Often people go to see healthcare providers when they are sick, hurt, or in pain – essentially, when they are in a vulnerable state. You expect your provider to help you, or at least not make things worse. Unfortunately, sometimes healthcare providers make mistakes, and these mistakes can lead to days, weeks, months, or even years of pain and suffering for the patient. One error in an operation, for example, can leave a patient in chronic pain or permanently disabled. If you believe you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, you need the advice of an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer to help you navigate Georgia’s complex laws for filing a claim.
Ali Awad, the founder and managing attorney at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, has the knowledge to take on medical malpractice claims for his clients. Known as the “CEO Lawyer,” Mr. Awad started a small law practice from the trunk of his car and grew it to an 8-figure firm in three short years. In fact, CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm was voted the fastest-growing law firm in the United States, beating out 499 others in 2021. With more than a million followers on social media, The CEO Lawyer is revered for sound and timely legal advice.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a negligent healthcare provider, please call Ali Awad right away for a no-obligation consultation of your case. The CEO lawyer and his injury and accident attorneys work for you on a contingency basis – that means they don’t earn any compensation unless you do. There is nothing to lose by contacting us online or calling (833) 254-2923 to discover your options for dealing with medical malpractice.
Georgia’s Medical Malpractice Laws
There are several significant statutes to understand when considering a medical malpractice claim. First, Georgia’s typical statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims is two years “after the date on which an injury or death arising from a negligent or wrongful act or omission occurred.”
However, the law goes on to say that a claim can’t be brought more than five years after the negligent or wrongful act occurred. This allows some limited leeway for situations where the injury doesn’t become obvious right away, or the error leads to harm or death several years later. For example, if your doctor made a mistake that led to you experiencing a medical emergency a year later, the clock would start ticking when that medical emergency occurred. However, after five years have passed you cannot pursue a claim, so if you’ve been thinking about pursuing legal action, you should speak with a medical malpractice attorney in Atlanta as soon as possible.
There are some exceptions to the statute of limitations – when a foreign body, such as a surgical sponge or instrument, is left in the patient’s body, for example. In this case, a claim must be filed within one year of the mistake being discovered. This recognizes the fact that sometimes it can take years for a patient to learn a foreign object was left in their body after a procedure, even if they’ve been having pain for years from the object. (Getting a diagnosis can be difficult because healthcare providers don’t expect foreign objects to be left in patients.) In some circumstances, there may also be other exceptions for patients who are minors or who have been found “legally incompetent.”
The “Affidavit of Expert” Requirement for Medical Malpractice Suits in Georgia
Typically any personal injury lawsuit begins when the attorney for the plaintiff (the injured party seeking compensation) files a complaint in the appropriate court. For medical malpractice suits, Georgia law requires that in addition to the initial complaint, the plaintiff must also file an “affidavit of expert.” This is an affidavit written and signed by a qualified medical expert, offering a sworn opinion on at least one negligent act committed by the provider being sued. The expert should include their factual basis for this opinion as well.
In most cases, filing without the “affidavit of expert” will mean your case being quickly dismissed. However, in some situations, you might be able to get an additional 45 days to file an affidavit if the statute of limitations date is coming up soon, and you only recently secured legal representation.
If you’re unsure how to find an appropriate medical expert, your attorney can advise you on this process.
What About the Medical Malpractice Damages Cap in Georgia?
We hear a lot of questions about this. Sometimes clients with large amounts of medical bills and other expenses are worried the cap will prevent them from recovering all their damages. Fortunately, this isn’t usually the case.
The first thing to understand is that the damage cap was found to be unconstitutional in 2010 and is no longer in effect. When it was, it applied only to non-economic damages like pain and suffering. There was no cap on how much you could get for economic damages like your medical bills or lost wages if you missed work due to malpractice.
You can still receive compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish, anxiety, depression, PTSD, loss of enjoyment, lost companionship (if a loved one died due to medical malpractice), scarring or disfigurement, etc. These damages are no longer capped at $350,000. However, there is a $250,000 cap on punitive damages – these are additional damages designed to punish the defendant more than to help the plaintiff and do not apply in every case anyway.
What Do You Need to Prove in a Medical Malpractice Case?
Like other personal injury cases, medical malpractice claims rest on proving four things:
The defendant (in this case, the healthcare provider or facility) owed you a duty of care.
The defendant breached this duty of care in some way.
Their actions caused your injury.
You suffered damages as the result of this injury (more medical bills, more time lost at work, pain and suffering, disability, etc.).
Your Atlanta medical malpractice attorney will go over the details of your case and the strategy they recommend. In many cases, healthcare providers and facilities have malpractice insurance, so your attorney may start by making a claim with the insurance carrier. The carrier may reject the claim on a variety of grounds, or they may make an offer that isn’t enough to cover all your costs. Your lawyer will negotiate with the insurance carrier in an effort to get you the compensation you deserve.
However, insurance policies usually have limits, and there may simply not be enough coverage for all your costs. In this situation, it may also be necessary to sue the provider or facility responsible for your injuries. Sometimes you may have claims against multiple providers or facilities.
Will You Have to Go to Court?
Many malpractice suits settle out of court, which is often a good thing. If you can receive adequate compensation without the stress of a lengthy trial, you should absolutely do so. But in some cases, it is necessary to go to court. If this happens, your attorney will explain the steps of the process. You may talk about various pieces of evidence your lawyer wants to introduce. They will likely need your medical records and may need to interview or “depose” witnesses. It may also be necessary to bring in multiple medical experts to testify at the trial. While only one medical expert is required to file a claim, having additional experts may be beneficial if and when your case goes to court.
Will You Have to Testify?
You don’t have to, but your attorney may recommend you do so. Sometimes the best way for the jury to understand all the pain and suffering you’ve been through is to hear it directly from you. If you decide to testify, your lawyer will prepare you by going over the questions the defendant’s attorneys are likely to ask.
What Kinds of Situations Qualify As Medical Malpractice?
There are many situations that can lead to a medical malpractice claim. If you aren’t sure if you’ve been a victim of malpractice, it’s best to consult a qualified medical malpractice attorney in Atlanta who offers free consultations. They can quickly review your case and explain your options.
Some common errors that lead to malpractice claims include:
Errors with anesthesia
Mistakes during labor and delivery leading to birth injuries
Mistakes relating to tests – either the provider failing to order a necessary test or an error in conducting the test itself
Failing to diagnose a condition
Failure of medical equipment
Emergency room mistakes
A provider’s failure to review medical records prior to beginning a course of treatment
Errors involving medication, such as being given the wrong drug or the wrong dose
Failing to obtain a patient’s informed consent, such as when the patient is not sufficiently informed of the risk of a procedure before they consent
A wide variety of surgical mistakes
What Kind of Compensation Can You Receive in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Medical malpractice can cause numerous problems and upend your life. You may find yourself drowning in a pile of bills from multiple healthcare providers, for expensive prescriptions that didn’t work, and for other costs of recovering from a provider’s error. If you file a claim, you can ask for damages for the following:
The cost of getting a diagnosis – if you had to go to many different doctors and have multiple tests, this can be quite high
The cost of more medical treatment to correct the error or the issues it caused
Personal care or in-home health services
Loss of previous and/or future income
Pain and suffering, both physical and mental
Permanent disability, disfigurement, scarring, or any other permanent impairment
Diminished quality of life or losing your enjoyment of life
Atlanta attorney Ali Awad has millions of followers on social media because he delivers legal power to the people. He also knows what factors to focus on in a claim to produce results. With the CEO Lawyer in your corner, you can take on big insurance companies and healthcare facilities whose errors have deeply impacted your life. Get in touch with the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm online today, or call us at (833) 254-2923.
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Frequently Asked Questions
After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process.
Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today.
We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.