Victims of medical malpractice suffer injuries that can last for months, years, or even for the duration of the rest of their lives. As a result, each medical malpractice case and any possible settlement is based on the individual circumstances that are unique to the case itself.
If you are the victim of medical malpractice, you need to consult an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you of your rights and the legal options you may have to pursue a claim. Contact our law firm and ask to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our medical malpractice attorneys as soon as possible.
How Does Georgia Define Medical Malpractice?
Under the laws of Georgia, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional breaches their duty of care to the patient, causing injuries. A patient must suffer injury or harm due to breach. Healthcare professionals are obligated by law to uphold the highest degree of standards when treating patients in any type of capacity. When they fail to do, and the patient suffers harm or an injury, they may be found guilty of medical malpractice.
If you believe that you are the victim of medical malpractice, contact our law firm and ask to schedule an appointment to speak with one of our knowledgeable attorneys who can answer your questions.
Does Georgia Have Medical Malpractice Caps?
Georgia has recently passed laws that have instituted a “cap” on specific types of medical malpractice damages. Now, even after a case has gone to trial and the defendant is found liable for medical malpractice, there are limits on how much a plaintiff is eligible to receive. These caps in financial compensation awarded to the plaintiff only pertain to non-economic damages. Examples of non-economic damages include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of companionship
A medical malpractice attorney can explain how non-economic damages are determined and answer any other legal questions that you may have about how award damages are capped.
Is it Just Doctors Who Are Liable?
Unfortunately, all medical staff can make human errors or act negligently. The entire medical team is susceptible to medical malpractice claims, from nurses to pharmacists, emergency medical technicians, anesthesiologists, administration, and more.
Examples can include misreading X-rays, MRIs, medical charts, or mammograms. Forgetting the patient’s informed consent before a procedure and a hospital’s failure to have operable and well-maintained medical equipment are also common errors.
Hospitals can also be found to be negligent rather than a specific employee or medical staff. Hospitals and emergency care facilities have a particular standard of care owed to patients, and if this is not followed, they are susceptible to medical malpractice liabilities.
An example of when a hospital would be liable in addition to the medical staff would be if known medical malpractice were found in one of the doctors on staff or if medical staff had a proven drug abuse issue, which led to malpractice.
What Types of Damages Can You Pursue in Medical Malpractice Cases in Georgia?
Three categories of damages are typically sought after in medical malpractice cases. They are general (non-economic), special (economic), and punitive damages.
General damages don’t have a specific monetary value placed on them because they can be challenging to determine. Damages can include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, effects of long-term disability, and more. It can be difficult to place a dollar amount on the items in this category, but a qualified attorney can assist you with estimating and calculating the damages.
Special damages are easier to document as they are related to direct financial costs such as medical bills, missed wages, anticipated medical bills in the future, and estimated long-term loss of income. For example, if you or your loved one can no longer perform at work as you were before the malpractice injuries or death, you can calculate an estimate of the difference in income that resulted.
Punitive damages are meant to punish the guilty party for their particularly egregious offenses or displays of negligence or intent. Punitive damages are allowed in Georgia medical malpractice cases; although they will vary, the general cap is $250,000.
Do Insurance Companies Ever Settle Medical Malpractice Claims Out of Court?
Many times both the insurance company and personal injury attorneys will negotiate with one another out of court to try and reach a settlement that is beneficial for both sides. To save time and money, insurers will frequently try to settle a lawsuit before it can reach the courtroom. However, as an injury victim, you should always keep in mind that an insurance company’s primary goal is to protect its bottom line. Conversely, your personal injury attorney has the end goal to obtain maximum compensation for the injuries you have suffered due to medical malpractice.
How Can a Medical Malpractice Attorney Help Me After I Have Been Injured?
It is vital to obtain a qualified medical malpractice attorney when you believe you have been injured due to medical malpractice. Our law firm’s medical malpractice attorneys have vast experience handling cases. You want an experienced, knowledgeable attorney working hard against insurance companies. Contact our law offices by calling 706-420-2949 to discuss your case.