The Basics of Georgia Medical Malpractice
If you suffered an injury due to a Georgia healthcare professional's improper treatment, you may have a legitimate Georgia malpractice claim on your hands. Medical malpractice laws allow patients to sue healthcare professionals who cause them injury. If you are successful in your lawsuit, you will win compensation for such things as medical costs, as well as pain and suffering.
If you are planning on filing a medical malpractice claim, you should try to acquire a basic understanding of the laws governing medical malpractice in Georgia. In addition, you should seek out the assistance of Georgia medical malpractice attorneys to help represent you in your litigation.
What Is Georgia Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional-such as a doctor, dentist, or nurse-or a medical institution-such as a hospital-violates its standard of care when treating you, thus causing an injury or even your death.
The definition of standard of care may vary slightly from state to state, but in general, a standard of care is a generally accepted set of standards and practices used by medical professionals to treat patients suffering from a specific ailment or disorder. The standard of care will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the patient's age and overall health.
When you file your Georgia malpractice claim, you will have to prove that the doctor's violation of the standard of care is what caused your injury. This can be difficult to prove. Oftentimes, it requires the use of expensive expert witnesses who are knowledgeable about medicine.
Georgia Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
All states set their own statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. A statute of limitations is the time limit within which an injured patient has to file a case. Once the statute of limitations runs out, so does the opportunity to file suit against the medical professional.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases is two years from the date of injury or death. It's important to keep in mind that the date of injury or death can come after the date of the incident that ultimately led to the injury or death.
However, Georgia also has a statute of repose, which further limits a patient's ability to file a claim against a medical professional. According to the statute of repose, an injured patient has only up to five years to file a suit after the act that caused the injury occurs.
Because of these strict time limits, it is important that you seek the help of a Georgia medical malpractice attorney soon after you notice an injury.
Georgia Medical Malpractice Damages
Damages are the monetary awards you may be entitled to if you can prove your medical malpractice case in court.
There are different types of damages available to injured patients. The first is known as compensatory damages. This is compensation for financial losses, such as medical costs and wages lost due to days of missed work.
Another type of compensation is known as non-economic damages. This is compensation for such things as pain and suffering.
The last type of damages is known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are used to punish a medical provider or entity whose reckless actions caused a patient injury. In Georgia, punitive damages are allowed, but only in cases where there is very clear and convincing evidence that shows the healthcare provider's behavior included such things as willful misconduct, malice, or fraud when treating the patient.