Medical malpractice cases present unique challenges that plaintiffs need to consider, and they are more complex than other common personal injury cases. In addition to the medical and legal aspects you need to understand when filing a successful legal claim, there are rules and requirements you need to comply with along the way. In this article, we answer the question, How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
Defining Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice occurs when an act of negligence or omission results in the injury of a patient. The following must be present for your claim to qualify as medical malpractice:
- A relationship between the doctor and patient
- A duty of care owed to the patient by the doctor
- A breach of that duty of care
- Injuries resulting from that breach of duty
- Damages resulting from the injuries
How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?
A medical malpractice case requires you to show the failure of your health care provider in meeting the standards of acceptable treatment.
You must demonstrate that your injuries would not have occurred had the standard of care been met. Negligence must be proven in order for you to receive compensation under Georgia’s malpractice laws.
Plaintiffs must also consider the extent of their injuries and damages including loss of income, pain and suffering, disability, and other losses.
Severe injuries and loss of life are more likely to result in greater compensation. This is important to keep in mind when weighing the value of your case against the potential legal expenses.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Georgia
Under Georgia law, a medical malpractice claim must be initiated within the two-year period following the injury or death that resulted from the actions or negligence of another party.
The statute of limitations also states that no legal action can be taken after five years have passed following the injury.
The five-year limit also applies in cases where an injury occurred long after a medical procedure has been completed. Exceptions include cases in which health care providers failed to remove a foreign object from the patient’s body during a procedure.
Plaintiffs in these cases have one year to file a legal claim after the error has been discovered. This doesn’t include prosthetic devices, chemicals, and other specific items.
Consulting with a skilled medical malpractice attorney helps you determine your ability to file a legal claim
Getting Compensated for Your Injuries
The right legal resources help you get compensation for your injuries and other damages resulting from medical malpractice.
Examples of malpractice include incorrect diagnoses, surgical errors, incorrect medical dosages, premature discharge, improper or inadequate testing, and others.
Medical malpractice cases require a higher level of research and documentation. The need for expert witnesses and other resources increases the cost of your case.
Doctors and hospitals typically deny any fault in causing injuries to patients. So plaintiffs face strong disputes to their claims.
The difficulty in achieving a successful outcome highlights the importance of having the right attorney to represent your case. Your attorney will understand the laws, legal requirements, and complexities related to malpractice.
Having an attorney who understands medical malpractice law helps you gather and submit the evidence you need to receive full compensation for your injuries and damages.