What is Medical Malpractice?
Enlisting the care of a medical professional should be a positive experience. When you do so, you rely on your provider’s years of education and experience to help him or her correctly diagnose and treat what ails you. You expect, reasonably, that the provider you have chosen will do everything within his or her power to ensure that further harm will not afflict you unnecessarily. In Georgia and elsewhere, this is known as “standard of care.” Unfortunately, there are times when medical providers do not fulfill their end of the bargain.
An act of medical malpractice can occur from a medical professional’s failure to diagnose properly, improper treatment, or even treating a patient without proper permission. This post will give you an overview of the steps to follow for pursuing a medical malpractice claim.
Contact the Medical Professional Involved
The first step to starting a medical malpractice case is contacting the doctor or medical professional who worked with you before you actually file the claim. Your goal in contacting the medical professional is to get an understanding of what may have gone wrong. This will also allow them to determine whether it’s something that can be remedied.
In most cases, medical providers will perform services to eliminate the need for a claim especially if it is a situation that will heal over time such as light scarring. For a claim to be filed you must prove there was negligence, who was negligent, the extent of injuries, and how your life has been affected.
Know How Long You Have to File a Claim
In Georgia, patients have a limited amount of time to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. These limits are called statutes of limitations (SOL). If you do not file a claim within the time period, you risk waiving your rights to recover money for your injuries.
The SOL varies depending on the type of injury. In Georgia, the general statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit is two years; however, there are exceptions that can either extend or shorten a patient’s time limit for filing a lawsuit. For instance, if your claim results from a “failure to diagnose” you may be given a limited extension. In such cases, the two-year time limit begins on the date the injury was realized.
Check the statutes of limitation in your particular state to ensure the time period for filing your claim does not run out.
Get a Medical Assessment to Confirm Your Case Has Merit
The laws in Georgia regarding medical malpractice claims are very complex. In Georgia, patients pursuing a medical malpractice claim have to file a Medical Affidavit from a qualified physician. The affidavit will serve to determine that the injuries you suffered resulted from a health care professional’s negligence (Ga. Code §9-11-9.1).
This expert will review your medical records and certify that the original health care provider deviated from accepted medical practices, which resulted in your injuries. The attorney that you hire will file the Affidavit, which must meet strict legal requirements, with the lawsuit.
Get a Review of Your Claim
If you or a loved one suffered harm because of the negligence of a medical provider, then you may be entitled to compensation. Medical providers are expected to act within the confines of established standards of care. If they operate outside the norms of their profession, it is unethical and potentially life-threatening behavior. These individuals have enormous responsibility over the lives and health of their patients. If you believe the care you received resulted in an unnecessary injury, then please contact our experienced medical malpractice legal team in Georgia today. No one should suffer because of the negligence of another.