Medical malpractice is form of professional negligence wherein a provider breaches the generally accepted standard of care. This breach can occur in any stage of medical treatment including diagnosis, medication dosage, health management, treatment, or aftercare.
Common Examples of Medical Malpractice in Georgia
- misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
- unnecessary or incorrect surgery
- premature discharge
- failure to order appropriate tests or to act on results
- not following up
- prescribing the wrong dosage or the wrong medication
- leaving things inside the patient’s body after surgery
- operating on the wrong part of the body
- the patient has persistent pain after surgery
- potentially fatal infections acquired in the hospital
- pressure ulcers and/or bedsores
Georgia Specific Requirements for a Malpractice Lawsuit
In Georgia, generally a medical malpractice case must be filed within 2 years of the procedure which caused an injury. In the event the malpractice is not realized in the 2 years following the procedure. it is possible to file suit up to a maximum of 5 years after the procedure in certain circumstances. The only exception to 2 and 5 year statute of limitations is if an unconsented to foreign object (i.e. a medical instrument, sponge, etc.) is left inside the body by a healthcare provider. If this were to occur, a lawsuit must be filed within 1 year of an individual learning of the foreign object remaining inside of their body.
In addition to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit within the appropriate time window, Georgia requires that an affidavit prepared by a medical expert be submitted at the same time of the lawsuit. The medical expert must practice in the same field or specialty as the healthcare provider being sued. Additionally, the affidavit must include the medical experts sworn opinion as to at least one negligent act committed by the health care provider being sued, including the medical expert’s factual basis for that opinion.