Every time you visit a health care facility, you trust them to deliver quality medical care.
Unfortunately, physicians and doctors fall short of your expectations.
- At Johns Hopkins Medicine, researchers published a report saying that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the US;
- According to a Mayo Clinic study, study 88% of patients receive a misdiagnosis of a medical condition; and,
- The National Healthcare Quality Report, reveals that 28,000 infants suffer a birth injury every year.
If you or a loved one suffers injuries or dies from a health provider’s negligence, you need to file a medical malpractice claim.
Overview of Medical Malpractice Cases in Georgia
These claims are like other personal injury cases. You need to establish certain elements to get compensation for the harm you suffer. In a medical malpractice cause of action, you must prove:
- The health care provider owed you a duty of care in delivering treatment. This duty is created through the physician-patient relationship;
- That doctor, nurse, or other practitioner breached the legal duty;
- Your injuries are a direct result of the health care provider’s breach; and,
- You suffered losses because of your injuries.
Every one of these elements is crucial, but you should note a special consideration about #2.
Whether your doctor breached the duty is based on the standard of care for all health care professionals. It focuses on what a hypothetical provider would have done in similar circumstances. If your physician made an error or judgment call that strays from this standard of care, your claim meets element #2.
This assessment is complicated. You need a Georgia medical malpractice attorney to help you.
Examples of Medical Malpractice Claims
The elements of a medical malpractice case can be hard to understand.
For example, a patient has a valid claim against a physician, nurse, or other health care provider who:
- Didn’t take proper precautions in administering anesthesia;
- Failed to diagnose a serious medical condition;
- Issued a wrong or delayed diagnosis;
- Left a medical device inside the body cavity after surgery;
- Failed to properly watch vital signs during a medical procedure;
- Providing the wrong prescription or dosage; or,
- Switched patient charts, which may result in surgery on the wrong patient or body part.
In the context of birth injuries, some of the most common medical errors are:
- Failures in prenatal care. This includes not diagnosing and treating gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or sexually transmitted disease in the mother;
- Improper use of birth assisting devices during delivery, including forceps and vacuum extractor;
- Delaying the decision to perform a C-section; and,
- Not getting the mother’s consent to perform a C-section.
Medical malpractice claims may involve individual practitioners. However, a hospital, clinic, or other facility may still be liable for a patient’s injuries.
For example, administrators must show care in hiring physicians, nurses, and other staff. You may have a claim if the they didn’t do a background check or check credentials of providers before hiring.
Common Reasons Behind Medical Malpractice and Medical Errors
A medical error can lead to a claim for malpractice where the provider:
- Was tired due to long hours;
- Failed to perform a proper physical exam or lab tests;
- Didn’t correctly review the results of a lab screening;
- Failed to review the patient’s medical history;
- Ignored patient concerns, questions, or complaints about a medical condition; or,
- Practiced medicine without having the necessary knowledge, training, or experience.
How the Georgia Statute of Limitations Works for Medical Malpractice Claims
The statute of limitations in Georgia for medical malpractice claims is different than other personal injury cases. You must file a lawsuit within two years after the date of the injury or death from a medical mistake. If you fail to do so, you will not get any compensation for your losses.
However, there is also a statute of repose. This focuses on the date that you discovered the error or omission by a health care provider. The statute of repose gives you more time to start litigation since you may not find the mistake right away. Georgia law gives you five years to file a lawsuit under these circumstances from the date of the error.
The statutes of limitations and repose are complex. Medical malpractice lawyers know how these time periods work, so you won’t put your claim in jeopardy.
Discuss Your Legal Remedies with an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney
For more information, contact Wade Injury Law.
We will give you a free case evaluation with one of our medical malpractice attorneys in Atlanta, GA.
After reviewing your case, we will explain more about your rights and legal options as the victim of a medical error.