Medical malpractice injuries and accidents have proven to be more life-threatening than actual diseases in recent years. If an instance of medical negligence has resulted in injuries, disability, or death, you need to take appropriate action. You will require the legal knowledge and counsel of an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer. These claims could either result in a settlement offer or court litigation, but the right injury attorney can help you with both.
Medical Negligence Statistics
The statistics on medical errors across the United States present a grim picture. In 2016, researchers published that the third leading cause of death in the country is medical malpractice. Every year, according to the analysis, medical errors claim as many 251,000 human lives. There are more cases than there are stroke, kidney disease, or even suicide.
The rising number of physician malpractice cases across the country has resulted in more expensive payouts. In 2016 alone, the total payout amount in the country reached a staggering $3,954,339,750, according to Diederich Healthcare. As for individual states in the U.S., the highest paying states have had to shell out $300 million or more. The lowest paying states settled with an average payout amount of $20 million or less. The leading area of medical malpractice is diagnosis, which accounts for 31% of all medical error reports. Medical errors are also known to occur during surgery, treatment, obstetrics, and anesthesia administration.
In the state of Georgia, certain laws may affect the basis and success of a case. If you have a case of medical error resulting in your suffering and/or losses, immediate action is necessary. You should not delay in getting the help of an Attorney. Despite the physical suffering and mental anguish you have endured, you can still fight for full recovery on damages. If necessary, you may even work towards a medical error lawsuit in court.
Injuries, Complications, and Deaths
Medical negligence, regardless of its nature and severity, can lead to various injuries. The most common cases of medical errors take place during:
- Diagnosis/ diagnosis errors
- Delayed diagnosis
- Patient admissions
- Anesthesia administration
- Child delivery
- Outpatient care
- Medication administration
- Failure to refer to a specialist
The reasons for medical errors or malpractice are often varied. Sometimes, there may be a lack of proper communication across channels or between medical professionals. Other times, the medical professional may fail to follow protocol or observe hospital policies. Hospitals may also be held responsible if they fail to maintain medical facilities regularly and hire qualified personnel.
A lawsuit filed by a plaintiff from Georgia resulted in the payment of millions in damages. The court in Columbus, Georgia ordered St. Francis Hospital, along with its surgeons, to pay $26 million dollars as damages. The lawsuit, began in 2012 after the patient suffered complications following a neck surgery, was concluded in 2017.
Damages Available in Atlanta Claims
There is no amount that can serve as compensation for the pain and suffering of a medical malpractice injury. Even more difficult to quantify are punitive damages for injuries that have resulted in a patient’s death. Depending on the nature of your case, it may be possible to quantify both monetary and non-monetary losses. A reliable local attorney can evaluate your case and value all corresponding damages, both economic and subjective.
For instance, your legal counsel may factor in your hospitalization expenses, medical treatments, and outpatient medications. If the injury has resulted in your long absence from work, the damages will have to include income losses. In addition, it may also have to factor in losses in future job opportunities and corresponding income. Subjective losses such as pain and suffering will also be quantified when valuing a case.
Going for a Settlement
When fighting a case of medical negligence, your options may either be to settle or to go to trial. Your attorney should be able to explain the advantages and disadvantages of both options. It is important to fully understand what it means to agree to a settlement. Similarly, it is crucial to recognize what it entails to proceed to file a lawsuit in court.
Some of the reasons a medical malpractice attorney in Atlanta may advise a settlement include:
Availability of a Settlement Offer
The truth is that some defendants in a medical negligence case may not even consider settling. Should there be a settlement offer, however, your legal counsel will most likely begin negotiations. The negotiation helps to ensure that you get the settlement amount you fully deserve.
Fair and Compensatory Settlement Offer
Another good reason to opt for a settlement is if the proposed amount takes care of all damages. You will have to factor in hospitalization, medications, treatments, and income losses, among others. If the medical negligence settlement is justifiable, it is highly likely that an experienced attorney in Atlanta will encourage you to accept.
The Client Prefers a Guaranteed Amount
Unlike heading to trial, a settlement will most likely guarantee that you will receive something by way of damages. If you don’t want to deal with the uncertainty of a lawsuit and its outcome, settling may be better. This route can be advantageous, especially if you have a legal advocate.
At the end of the day, it will be your decision to settle or not. With the help of our team, you can make better and more informed decisions. Hopefully, these decisions will prove beneficial for your case in the end.
Why Should I Consider Filing a Lawsuit
Despite the many benefits of a settlement, there will be medical negligence cases that have to go to trial. Your own case could be one of them. It is best to remember that filing a lawsuit can extend the case anywhere from months to years. When a case goes to trial, you also have to be prepared for the expenses.
However, bringing a worthy case to trial can result in genuine justice. It may even involve the community and serve as a valuable learning experience for all. Prior to making a decision, make sure that you have made consultations with your legal rep first. The following reasons can point to the viability of pursuing a lawsuit:
No Settlement Offer From the Defendant’s Party
There are medical malpractice cases that do not receive any pre-trial settlement offer. As much as possible, you need to choose a lawyer who is willing to go to trial. In addition, you will want someone who has had ample courtroom skills and experience.
Insufficient Settlement Offer
If the case is worth so much more and the settlement does not suffice, litigation should be in order. Your medical malpractice attorney in Atlanta should know how to value your case. This way, you won’t end up settling for an offer that barely meets your present and future losses.
One example is a child who died during an operation due to a physician’s failure to examine the patient’s medical history. Or, if a medical professional has violated hospital policy and this violation resulted in irreversible patient disabilities or complications. In these cases, you may have to pursue court action instead of advocating for settlement.
How Can We Help with Your Claim?
A medical negligence case is one of the most complex cases to settle or to bring to court. Oftentimes, a settlement offer will not be given until after the plaintiff has already filed for a lawsuit. Furthermore, proving the negligence of the defendant can be challenging. The other party may assign the injury to the patient’s pre-existing condition instead of the purported medical error.
There is a complex process that goes into a case analysis. A legal representative will have to look at the facts of your case and its possible complications. Then, they will have to ascertain whether your case stands a chance in the courtroom. The lawyer will have to value your case in the event that a settlement offer comes to the table. Without legal direction, success can be extremely difficult.
A health care professional negligence case can be a simple case against one person. However, it can also be a complex case involving doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators. A skilled lawyer in Atlanta can identify these liable parties prior to a physician negligence settlement or trial. This early knowledge will allow us to strategize according to the guilty parties involved.
You may be handling your own case or the case of a lost loved one. Either way, this situation will be stressful, to say the least. Your skilled attorney will make sure that you are properly represented in settlement meetings and court hearings. They can monitor the deadlines and make sure that everything is filed on time. Your lawyer can also represent you in court, in case you need to rest from your sustained injuries.
Talk to an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney
Our team can help you through a settlement or the filing of a lawsuit. With help, you will be able to fully recover the damages owed to you by a negligent healthcare provider. Regardless of the nature and severity of your injuries a negligent medical provider should be liable for them. You may even seek to bring a grossly negligent medical professional to trial. Whichever route you choose to take, you will need sufficient legal representation in Georgia. Get in touch with us at Schneider Hammers to work with an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer you can trust.