Seeking compensation for medical malpractice is a complicated process, even more so than many other personal injury situations. For example, if you have a car accident, you can file an insurance claim yourself (although you are more likely to receive a fair settlement with an attorney). But there are specific rules for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Georgia.
First, you need to determine if what happened to you meets the criteria for medical malpractice. Merely having a bad outcome, upsetting as this may be, isn’t proof of malpractice. Sometimes doctors do everything right, and patients get worse or have complications despite their best efforts. Even making a bad call isn’t necessarily medical malpractice. If your lawsuit isn’t dismissed early in the process, you will have to show that your doctor failed to meet the typical “standard of care.” That means they made a significantly different choice than other Georgia doctors would have made in the same situation, resulting in you suffering damages.
One requirement of filing a medical malpractice suit in Georgia is including an affidavit, signed by a medical expert willing to testify in the case, stating the defendant committed at least one act of malpractice. This means it will be necessary to find a medical expert who agrees that you were the victim of malpractice. Your Georgia medical malpractice attorney will find an appropriate medical expert to review your case and give their opinion on whether malpractice occurred.
What Do Medical Malpractice Lawyers Do to Get Me the Settlement I Deserve?
Your medical malpractice attorney will assist you in multiple ways. First, they will investigate your case and gather as much evidence as possible to show that malpractice occurred. They may begin by reading your medical records, requesting a review by a medical expert, talking to witnesses, etc.
Your lawyer will also help you figure out what party or parties you should name in the lawsuit. This is surprisingly more complex than it might seem to someone who’s never been involved in a malpractice suit before. You might think, “My doctor messed up, that’s who I need to sue.” But it isn’t always that simple. Sometimes, you may be correct, but in other cases, there is more evidence against the healthcare facility, another healthcare provider (including nurses, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare workers), a pharmaceutical company or medical device manufacturer, a pharmacist, or occasionally other parties. In certain cases, there may be more than one potential defendant, or we may need to file suit against the insurance provider for one or more parties.
It’s helpful to remember that a malpractice lawsuit is not a quick process in most cases. Your lawyer will file motions in the case and request records and other evidence during the discovery phase of a trial. They will also try to negotiate with the defendant’s lawyers or insurance company to reach a speedier resolution. In many cases, we can arrange a fair settlement for the client, so they don’t have to go through the time, expense, and stress of a trial. However, sometimes the other party won’t agree to an equitable settlement, and when that happens, we’re prepared to argue your case in court.
How Long Do You Have to File a Malpractice Lawsuit?
In most cases, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit. The clock does not necessarily begin to run the day you received treatment from a doctor unless your injury also happens on that day. For example, if your doctor performs a procedure incorrectly, and you start bleeding internally and collapse a month later, the clock would start when you began bleeding from the botched surgery.
Georgia law carves out one exception for foreign body cases or situations where a surgeon leaves a foreign body (like a clamp or sponge) inside a patient during surgery. Unfortunately, some patients may be in pain for months or years before the abandoned object is discovered and removed. For this reason, you have one year from the date of discovery to file a lawsuit.
Georgia’s statute of repose in medical malpractice cases is five years, which means that you lose your right to sue five years after the date of your injury, even if the malpractice hasn’t been discovered yet. If you even suspect malpractice, we suggest talking to a lawyer before five years have passed. They may be able to help you determine what happened and whether you have grounds for a malpractice suit.
In cases involving minors, the statute of limitations can’t run out before a child turns 7, and the statute of repose is extended until the child turns 10.
Can You Still Sue If You Signed a Consent Form?
If you have evidence of medical negligence, yes. A consent form simply means that you consented to the treatment or procedure and were informed of possible risks. It does not mean that the doctor can do whatever they want – they are still required to provide treatment in line with the standard of care for your condition. For example, your doctor might warn you that there is a risk of infection when you have an operation, and you might decide to do it anyway. But that doesn’t mean it’s all right for the doctor to operate with their bare hands, refuse to wear a mask in the operating theater, or ignore other standards of care designed to minimize the risk of infection.
Do I Have to Pay a Retainer for the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm to Help with My Malpractice Lawsuit?
No, we work on a contingency basis only. Your initial consultation is always free at the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm. If we don’t believe there is enough evidence to support a lawsuit, it won’t cost you anything to find out. If we do find that your case meets the criteria for medical malpractice and you want to proceed, there are no upfront charges. You won’t pay us anything unless and until we successfully settle or win your case, so please contact us today to learn more about your options.
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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.
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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.
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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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