Patients trust doctors and other medical providers to care for them with compassion, expertise, and precision. However, when a provider commits medical malpractice, sometimes called medical negligence, those mistakes can cause life-changing consequences. In addition, patients may suffer from adverse events (such as allergic reactions) or medical errors.
When you or someone you love is a victim of a healthcare worker’s mistake or intentional action, you need the help of an experienced Augusta personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can share their knowledge of the law to help you understand how to pursue compensation for your injuries. Our personal injury law firm at Barrios Virgüez, we stand ready to help you with your legal case.
Medical Malpractice and Medical Errors: How They Differ
The area of law that covers medical-legal issues is very complicated. States often have statutes governing personal injury claims but will have another set of standards for medical malpractice suits. That is because medical care is often given in urgent situations by practitioners working long hours with many patients at once. Environments such as emergency rooms are prime circumstances where misdiagnosis or error in administering medication can have dire results.
Medical errors and medical malpractice are different in the eyes of the law. Medical errors refer to any mistake committed in the practice of medicine. However, to claim something is medical malpractice requires proving a higher standard: that the provider intended the action, neglected to stop it, or failed in their duty of care to the patient.
Because every individual has a unique combination of medical conditions and genetics, doctors must treat patients against a standard of care that assumes a predictable response to things like medication. They balance an expected outcome against factors such as a patient’s other medications, health history, and current treatment state. Additionally, if a patient is in an ER, treatment will be very different from what is given in a routine office visit.
For a free legal consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer serving Augusta, call 678-888-2222
Common Types of Medical Malpractice in Augusta
Medical malpractice that causes illness and injury can happen in many situations. Although it commonly occurs in hospital settings, patients can suffer in nursing homes, rehabilitative facilities, and doctor’s offices. Some common injuries that arise from medical malpractice include:
- Absent or insufficient follow-up care
- Anesthesia errors
- Brain injuries
- Defective or malfunctioning medical devices
- Injuries during birth to parent or child
- Medication errors
- Nursing home abuse
- Poor infection prevention
- Surgical items left in the body
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Proving Liability for Medical Malpractice
Most medical treatments work as they are intended. Still, in instances when a mistake occurs or there is an adverse reaction, the first thing a medical malpractice lawyer in Augusta, GA, at Barrios Virgüez will examine is why it happened. They will investigate the training and experience of every provider involved, the records from the facility about your treatment, and whether extenuating circumstances played a part.
Medical malpractice is traditionally challenging to litigate, and many states have laws limiting the amount of compensation victims can seek. You will need an experienced Augusta medical malpractice attorney to gather evidence, such as testimony from medical experts regarding complicated procedures. Experts can also speak to the standardized duty of care for a specific illness or condition, adding to the plaintiff’s arguments of wrongdoing.
Proving a Claim with Four Elements
To successfully argue a claim of medical malpractice, the victim must prove the following conditions:
- That the doctor has a medical care relationship with the patient
- That the doctor’s actions were negligent or did not meet the established standard of care in their field
- That the practitioner’s negligence directly caused the resulting injury or illness
- That the resulting injury or condition led to quantifiable damages suffered by the patient
Your lawyer must clearly demonstrate how the doctor or provider did not adhere to a recognized and commonly practiced standard of care. There are many ways to show neglect of the duty of care by using evidence such as medical receipts, treatment records, hospital records, and testimony from those in the field.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice claims are a type of personal injury lawsuit. They are governed by a state’s laws about these legal actions but often have a subset of special laws that provide additional guidance. These suits often involve technical jargon and descriptions that can overwhelm a patient, especially if they are recovering from their injuries.
An experienced medical malpractice attorney in Augusta, GA, can untangle the confusing details and help clients understand how to proceed. Most providers will carry medical malpractice insurance, similar to motorists in a car accident, but filing a claim against that is no guarantee of receiving restitution. Insurance company adjusters and attorneys will work hard to prevent paying claims by trying to show your injuries were caused by something else.
When you cannot receive satisfaction through an insurance claim, it is time to proceed with a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Georgia’s Statute of Limitations
In the state of Georgia, there is a two-year window from the date of injury (or death from the injury) to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you fail to file within the timeframe, you could lose your right to seek the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at Barrios Virgüez can explain the process of gathering evidence and building your case for the best possible outcome.
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Common Injuries from Medical Malpractice
Depending on the type of medical mistake your healthcare provider made, there are several types of injuries that are possible in medical malpractice cases. For example, if you were supposed to have a muscle tendon transfer on your left leg but woke up and found your right leg was amputated, you may have grounds for an amputation lawsuit.
In another example, suppose you are allergic to certain types of anesthesia, and your anesthesiologist did not read your chart, or your chart did not note these allergies. When anesthesia medications are administered, you may become seriously ill and suffer from symptoms of an allergic reaction or even death.
Some of the most common types of medical malpractice injuries our firm handles include:
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Emotional trauma
- Internal bleeding
- Lacerations that lead to septic shock
- Neck injuries
- Organ failure
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Suing for Damages
If you are diagnosed with another injury related to your healthcare provider’s reckless or negligent actions, you may still have the right to take legal action against that. Remember, you do not need to suffer a life-threatening injury to have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
As long as your healthcare provider violated the medical standard of care, and your injuries or damages have significantly affected your life, you may have the right to compensation for your damages and an opportunity to demand justice via a medical malpractice claim.
Damages to Seek in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
Damages are what you demand to pay you back for your suffering and expense as a result of someone else’s actions or negligence. They fall into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic losses cover expenses like medical costs, and non-economic damages address the suffering you experience.
Your lawyer will help you collect documentation to allow a full accounting of what to ask for in an insurance claim or jury trial. Common items requested as damages include:
- Emotional distress
- Hospital costs such as ER or ICU treatment
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost income
- Medical bills
- Medical devices
- Medications for treatment
- Physical pain and suffering
- Surgery expenses
Hire an Experienced Augusta Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
When the trust you have in your doctor or medical provider is betrayed due to negligence or medical malpractice, those who wronged you must be held accountable. Seeking compensation from an insurance company or medical facility can be easier when you have the help of a skilled Augusta medical malpractice lawyer from the offices of Barrios Virgüez. We work hard to help you win the financial security you need for you or your loved one to move on with life.
Do not let costs keep you from seeking legal help. We offer free consultations and years of experience. Contact us by phone or thereby using our convenient online form to schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation today.