We depend on doctors to get us well. We don’t expect them to cause harm. Unfortunately, accidents happen. Doctors aren’t perfect. When we go in for routine surgery, the last thing we expect is to come out in worse shape than when we went in. If you or a loved one have been injured in a medical malpractice case, you need a good Smyrna medical malpractice lawyer.
We grow up learning to trust our doctors. When we’re sick, we go to our doctors to help us get well. When our doctors prescribe us medication, we take it as instructed. We don’t stop to think that maybe our doctor is wrong. We have no reason to think that our doctor is making a mistake when he is treating us for our illness.
One of the reasons doctors and other medical professionals carry malpractice insurance is because they make mistakes. They know that there will be times when they make the wrong call or miss a diagnosis. This doesn’t make it any easier for us to handle. We expect to get compensation fairly. This is why you need a Smyrna medical malpractice lawyer.
What is Medical Malpractice and Why Do We Need a Smyrna Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Medical malpractice occurs if a medical professional doesn’t meet their standard of care while treating a patient. Malpractice can involve something as simple as prescribing the wrong medication. Or, it can result from something as serious as amputating the wrong limb.
What is a standard of care? A doctor’s standard of care is the quality of treatment that similar healthcare providers reasonably consider appropriate. When we define a standard of care, we have to look at the patient’s condition and treatment.
An example of medical malpractice is when a doctor leaves a sponge in a patient’s body during surgery. This sponge can cause infections and medical issues for the patient for months or years to come. In fact, in order to correct the issue, a second surgery is a requirement. This puts the patient at risk for additional danger. It can also lead to long-term medical issues for the patient. It is the job of your Smyrna medical malpractice lawyer to get compensation for these issues.
Another instance of medical malpractice is when a doctor prescribes the wrong medication to a patient. People with blood pressure issues, for example, cannot take normal cold medicine. If they do, they can run into heart issues including a stroke. If a doctor prescribes the wrong medication, a patient can die. A doctor needs to be held accountable for this type of mistake.
Your Smyrna Medical Malpractice Attorney Will Make Sure You Meet the Statute of Limitations
Georgia has special rules when it comes to medical malpractice cases. Your medical malpractice attorney in Smyrna, Georgia only has a certain period of time to file your claim. This is referred to as the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in Georgia is two (2) years. This means that you only have two years from the date of the incident to file your claim. Your Smyrna medical malpractice lawyer will do what it takes to make sure you meet this deadline.
There are situations in which the statute of limitations doesn’t start to run on the day of the injury. One such situation is when you had no idea the injury has taken place until much later. For example, if a doctor misdiagnoses you, you may not find out about it for months or even years. If your Smyrna medical malpractice lawyer can prove that you didn’t know for that period of time, he can extend the statute of limitations period.
If you miss the statute of limitations, you will not be allowed to file your lawsuit. Even a skilled medical malpractice attorney in Smyrna, Georgia will not be able to overcome this obstacle. There are no exceptions to this rule. This is why you need an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Smyrna, Georgia. They know the court rules and will do what they can to preserve your deadline.
Smyrna Medical Malpractice Lawyers Handle all Types of Cases
Given the wide range of medical issues, it’s no surprise that there is no limit to the types of medical malpractice cases. Smyrna medical malpractice attorneys have seen all kinds of cases. Depending on your case, your injuries may be minor or serious. It really depends on how large the mistake was and how it impacted your body. Almost all medical malpractice claims involved physical injuries. There are times when your injuries may be mental or psychological in nature. However, these cases are rare and very hard to prove.
Smyrna medical malpractice attorneys see all sort of cases.
Some of the most common types of medical malpractice cases include:
A doctor tells a patient that he has indigestion. The patient goes home with instructions to rest and take antacid tablets. In the middle of the night, the patient feels violently ill and is rushed to the hospital. The emergency room physician determines that the patient has a ruptured appendix. Since it was not treated, it has ruptured and is causing a serious infection in the patient’s body. This can lead to organ failure or even death. A Smyrna medical malpractice lawyer will have a solid case for medical malpractice in this situation.
If a surgeon is supposed to amputate a patient’s left foot and accidentally amputates his right foot, there will be serious problems. Now the patient is going to end up with both feet amputated. This decreases the patient’s quality of life significantly. It also can cause the patient to be permanently disabled. The recovery period will be much longer than it should have been. This plaintiff has a solid claim for medical malpractice. An experienced medical malpractice attorney in Smyrna, Georgia will try to get as much compensation as possible for a case like this.
Sometimes, a doctor is aware that a patient is suffering from a condition but fails to treat it. He may do this out of laziness, procrastination or simple ignorance. These cases are not difficult to prove. The only difficulty will be in your Smyrna medical malpractice attorney proving that your injuries were worse because of his negligence.
Nobody likes to imagine that their baby will suffer injuries during birth, but it happens. Birth injuries make up a large percentage of medical malpractice cases.
As mentioned in an earlier example, there are a lot of medical malpractice cases that result from prescription drug errors. Doctors aren’t perfect. They make mistakes. They see a lot of patients in the course of a day and they may accidentally prescribe you the wrong medicine. When this error leads to injuries or death, the doctor will likely be held liable for medical malpractice.
Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Smyrna, Georgia Will Demand you be Paid for Your Damages
If you or a loved one are the victim of medical malpractice, you are going to want to be compensated for your damages. The damages for a medical malpractice claim can range from thousands to millions of dollars. Experienced medical malpractice attorneys in Smyrna, Georgia have handled both large and small cases. It really depends on the nature and severity of your injuries. It also depends on the age of the plaintiff.
Babies and children who are injured due to malpractice often warrant very high settlements. This is not only because these cases are so tragic, but also because the malpractice affects the child’s entire life. Your Smyrna medical malpractice attorney is going to work hard to get your family the compensation you deserve.
Georgia allows for two main types of damages in a medical malpractice case. You can bet that your Smyrna medical malpractice lawyer is going to push to get you as much money as possible. These damages are broken into economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff for money they have lost as a result of the injury.
This is usually broken down into:
- Time missed from work
- Lost future earnings
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
Your Smyrna medical malpractice attorney is going to work hard to get you all the economic damages to which you have entitlement.
Non-economic damages are basically pain and suffering. Georgia does allow pain and suffering. Your lawyer will work with the insurance company to try to settle your claim. If this isn’t possible, your medical malpractice attorney in Smyrna, Georgia may have to file a lawsuit. It is in everybody’s best interest to settle a malpractice claim.
Why Would Your Medical Malpractice Attorney in Smyrna, Georgia Settle Your Claim?
It really is best for all parties to try to settle your medical malpractice claim. Your Smyrna medical malpractice attorney knows this. So does the insurance company. Doctors and medical professionals carry malpractice insurance for a reason. They know that they aren’t perfect. Rather than have doctors and hospitals be open to unlimited claims for damages, they work with an insurance company. Your Smyrna medical malpractice attorney will work with the insurance company to try to settle your claim.
You will first need to file a claim with the doctor’s medical malpractice carrier. If they pay the claim – great. You can take your money and try to return to a normal life. If they refuse to pay your claim, you will want the services of a medical malpractice attorney in Smyrna, Georgia. This is not something you want to handle by yourself. The insurance company will have attorneys working for them. You need to do the same.
Medical malpractice attorneys in Smyrna Georgia know that medical professionals in Georgia have to carry malpractice insurance. This wasn’t always the case. This is so that patients who had injuries due to a doctor’s negligence can get compensation. Up until 2010, Georgia limited damages in medical malpractice cases to $350,000. Thankfully, in 2010 the Supreme Court decided that this limitation was unconstitutional.
There is now no limit on how much a plaintiff can recover for pain and suffering in a malpractice case. Keep in mind, however, that judges have this figure in mind when deciding cases. So do insurance companies when they are negotiating a settlement. Your Smyrna medical malpractice lawyer is well aware of this. They will use this figure as a target when settling your case.
Contact a Smyrna Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, you need to contact a Smyrna medical malpractice attorney. You are going to want an experienced professional by your side to go up against the insurance company. Your Smyrna medical malpractice lawyer knows the laws in Georgia and knows what it takes to prove your case.
When you contact your Smyrna medical malpractice lawyer, schedule your free initial consultation. It gives you a chance to ask your lawyer any questions or concerns you may have. It also gives your Smyrna medical malpractice lawyer a chance to review your case and see what it may be worth. He can go over your options with you and decide how you’d like to proceed.
Ideally, your Smyrna medical malpractice attorney will be able to work with your insurance company. They both want to settle your claim. Nobody wants to go to trial in a medical malpractice case. Trials are time consuming and expensive. It may take years to get coverage. A settlement is better for all parties. It allows you to resolve the matter quickly and for a fair amount.
When you meet with your Smyrna medical malpractice lawyer for the first time, bring the following items with you:
- All correspondence you have received regarding your claim
- Medical documentation regarding your injuries
- Proof of lost wages
- Contact information for any witnesses
- The name and contact information for any doctors who have treated you in the past
Your Smyrna personal injury lawyer is going to use all of this information to try to get you as much money as possible. He will work hard to get you and your family justice. The initial consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your case!