Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare provider either takes an action or doesn’t take an action in a way that differs from the usual standard of care. If this leads to injury for the patient, they may be able to file a medical malpractice claim based on this negligence. In some cases, you may file a claim against a hospital or other healthcare business, but you can also sue the provider.
How to Sue a Hospital or Healthcare Provider
The first step you’ll need to take is to engage the services of a medical negligence attorney to move forward with a lawsuit. Medical malpractice cases are complex and require the knowledge of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Ideally, you should start with a law firm that offers free consultations, like the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm. If your case lacks evidence or has other challenges that may make it very difficult to win, you can find out without paying any fees. When we take your case, we still don’t charge any fees until we settle it, so there are no up-front costs for you.
Gathering Evidence of Medical Negligence
Once you have a lawyer, they will collect as much evidence as possible to support your claim, starting with your medical records, your recollections of what happened, and sometimes interviews with witnesses, like family members who were with you in the healthcare facility. If your attorney recommends filing a lawsuit, they may gather more information during the discovery phase, where both sides exchange evidence. At this point, your lawyer may take depositions from the healthcare providers or other staff involved with your care, or speak with other medical experts about your condition and how the negligence harmed you.
Medical Negligence and Insurance
Filing a lawsuit isn’t always necessary in a medical malpractice case. In fact, most of the time we’re able to negotiate a medical malpractice settlement with the insurance carrier responsible for malpractice insurance. Although the state of Georgia doesn’t require providers to carry malpractice insurance, most hospitals and healthcare facilities do, so we usually begin by making a claim with the insurer.
Of course, as with car accidents and other types of negligence, the insurance company is often reluctant to pay your claim. The hospital and involved staff members would also prefer the insurer deny your claim, because a payout will probably result in higher premiums. The hospital and/or provider will also usually believe that they weren’t negligent. They may argue that your injury was not caused by the care you received or suggest it was your fault. Your attorney will work to overcome these objections in negotiations with the insurance carrier or court.
If the insurer flatly refuses to agree on an equitable settlement, we will proceed to file a lawsuit against the insurer, the healthcare provider, or the hospital itself. However, in many cases, we’re able to work things out with the insurance carrier. Sometimes when the insurance adjuster is confronted with the amount of evidence we have in your favor, they may want to avoid a trial more than they want to avoid paying your claim. In either situation, building a strong claim based on evidence is essential, which is why we put our investigative team on your case right away.
The “Affidavit of Expert” Requirement in Georgia
If you file a lawsuit, you will need to include an affidavit from a qualified medical expert who has reviewed your case, stating that at least one negligent act was performed by the healthcare provider. Complaints filed without this affidavit won’t be heard in court, although the judge may allow you to obtain an affidavit and refile. In some cases, your attorney may ask the court for an additional 45 days to meet this requirement, especially if you are close to the two-year statute of limitations and have only recently retained a lawyer.
The Statute of Limitations on Medical Negligence
Georgia laws set out a two-year statute of limitations for most medical malpractice claims, with a hard limit of five years in almost all cases. One exception is if a surgeon leaves a foreign body, like a surgical sponge or tool, inside a patient after an operation. When this happens, you have one year to file a medical malpractice claim after the foreign body’s location is discovered.
Because of these time limits, we recommend seeking legal advice right away if you even suspect a medical mistake caused you harm.
Proving Medical Negligence in a Hospital Malpractice Lawsuit
All personal injury claims start with demonstrating that the defendant (the person or entity you are suing) had a duty of care toward you. In most situations, this may mean that a person or business has a duty to avoid dangerous behavior or hazardous situations that could harm someone. In medical negligence cases, healthcare providers are expected to live up to a “medical standard of care.” Generally, this means they have a duty to offer the same level of care as any reasonable medical professional with similar training and a similar area of practice. Your attorney will spend time establishing this level of care and working to show how your hospital failed to provide it.
The other essential element in a medical negligence case is showing the connection between the doctor’s failure to meet the medical standard of care and your injury. Your lawyer may go over your medical records, take testimony from experts, and pursue other evidence to make it clear that the medical negligence you experienced caused your injuries.
Find a Lawyer for Hospital Negligence: Contact a CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm Medical Negligence Attorney
If you or a loved one has been harmed by hospital or healthcare provider negligence, please contact the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm for a free consultation by calling 833-254-2923. You can also find out what your case is worth by visiting us online. There’s no obligation, and our no-win, no-fee policy means you won’t have to pay anything up-front. We’re happy to answer your questions and explain the possible next steps for your case.
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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.
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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.