Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Patients place a tremendous amount of trust in their surgeons, physicians and medical care professionals. Unfortunately, these health care professionals sometimes breach the standard of care. We have recovered millions of dollars for persons injured in acts of medical malpractice. These lawsuits can provide compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and future medical care.
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Here are some things that you should know about our Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys:
- We’re experienced. We have successfully prosecuted numerous medical malpractice cases. We have recovered millions of dollars for folks injured by the medical negligence of their doctor. We have tried medical malpractice cases too, and we are prepared to try yours if need be.
- We have the team. Medical malpractice requires expert testimony. There’s no way around it. We have been doing this for a while, and we have a team of expert physicians ready to assist you with your case.
- It’s tough business. It is common knowledge that the vast majority of medical malpractice cases are lost by the patient. Some estimates are as high as 90% of medical malpractice cases that are tried to a jury are lost. Our Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers have beaten the odds before, and we can do it again. We will also give you honest and forthright advice about your chances of success in a medical malpractice case.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a “cause of action” or “tort” in Georgia by which an injured person may bring suit against their medical doctor for breach of the standard of care.
The standard of care basically means that the doctor did something that a reasonable doctor would not have done under the same or similar circumstances. It is falling below what a reasonable doctor would do.
Georgia law defines medical malpractice as “any claim for damages resulting from the death of or injury to any person arising out” health, medical, dental, or surgical services. This includes diagnosis, prescription, treatment or care. It can happen at a hospital, clinic, nursing home, medical facility, institution, or doctor’s office. For it to be considered a medical malpractice case, there must be a doctor-patient and the failure of the doctor to provide the quality of care required under the circumstances.
What are the elements of a medical malpractice claim in Georgia?
There are three elements to an action for medical malpractice that the plaintiff must prove.
First, the patient must prove that the doctor owed the patient a duty. This basically means that the doctor had an obligation to treat the patient in a certain manner. Generally speaking, the patient will argue that doctors, under the same of similar circumstances, would have performed treatment in a particular way.
Second, the patient must demonstrate there was a breach of the standard of care. The standard of care means that the doctor, nurse, or medical professional did not act as a reasonable medical professional would under similar circumstances. Sometimes, breach of the standard of care is quite obvious, such as when a doctor failed to remove a surgical tool. Many times, however, the plaintiff and the defendant will disagree as to the appropriate standard of care. As a result, the plaintiff will have an expert (a medical professional who performs the treatment in question) and the defendant doctor will likewise have an expert.
This is commonly called a “battle of the experts.” It is essential that the patient have a credible expert who can articular the standard of care, and the breach in easy to understand ways. At our firm, we routinely work with reputable medical professionals and have experience in locating the best experts possible for the case.
Third, the patient has to prove that their injury was caused by the doctor’s breach of the standard of care. In medical cases, this again can be trickier than normal cases. This is because, most of the time, the doctor is working to resolve an injury. So, when there is an injury in the care, the two medical complications may appear intertwined. A solid expert and medical malpractice attorney can separate the two, so that the judge and jury understand what went wrong and how it affected you.
What are the damages in a medical malpractice claim?
The damages will be the same as those in other personal injury cases.
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages, and
- Pain and suffering.
The amount of medical bills recoverable in a medical malpractice claim are those reasonably related to the injury caused by the negligence of the doctor, nurse, or other medical professional. As to lost wages, this is the amount of time that the patient missed from work as a result of the injuries incurred in medical malpractice. Pain and suffering is up to the “enlightened conscience of the jury.” This means that the jury gets to determine how much to award here, with little guidance.
A skilled Atlanta, GA medical malpractice attorney is able to articulate how the injury affected the patient’s life in detail. The pain endured by the patient is expressed in an easy to understand and related manner.
Who can file a claim when a loved one dies due to medical malpractice in Georgia?
When a patient dies due to medical negligence, family members have the right to bring a claim for the death. The statutes controlling wrongful death cases are complex.
The general rule is that when a family member dies, the following persons have the right to bring the claim (in the order of priority): (a) spouse; (b) child; (c) parents; (e) executor/administrator of the estate (usually closest relative).
There are enough exceptions to these rules to fill a chapter in a book, so it is important to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Atlanta if medical negligence results in the death of a loved one.
Do medical malpractice attorneys work on contingency?
The standard for medical malpractice lawyers on the plaintiff side is to charge a contingency fee.
A contingency fee means that, only if the plaintiff recovers money from their claims, then the attorney gets an agreed upon percentage of the recovery.
This means there is no fee unless you win the case.
What does a medical malpractice attorney do?
Medical malpractice lawyers work with their clients and health professionals to build a case. Medical malpractice is a particularly challenging area of law, with estimates that the defense wins over 90% of the asserted claims. Hiring a Georgia medical malpractice lawyer is important because there are specific and, somewhat, tedious rules governing these torts. In addition, proving the standard of care can be challenging. Generally, the plaintiff must prove that the level of care provided by the doctor fell below what an ordinarily prudent doctor would have done under the same or similar circumstances.
Because of this, it is particularly important to hire a competent Georgia medical malpractice attorney at the earliest opportunity.
It takes time to interview witnesses, review medical records, and obtain an expert opinion as to whether the standard of care was breached.
This can be particularly challenging because, while the defendant has readily available access to their colleagues who generally will support their position, the plaintiff must locate a doctor willing to testify against a colleague. This is often a challenge. Only after a competent expert is found can the plaintiff begin to negotiate a resolution or prepare to file suit.
Georgia Medical Malpractice FAQ
What is the Basis for Most Medical Malpractice Claims?
Medical malpractice suits arise from any act or omission of a medical care provider that falls below the standard of care, which act causes injury or death. There are many different types of medical malpractice cases, including surgical error, misdiagnosis, wrongful death, birth injuries, birth deaths and many more.
What are the Chances of Winning a Medical Malpractice Suit?
The merits of each case must be determined on a case by case basis. However, Medical malpractice is a difficult area of law for a plaintiff. Statistics show that defendants win 90% or more of the cases. It is important to hire an experienced, professional medical malpractice attorney. This is a tough business.
How do I file an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
There are many hurdles that must be cleared before a medical malpractice suit is actually filed.
Unlike a simply negligence case, in which a plaintiff can simply allege the defendant was negligent in the complaint, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must engage a competent expert who is willing to testify that the defendant medical provider committed malpractice. This can be particularly challenging because, while the defendant has readily available access to their colleagues who generally will support their position, the plaintiff must locate a doctor willing to testify against a colleague. This is often a challenging proposition. Only after a competent expert is found can the plaintiff begin to negotiate a resolution or prepare to file suit. Once a competent expert is on board, a complaint may be drafted, filed, and served like any other lawsuit.
There may be certain special pleading requirements which a medical malpractice attorney can advise you on.
What Does Medical Malpractice Insurance Cover?
There are many different types of medical malpractice insurance. Like any other types of insurance, the coverage provided depends on the policy terms. It is important to note that Georgia law does not require medical providers to carry insurance. While many providers do carry insurance for medical malpractice, some providers may elect not to obtain malpractice insurance. Under Georgia law, the Medical Board must maintain whether a practitioner has medical malpractice insurance. This information is publicly available through the Board. If possible, before undergoing a procedure, it is important to determine if your practitioner has insurance.
How quickly should I hire a lawyer?
If you suspect medical malpractice, it is important to act quickly and contact a medical malpractice attorney. Medical malpractice cases are complex and can only be assessed by a competent attorney. It takes time to obtain the requisite records, discuss with an expert, and determine whether malpractice occurred. There are time limits on these actions which we discuss in our statute of limitations article.
How Do I Report Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a tort available to compensate injured parties if the plaintiff proves the elements. In order to obtain relief, you must hire an Atlanta malpractice attorney, build a case, and either negotiate a resolution with the defendant or file the case to be resolved by a jury. The Georgia Composite Medical Board permits persons to file a board complaint and “report” the issue. However, this will not provide monetary relief.
What areas do we serve?
Our firm is based in Atlanta, Georgia. We are regularly engaged in litigating disputes throughout Georgia and especially in the metro-Atlanta area. This includes Fulton County, DeKalb County, Gwinnett County, Cobb County, Cherokee County, and Clayton County. Our partners have experience litigating cases from Valdosta to Rome and everywhere in between. If you have a case, whether it is in Atlanta, Columbus, Gainesville, Svannah, Macon, Decatur or anywhere else in Georgia, we are ready and able to assist you.
Here are some example case results:
- As defense attorneys, we have never had a case resolve for more than our valuation. We have extensive experience valuing cases.
- As plaintiff attorneys, we have recovered many millions of dollars. This includes a $2,000,000 recovery for a medical malpractice case. You can read our case results here.
Contact an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Were you injured as a result of a medical professional’s negligence? Contact our firm or call (404) 442-9000 today. As experienced medical malpractice attorneys in Atlanta, we will protect your legal rights and pursue your maximum due compensation available under the law.
We offer free, no-obligation case consultations.