Atlanta is one of the largest cities in the South, with numerous hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Unfortunately, mistakes can be made by the professionals we trust with one of our most important assets: our health.
There a many causes for medical malpractice, but when a doctor or medical professional deviates from their field’s standard of care, they can be held liable for the damages they cause. Medical malpractice cases can be challenging as there are additional requirements to filing suit. Georgia also places a cap on certain damages that you can be awarded.
If a medical provider injured you through malpractice, our seasoned medical malpractice attorneys can help you get justice for the harm you have suffered. Contact Howe Law at (888) 559-8344 for a free case evaluation.
Defining Medical Malpractice in Atlanta
Medical professionals, like doctors and nurses, are held to a standard of care when treating patients that cannot be deviated from. However, not every negative impact from a patient’s injuries results from medical malpractice because the standard of care might have been met, but the injuries were too severe. Thus, it will be critical to look at your case to see where your medical professional deviated from the accepted practices when they injured you.
Medical malpractice occurs in Atlanta when the treatment a medical professional provides a patient falls below the standard of care for that specific situation. The root cause of medical malpractice is negligence, but the standard of care differs depending on the medical professional that treated you. If you were the victim of a medical professional’s negligence, you can file a lawsuit against them and usually the hospital or facility they work at.
The challenge of medical malpractice cases is identifying the conduct that injured you. There are many causes of medical malpractice, but without the necessary experience, it is difficult for victims to determine where things went wrong. In other cases, it might be extremely obvious that medical malpractice occurred, such as when a surgical instrument is left in a surgery patient. Our medical malpractice attorneys can help you get to the bottom of how your injuries occurred and file a lawsuit against the medical provider responsible for your injuries.
Special Considerations for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Atlanta
While medical malpractice cases are considered a type of personal injury case, they have additional requirements and considerations not placed on typical personal injury cases. These requirements must be met for your lawsuit to proceed further than just filing the case. To successfully file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Atlanta, you will need to provide an affidavit from an expert regarding your injuries. There is also a cap on certain damages you can recover in a medical malpractice case, which can have a profound impact on cases involving severe injuries. Our medical malpractice attorneys can help you prepare your expert’s affidavit and file your lawsuit to get you the compensation you deserve.
When a medical malpractice lawsuit is filed, it must be accompanied by an expert’s affidavit. According to O.C.G.A. § 9-11-9.1(a), a medical expert must review your case and provide an affidavit, a sworn statement submitted to the court to support a case, testifying to the type of negligence committed in your case and the facts that support that conclusion. Our team can help you with this common practice, including securing a medical expert to examine your case.
The reason for this rule is to provide the court with guidance in a field that most have no training in, medicine. The court is overwhelmed with personal injury and medical malpractice cases, so this acts to weed out cases where malpractice did not actually occur. For your affidavit, the doctor that examines your case should be in the same field of medicine as the doctor that injured you. That way, their expertise is not called into question. Our medical malpractice attorneys can arrange for a medical professional to examine you and your medical records, so the court accepts your case.
Cap on Damages
Another critical consideration in an Atlanta medical malpractice case is the cap Georgia places on the damages that can be recovered. While there is no cap on the economic damages you can be awarded, which typically includes high medical costs and lost wages, Georgia does cap “pain and suffering” damages. Pain and suffering are also known as non-economic damages and are intended to compensate victims for their injuries’ emotional impact on their lives. In medical malpractice cases, these can be quite high.
Unfortunately, though, these damages will be capped, even in cases of extreme negligence. According to O.C.G.A. § 51-13-1, pain and suffering damages are capped at $350,000 if you are suing one or more healthcare providers. If you file a lawsuit against one or more medical facilities, like a hospital or other facility, you can only recover $350,000 in damages from any one facility and no more than $700,000 total in the case. Our medical malpractice attorneys can review your case to determine if Georgia’s cap will be an issue and how best to address it.
Types of Medical Professionals that Can be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice in Atlanta
The medical field is vast, with numerous different types of medical professionals overseeing the care of patients. Thus, many healthcare providers other than the doctor could be responsible for your malpractice injuries. A nurse could have filled a prescription wrong, or a chiropractor might give questionable treatment. Several parties could be liable for your injuries, depending on when the malpractice occurred in your case. The following are other medical providers who could be sued for malpractice in Atlanta:
- Physical therapists
- Nurse practitioners
- Emergency room doctors and staff
- Physician Assistants
- Other specialists
- Physician Assistants
- Medical facilities
Each field has a standard of care that the treating professional must adhere to. When they do not, catastrophic injuries can result. Our medical malpractice attorneys can help you determine exactly who should be held accountable for your damages.
Our Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help
Our medical malpractice lawyers at Howe Law are dedicated to helping malpractice victims recover the compensation they deserve. For a free case assessment, call us at (844) 876-4357 today.