When you go to a Georgia healthcare professional, you expect to get the best treatment possible. A doctor should, for example, treat you promptly, make the correct diagnosis and prescribe the right drugs. What if that doesn’t happen? If a doctor violates the expected standard of care while offering you treatment you may have a medical malpractice case. Standard of care refers to best practices used by medical professionals to treat patients suffering from various ailments. When a doctor, nurse or pharmacist doesn’t follow proper medical procedures, a patient may be seriously injured or even die. The medical practitioner’s negligence should not go unpunished. If you or a loved one has been injured due to medical professionals’ negligence, contact a Mableton medical malpractice lawyer immediately. Our legal team is available to help walk you through the claims process and ensure you know what to expect at each step.
What Are Some of the Common Cases Handled by Medical Malpractice Lawyers?
The Journal of the American Medical Association says medical malpractice is a leading cause of death in the US. After heart disease and cancer, medical negligence is next. It causes more loss of life than car accidents. Cases of medical negligence in Mableton, GA include:
- Surgical errors
- Prescription drug errors
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis
- Labor and delivery injuries
- Premature hospital discharge
- Unnecessary surgery
- Error in anesthesia use
- Failure to treat a patient
- Failure to refer patients to a specialist
- Leaving objects such as sponges or surgical tools in a patient’s body
Because of these types of medical negligence, a patient may have to incur huge medical bills to treat injuries. They may be left permanently disabled and unable to work again. The patient may also undergo a lot of pain and suffering due to injuries caused by a negligent doctor.
Sadly, many patients fail to take legal action against medical professionals even when their actions or inactions were clearly negligent. This is because some victims fear repercussions from other doctors once they learn of their medical malpractice case. An attorney will, however, tell a patient they shouldn’t be victimized for filing a medical malpractice suit. If a medical professional does that, they might also be guilty of medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice victims also shy away from suing the healthcare professional because they believe they cannot afford the legal fees. At Schneider Hammers, you do not have to worry about legal fees. If your doctor or any other medical practitioner has been negligent or you suspect they have been, contact us. If your case is valid, we will pursue compensation for you on a contingency basis. That means you will not pay us any legal fees until we successfully get you compensation from the negligent party.
Why You Will Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer to File a Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice cases are complex. It will be difficult for you to handle the challenges that come with a claim alone. A medical malpractice attorney in Mableton, GA can help you with the legal and medical aspects of the case. Most malpractice cases will require medical experts to show how a doctor failed to follow the standard of care. Your medical malpractice lawyer will help with that. They will be able to get that medical expert to testify on your behalf and help them prove that:
The health care provider owed you a duty of care. You cannot sue a doctor or dentist if you didn’t have a patient-doctor relationship. You must have hired the health care provider to treat you. This makes them responsible for ensuring you get the right treatment. If you had a relationship and they were negligent, you have might have a medical malpractice case.
The healthcare provider breached their duty. If a doctor gives you the wrong prescription, they will be breaching their duty to ensure you are properly treated. Their behavior fell short of what a competent medical practitioner would do and they should be held liable. Through a medical expert, your lawyer will prove that your doctor was negligent.
The actions or inactions of the health care provider caused your injuries. If you didn’t suffer any harm because of a doctor’s negligence, you cannot ask for compensation. A medic’s actions or omissions must result in physical harm for a medical malpractice case to be valid. Your attorney will have to provide evidence of the harm the doctor’s negligence caused.
If your attorney can prove all these, you have a strong medical malpractice case and should file a lawsuit.
What Can a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Mableton, GA Get You in Compensation?
In Mableton, GA you are entitled to economic and non-economic damages if you’re able to prove medical malpractice. Economic damages recover expenses and losses incurred due to your injuries. These can be
- Medical bills. A defendant will be asked to pay for past, present and future medical costs related to your injuries.
- Lost wages. This will cover any income you lost because you took time off from work to recover from your injuries. If your injuries make you unable to work again, your Mableton medical malpractice lawyer can ask for future lost wages. Economic bills are easy to calculate and determine. You can, for example, use your medical receipts to know how much to ask for in economic damages.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are not as easy to calculate. These aim to compensate an injured party for the pain and suffering caused by their injuries. Pain and suffering is viewed as the physical pain and emotional stress caused to a patient. How much is paid for non-economic damages depends on how good your medical malpractice attorney in Mableton, GA is. If they are able to get a jury to sympathize with you, pain and suffering damages can be large.
In addition to economic and non-economic damages, you can also get punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant and deter them from acting in a similar manner in the future. In Mableton, Georgia, punitive damages are given mostly in cases where gross negligence occurred. In such a situation, the behavior of a health care provider is more than simple carelessness. It is seen as intentional behavior, malice or fraud.
Georgia doesn’t have any caps on the amount of compensation which can be paid for medical malpractice claims. Previously, caps existed for how much you could ask for in non-economic damages. This was capped at $350,000 for claims against a single medical facility and $700,000 for claims against two or more. The maximum you could claim for pain and suffering was $1.05 million. The caps were removed in 2010 after the Georgia Supreme Court deemed them unconstitutional. What will determine your compensation, therefore, will be:
- The severity of your injuries
- The cost of treatment
- The amount of loss caused by the injuries
At Schneider Hammers, we have handled many medical malpractice cases. That puts us in a position to ably represent you and get you the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Key Things a Lawyer Would Like You to Know About a Medical Malpractice Case
If you plan to sue a health care provider for negligence, there are some things you should know.
- You will require a sworn affidavit from another doctor. For your lawsuit to be accepted by the courts you must have a doctors affidavit. The affidavit must be from an expert and impartial doctor. The affidavit will state how your doctor was negligent and how a competent doctor would have handled your treatment. Courts usually ask for this document to help determine if a malpractice suit is valid or frivolous. Finding a doctor to help you with the affidavit may not be easy. Getting a doctor to review your case may be expensive. Secondly, not many doctors want to testify against a fellow doctor.
A Mableton medical malpractice attorney may, however, be able to get you an expert doctor to help with the affidavit. The attorney will also work with the medical expert to draft your affidavit so that it meets court standards. Courts have denied several medical malpractice cases solely because of poor doctor affidavits.
- A statute of limitations is in place. Georgia has a statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. A statute of limitations is a state law with sets the timeframe an injured patient has to file a lawsuit. According to this law, you have two years to make a claim against a medical professional in Mableton, GA. The two years starts from the time of injury or death. Injury or death may not happen immediately after medical malpractice. The two years can begin to run from the time you learn that medical negligence caused you an injury.
However, you cannot bring a medical lawsuit against a defendant after five years in Georgia. The statute of repose bars a patient from going after a medical professional after that period. Claims may be allowed if a health care provider tried to cover up their negligence so you couldn’t know earlier.
Due to these strict deadlines, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer immediately after you suspect medical negligence.
Why is It Important to File Your Claim Within the Statute of Limitations in Mableton, GA?
The courts in Georgia take the statute of limitations seriously. If you don’t file a claim on time, a court will not hear your case after time has lapsed. The defendant will also bring it to the court’s attention that the deadline passed. Through a motion to dismiss, the party at fault will ask the court to disallow your claim. The court is likely to accept their motion and throw your case out.
That would mean you lose your right to compensation even if you had a strong medical malpractice case. To prevent this from happening, seek help from a Mableton medical malpractice attorney soon after injury. They will tell you how much time you have to file a lawsuit. If you delay and your deadline is close, the attorney will work hard to ensure you are not time-barred.
However, we advise you to start your claim process early. This will give your lawyer adequate time to investigate and prepare a solid case which will get you maximum compensation. Insurance companies are also known to play delay tactics if the deadline to make a claim is approaching. They can drag settlement talks knowing once the deadline passes, they can offer you a lower settlement. At that point, you will have no option but to accept whatever they give you.
Contact Our Mableton Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
Health care providers are supposed to make your medical condition better not worse. If you or a loved one has experienced a case of medical malpractice, you shouldn’t let it go unpunished. By being negligent, the healthcare provider put your life at risk. If they are not held liable, they may also do it to other patients. Hold them to account. Get in touch with Schneider Hammers’ injury attorneys in Mableton, GA for help with your medical malpractice lawsuit. These types of cases are difficult to prove. You need a good lawyer by your side if you decide to sue.
Our law firm has the resources and experience to go up against major hospitals which may have caused you harm. We also know the tricks that insurance companies try to use to get out of paying claims. We will be prepared for them and counter appropriately to ensure you get a fair settlement.
For a free case assessment, call us today. When you contact us, we will answer all the questions you may have about medical malpractice. If your case is valid, we will tell you our strategy to ensure we win you a settlement. Let us fight your legal battles as you recover. You have already been through too much. Don’t add the pressure of dealing with an insurance company to your concerns.