Virtually every adult in the state of Georgia has a rudimentary understanding of the term “medical malpractice.” For most people, the term refers to a doctor’s error in providing medical care. The error can take the form of failure to diagnose a serious medical condition.  Other times, the doctor may prescribe medication or perform surgery that does not treat the diagnosed condition or even causes additional harm to the patient. Bad outcomes are very disappointing, but not all bad outcomes are malpractice.  It takes an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to tell the difference.

In Georgia, medical malpractice is defined as the failure to adhere to the standard of professional care used by other health care practitioners in treating the same or similar medical condition. That’s a lot of words, but it basically means a doctor should do what is reasonable under the circumstances.  Normally, an expert physician who treats the condition at issue is needed to establish that standard of care.  The physician must describe the kind of treatment required in similar situations and show how the defendant in the case at hand violated that standard. To succeed, a medical malpractice plaintiff must also show that the defendant’s errors caused damage.

Anyone who thinks that a doctor made a mistake in their treatment should be aware of Georgia’s statute of limitation for such cases. The statute of limitation is two years from the injury or death. In other words, the statutory limitation period begins to run from the date of the erroneous treatment. A lawsuit must be filed before that two-year period expires.  The clock is running, even if you do not know that there was malpractice.  Do not wait to contact us about your possible case.

If the plaintiff succeeds in proving the negligence of the defendant physician, the jury will be asked to award compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses.  In a wrongful death case, the compensation is for the years of remaining life the person should have had, and the value of those years is seen through the deceased person’s eyes.

Medical malpractice cases are notoriously difficult to win. Anyone who is thinking about making a claim against a physician or other health care provider for damage should consult an experienced malpractice attorney at Cook & Tolley, LLP, for an evaluation of the evidence and an estimate of the likelihood of recovering compensation.