Atlanta is home to a number of leading hospitals and medical care facilities. When people need care, they are most vulnerable to preventable and harmful mistakes on the part of physicians and other medical care providers.
Misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and pharmaceutical problems are just a few examples of medical malpractice that may affect patients in Atlanta. In these situations, the affected patient can pursue compensation through a lawsuit. However, the opportunity to act does not last forever.
To learn more about your case and how you could recover with the help of a seasoned Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer, contact Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 today to get your free initial case evaluation.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice in Atlanta
There are several areas of your medical care where providers could have fallen short of their legal duties. Below are a few of the most common instances of medical malpractice that may lead to serious injury or the worsening of existing conditions in Atlanta.
Failure to diagnose a patient correctly or delays in the correct diagnosis may cause the underlying condition to grow substantially worse. Additionally, some erroneous courses of treatment may further exacerbate the actual existing condition that went undiagnosed. Not every misdiagnosis is grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, if the medical care provider responsible for the failure would have gotten to the correct diagnosis in a timely manner by using reasonable practices in their field, they would be liable.
No surgery is without risk, even the most commonplace ones. Surgeons may make negligent errors during the operation, such as inadvertently cutting into the wrong bodily organ, forgetting to remove surgical equipment from the body cavity, or even performing the wrong surgery. Hospital staff must also practice care during the post-operative stage to prevent infection, improper medication dosage, and inform the patient of proper precautions for their recovery.
Medical care providers who write prescriptions for patients are responsible for checking the patient history to ensure that the medication will not cause a negative reaction. They must also provide the patient with information about the medication, including potential side effects. There are also many instances in which the prescription is filled with the wrong medication, in which case the pharmacist or facility that filled the erroneous prescription would be liable.
Damages for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Atlanta
If a plaintiff can prove that they were the victim of medical malpractice, they can recover monetary compensation for the consequences they suffered. Each instance of medical malpractice is as different as the individual victims affected. Therefore, the only way to get a realistic idea of what you could recover in damages for your medical malpractice case is to consult with an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney.
Medical malpractice could affect a victim in several ways. Some of these harms will be direct and monetary, while others will be more personal. Occasionally, courts may award additional damages based on the defendant’s conduct.
For instance, the cost of the additional medical treatment required to mend the malpractice and heal the victim’s subsequent injuries is one such direct financial cost. If you are forced to miss time at work to recover from the malpractice, your loss of income is also considered a direct monetary expense that will be covered in damages.
However, just because a given consequence is not monetary does not mean that it will not be figured into damages. Many medical malpractice victims experience chronic pain, loss of enjoyment of life, and the onset of psychological conditions such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While these consequences are harder to quantify in terms of dollars, they will factor heavily into a court’s determination of damages, so it is important that you work with an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer to help you figure out how much they could add in your case.
In rare situations, a court may also award punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded based on the defendant’s highly reckless or despicable behavior. Generally, a simple surgical error might not be grounds for punitive damages. However, if the surgical error occurred because the surgeon was drunk during the operation, the court may decide that the surgeon’s behavior was so heinous that it warrants additional punishment.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Atlanta
Georgia uses a special set of laws to limit how long a plaintiff has to file their civil claim. These laws, known as statutes of limitations, vary in length depending on the circumstances of the case. Medical malpractice lawsuits are one of the areas where determining the actual filing window is the most difficult.
Generally, Atlanta medical malpractice victims have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. If the injury occurs on the date of treatment, that is when the clock starts to run, but some medical malpractice consequences may develop well after the actual malpractice. In these cases, the clock starts to run at the time the patient develops the condition.
There is a specific exception for medical malpractice involving foreign objects being left in a patient after surgeries. Under this exception, the window is only one year, but the clock only starts once the foreign object is discovered.
There is also a statute of repose in Georgia that places a hard cap on the potential window for filing. Regardless of when the injury is discovered or develops, medical malpractice lawsuits can be brought no later than five years after the negligent treatment.
Get Your Free Initial Case Evaluation from Our Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorneys
The dedicated Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers of Howe Law are waiting for your call. To learn more through a free first-time case assessment, call us at (844) 876-4357 right now.