor’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the patient’s injuries.
• Damages—the plaintiff is entitled to seek damages for their injuries, which includes both economic and non-economic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Medical malpractice cases in Georgia must have an expert file an affidavit stating that they see factual evidence, which supports the legal action for medical negligence in the specific case. This expert is another physician who practices medicine in the same field as the defendant. For example, if the plaintiff is pursuing a claim against a heart surgeon, the expert must also practice medicine as a heart surgeon.
Statute of Limitations
The law limits the amount of time in which an injured plaintiff must take legal action. In the State of Georgia, the victim must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within two years from the date of the malpractice occurred. If the patient did not discover the cause of his or her injury during this time period, the statute of limitations will be extended. Minors who are under the age of five must file a claim within two years of his or her seventh birthday.
Obtaining Damages For Your Injuries
There are several different types of damages the plaintiff may be entitled to. Compensatory damages include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are losses that the victim incurred, such as lost wages or the cost of medical treatment. Non-economic damages include the following:
• Pain and suffering
• Mental anguish
• Physical impairment
• Loss of companionship
• Loss of enjoyment of life
• Loss of consortium (disruption of the marriage relationship caused by injury)
In certain cases, the plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages if the judge or jury found the doctor’s conduct to be reckless, egregious or intentional.
Why You Need a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice cases can be quite complicated and are often difficult to prove. Therefore, it is imperative to hire an attorney who has experience in litigating these types of claims. When you consult a medical malpractice lawyer Atlanta, they will examine the facts of your case to determine how much compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries. Since the law limits the amount of time in which you can file a claim, it is important to take legal action quickly.
When medical malpractice occurs, maximize the recovery by retaining the services of The T. Madden & Associates Atlanta Attorney. You don't have to look anywhere else for attorneys that will fight for your rights and your money.