Most people trust they will get the best care possible when they walk into a hospital or a doctor’s office. They entrust their health and lives to medical professionals without anticipating that anything wrong could happen to them. Unfortunately, medical errors do happen from time to time. Thankfully, it is possible to sue negligent medical professionals for medical malpractice.
Pursuing a medical malpractice claim is challenging and overwhelming, which is why many choose to hire an attorney to help them navigate the legal process and secure a favorable outcome on their behalf. At the Shrable Law Firm, P.C., our experienced medical malpractice attorneys in Americus, Georgia, have the necessary expertise and skills to help you sue a negligent hospital and/or medical professionals and fight for the compensation you need.
At The Shrable Law Firm, P.C., we employ a practical and professional approach to give each client a solid case for obtaining maximum damages for their losses. Our strategy is informed by civil litigation and negotiation experience, an in-depth understanding of insurance company tactics, and extensive knowledge of case law.
The term “medical malpractice” is used to describe a situation in which a medical professional (e.g., nurse, doctor, physician, surgeon, dentist, etc.) fails to adhere to the accepted standard of care when treating their patient, resulting in bodily injury or death.
The standard of care varies greatly in the medical community and encompasses a set of standards, procedures, and practices that are accepted by medical professionals in the same field of medicine. The assistance of a medical expert is often necessary to determine whether or not the medical professional who treated you violated the accepted standards of care.
People who suffer harm as a result of negligent acts or omissions on the part of medical professionals should keep in mind that they have a limited amount of time to sue for medical malpractice. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for bringing a medical malpractice case is two years from the date when the patient suffered an injury or was killed due to substandard medical care.
However, Georgia also recognizes what is known as the “statute of repose,” which prevents plaintiffs from suing medical professionals for medical malpractice if the error was not discovered within five years. The only exception to the statute of limitations and statute of repose is if there is a foreign object left in the patient (e.g., surgical sponge). In this case, a patient can pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit within one year of discovering the foreign object regardless of whether or not the statute of limitations or statute of repose has expired.
Depending on the circumstances of the medical malpractice case, a plaintiff could potentially sue nurses, surgeons, dentists, doctors, physicians, and other medical providers. A hospital or another healthcare facility can be held vicariously liable for their employee’s negligence in medical malpractice cases.
However, in order to prevail in a medical malpractice claim in Georgia, the plaintiff must prove the following four elements:
Doctor-Patient Relationship — The doctor owed the patient a duty of care.
Negligence — The doctor breached the duty.
Causation — The patient suffered harm as a result of the doctor’s negligence.
Damages — The injury caused damages.
Georgia law requires any individual who files a medical malpractice lawsuit to file an expert affidavit. The affidavit is a document prepared and signed by a medical expert who is qualified to testify in a medical malpractice case. The expert affidavit must demonstrate proof that the medical professional breached their duty of care
There are three categories of damages that may be available to a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case in Georgia:
Economic (special) damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and other quantifiable losses and expenses
Non-economic (general) damages, such as physical pain, loss of enjoyment of life, suffering, and other losses that cannot be objectively measured
Punitive damages, which are only available if the medical professional’s conduct can be described as oppressive, wanton, fraudulent, malicious, willful, or showing reckless disregard for consequences
Georgia law caps only non-economic damages. Plaintiffs seeking a medical malpractice lawsuit in Georgia cannot receive more than $350,000 in non-economic damages in a single medical malpractice case.
If you or someone you love has suffered harm as a result of a medical professional’s negligence, contact us immediately. At the Shrable Law Firm, P.C., our medical malpractice attorneys have decades of experience representing patients and their families affected by medical errors in Americus, Georgia. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation.