The last thing that you expect to happen when you’re visiting a medical professional to heal you is to be injured further. If you’ve experienced an injury when undergoing a medical procedure, you could be entitled to compensation.
Collecting compensation for your medical malpractice injury requires evidence to verify that the injury happened due to medical malpractice. Once this is proven, additional evidence is essential to accurately measure the compensation you’re entitled to.
The evidence must then be drafted into a claim that is submitted to an insurance company whose primary goal is to deny your claim.
Your Albany personal injury lawyer from The Shrable Law Firm, P.C. is standing by to provide a risk-free, cost-free initial assessment of your case. Read on to learn more about what medical malpractice is, what damages it might entitle you to, and how an attorney helps.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
The National Library of Medicine defines medical malpractice as “any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient.”
It must be proven that the standard of care received was below average. This can require a complex legal analysis that an Albany medical malpractice lawyer can help you complete in support of your claim.
Here are some common types of medical malpractice that can entitle you to compensation, which are generally deviations from the normal standard of care in the professional, as noted.
Disregarding or failing to take appropriate patient history.
When a physician provides medical care to a patient, it’s essential that they understand the patient’s history. Prior conditions can make certain treatments potentially harmful. Alternatively, the medications that a person is on must be carefully taken into account to prevent adverse reactions that can lead to injury or even death.
Failure to diagnose.
The presence of a condition that’s not effectively and promptly diagnosed can lead to the development of a severe or even fatal condition.
Medical experts are trusted sources of diagnostic information, and when a physician fails to diagnose a condition that then worsens and leads to injury, they could be liable for medical malpractice.
Whether or not a professional in their field would have provided similar care, or something greater or different, will determine the outcome of your claim. Your Albany medical malpractice attorney collects evidence and expert opinions to identify when this is the case.
The accurate diagnosis of a condition is often essential to providing the appropriate care. Misdiagnosis can lead to worsening symptoms or unnecessary procedures. Sometimes, the treatment provided for one condition can create other conditions.
Failure to order proper testing.
Proper testing is essential to the appropriate identification and treatment of a broad variety of health issues. When a physician fails to order the proper testing to identify a condition and injury results, you could be entitled to compensation.
Knowing when a physician should have ordered different testing is determined by collecting expert opinions from other professionals in the field who will review the evidence of your case.
Your Albany medical malpractice attorney from The Shrable Law Firm, P.C. has a network of experts in the area. We’ll help schedule your appointments to collect the evidence we need to support your claim.
Misreading or ignoring laboratory results.
The results that come from the laboratory are meant to guide and dictate what path of treatment is taken. Physicians must take the time to read laboratory results so that they’re properly informed in their course of treatment.
Like other types of malpractice, expert opinions are essential to identifying these errors.
Ongoing observation allows physicians to ensure that there are no complications that might threaten the stability of the patient. When someone is prematurely discharged, there’s no opportunity for the physician to monitor the recovery of the patient, and complications can occur.
Poor follow-up or aftercare.
A part of providing quality care is also effectively caring for the patient after their procedure. Infections and other complications can arise when doctors and staff don’t do their best to attend to patients in recovery.
Mistakes in the operating room aren’t uncommon. In fact, they’re one of the primary reasons that doctors carry medical malpractice insurance. It helps ensure that they can practice medicine knowing that they are human and mistakes will happen.
Sometimes, a successfully completed surgery will still lead to a medical malpractice claim, as seen with unnecessary surgery.
For example, if you were in for a broken foot but instead the doctors opened your body to remove a condition in your lungs that was not there, you would be entitled to compensation. Any invasive procedure on your body causes harm and requires recovery, and when a procedure is done by mistake, it’s medical malpractice.
Recoverable Damages in a MedMal Case
Collecting the compensation requires evidence to prove the medical malpractice and accurately measure the costs and damages linked to your injuries.
While you might require additional surgeries or treatments in the short term, you might also incur additional costs for medication, rehabilitation, and other treatments in the long term. Without compensation for these future costs, you and your family can be left having to pay the bills.
The amount of income that you lose as a result of your medical malpractice injury is also incorporated into your compensation. This includes any long-term impact on your earnings. If your ability to earn is reduced due to your medical malpractice injury, you are entitled to compensation to make up for the difference from the time of your injury through your working life.
Just One Mistake Can Cause Irreparable Harm
Even a minor mistake or error can lead to long-term complications and health issues. Victims of medical malpractice often endure costly treatments, ongoing pain, suffering, and even disability.
The standard of care does not include errors, mistakes, and omissions. If you’ve been injured by medical attention, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Proving Medical Malpractice
To prove medical malpractice, you’ll need to prove that the medical professional or healthcare facility engaged in negligence that caused your injuries.
Negligence is a complex legal term that has four parts: duty, breach, causation, and damages. These four parts must be proven by applying the facts and circumstances of your injury to the legal concept. This is best done with an Albany medical malpractice attorney.
1. Doctor-Patient Relationship
To begin your medical malpractice claim, it must be proven that you were the patient of the medical professional that harmed you. This is done either through a written agreement, or when you’ve received treatment from a medical professional.
2. Duty or Standard of Care
Next, it must be proven that the medical professional owed you a duty or standard of care.
Medical professionals are obligated to provide care that meets the standard that a reasonable professional in their field would provide in similar circumstances. This is proven in your claim by receiving opinions from experts.
3. Breach of Duty
With a doctor-patient relationship and the requirement to provide a procedure that meets the standard of care, a breach must occur for you to collect on a medical malpractice claim. The medical provider must have failed to uphold their obligation to provide a procedure that meets or exceeds the standard of care.
The breach of duty must have been the cause of your injury for you to proceed forth with a medical malpractice claim. For example, if a medical provider made a mistake that fell under the standard of care that caused injury, you would have a claim.
To collect compensation for your medical malpractice injury, you must have suffered damages that can be proven with evidence. Evidence includes estimates about your future medical care needs, in addition to any impact on your ability to work and support yourself and your family.
Without evidence of your past, present, and future damages, you will be unable to collect compensation.
Deadline to File a MedMal Claim in Georgia
The statute of limitations is a legal term that essentially means your claim has an expiration date. If you fail to bring your claim within the time allowed, you’ll be unable to ever collect any compensation linked to your injury. You and your family will have to cover all costs associated with your injuries, ranging from medical bills and rehabilitation to lost wages and earnings potential in the long term.
In Georgia, you generally have two years from the time of injury to file your medical malpractice claim. If you fail to do so, you may be prevented from ever pursuing compensation for the costs and damages linked to your injury, no matter how significant they might be.
Injured by a doctor or other health professional? We’re here to help.
When you’ve been injured due to medical malpractice, you will be pursuing compensation for your injuries from the medical malpractice insurance company of the doctor and potentially the healthcare facility where you received the procedure.
It can sometimes be difficult to determine exactly which insurance company is liable and should receive your claim, but your Albany medical malpractice attorney will handle this for you.
The Shrable Law Firm, P.C. is dedicated to helping you collect the full amount in compensation that you’re entitled to for your medical malpractice injury. Schedule a risk-free consultation or call us at (229) 297-7021.
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