Medical Malpractice in Georgia FAQ's

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Medical malpractice in Georgia refers to the professional negligence or misconduct by a healthcare provider, such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, or other medical professionals, which results in harm to a patient. This negligence may occur through actions, errors, or omissions during the diagnosis, treatment, or general care of a patient. Medical malpractice cases typically involve a breach of the standard of care that a reasonably competent healthcare professional would provide in similar circumstances.

Recent studies have estimated errors may account for as many as 251,000 deaths annually in the United States, making medical errors the third leading cause of death. Error rates are significantly higher in the U.S. than in other developed countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the United Kingdom.  At the same time less than 10 percent of medical errors are reported.

Common types of medical malpractice include:

  1. Misdiagnosis
  2. Delayed diagnosis
  3. Childbirth injuries
  4. Medication errors
  5. Surgical errors
  6. Premature discharge
  7. Inadequate follow-up care

To establish a medical malpractice case in Georgia, the patient or their representative must generally prove 4 things:

  1. Duty: The healthcare provider owed a duty of care to the patient.
  2. Breach: The healthcare provider breached the standard of care by failing to meet an acceptable level of competence and skill.
  3. Causation: The breach of duty directly caused the patient's injury or harm.
  4. Damages: The patient suffered measurable harm or damages as a result of the healthcare provider's actions or negligence.

Medical malpractice cases can be complex, and they often involve expert testimony to establish the standard of care and to demonstrate how the healthcare provider's actions deviated from that standard.  Additionally, medical malpractice cases can be very expensive to bring to trial, with expenses typically exceeding $50,000.00 before the case even makes it to a court room.

With that being said, medical malpractice cases have a higher average settlement value compared to other injury cases.  This is due to the severe nature of the injuries caused by medical negligence.  Nationally, the average settlement payout for medical malpractice claims is between $300,000 to $380,000.  For cases that go to trial, and win, the average verdict is just north of $1 million dollars.

Laws regarding medical malpractice vary by jurisdiction, and there are specific procedural requirements and time limits for filing a claim.  In Georgia, you have 2 years from the date of the malpractice (or 2 years from when a reasonable person would have learned of the malpractice) in order to file a lawsuit.  Additionally, Georgia requires that any malpractice suit include a signed affidavit from a physician who practices in the same specialty as the physician accused of malpractice.  Without the accompanying affidavit, any malpractice lawsuit will be dismissed.

If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice, give our attorneys a call today at 770-214-2500 for a free consultation to assess the merits of your case.

 

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