We trust our doctors with our health. Fortunately, most doctors honor that trust, upholding their commitment to “do no harm” and provide safe, effective medical care. Sometimes, however, a doctor’s negligence or malpractice causes great harm, and victims deserve compensation.
If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, contact a Duluth medical malpractice lawyer from Barrios Virguez. Your Duluth personal injury lawyer will take your case through the legal process, protecting your interests while working toward a just settlement.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice happens when a medical professional’s incompetence harms a patient. The medical caregiver, through negligence, recklessness, or general incompetence, brings hurt rather than healing to the patient.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
Whatever the specifics of your case, if you have been harmed by a medical professional’s negligence, recklessness, or incompetence, you have the right to restitution. A Duluth medical malpractice attorney from Barrios Virguez in Duluth, GA, will fight to bring you justice and financial compensation.
Though medical malpractice takes many forms, some are more common than others.
- Anesthesia Errors: Failure to inform patients of how to prepare for anesthesia, improper intubation, and failure to monitor anesthesia levels, for example.
- Failure to Inform Patients of Treatment Risks: Doctors must explain the potential risks of treatments so patients can make informed decisions and opt for different treatments if they wish to avoid them.
- Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis: Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis prevents patients from receiving necessary treatment for their actual condition or may worsen their actual condition.
- Items Left in the Body After Surgery: Sometimes, sponges or other small equipment used during surgery can be left in the patient’s body, leading to infection or other complications.
- Birth Injuries: Birth injuries occur because of failure to monitor the mother or baby during labor and delivery, failure to recognize symptoms or order necessary testing, or other errors. Birth injuries are not birth defects or medical conditions beyond a doctor’s control.
- Nursing home negligence or abuse: Examples include improperly medicating patients, restraining patients unnecessarily, and not attending to patients’ hygienic needs.
For a free legal consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer serving Duluth, call 678-888-2222
Why Do Medical Malpractice Mistakes and Errors Happen?
There are many reasons why medical malpractice mistakes and errors happen. However, some reasons are more common than others, such as:
- There was little to no communication: The doctors, nurses, and other staff failed to communicate with one another, as well as the patient. This led to mistakes and errors being made.
- The doctor, nurse, or other healthcare providers failed to ask the patient about their family history or other important information: The doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers forgot to ask the patient about their medical history or other critical information. As a result, they missed vital information that could have prevented the mistakes or errors from occurring.
- The doctors or nurses were disorganized: The doctors or nurses were disorganized, which led to important details being placed in the wrong areas. As a result, the doctor and nurses missed this information.
- There were not enough healthcare providers available: The hospital may have been understaffed, meaning that there were not enough healthcare providers available. Because of this, the patient did not get the proper level of care within a decent amount of time, which caused other complications.
- The doctors and nurses were in a rush: The doctors and nurses did not spend the proper amount of time caring for the patient. Therefore, they rushed and missed important details regarding the patient’s health condition.
- The healthcare providers were careless and reckless: The healthcare providers were acting carelessly and recklessly when taking care of the patient. This may have been by joking around, failing to take the patient’s health seriously, talking about activities outside of work, etc.
- There was a lack of rest: If the doctors or nurses worked long hours, they might appear exhausted. Due to this, their decision-making and problem-solving skills may be impacted, causing them to make mistakes and errors.
Duluth Medical Malpractice Lawyer Near Me 678-888-2222
Who Can You File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Against?
If you are a victim of medical malpractice, you may be wondering who you can file a lawsuit against. The answer to this question is that you should determine who exactly is liable for your accident and injuries, and that is the individual or party that you should file a lawsuit against. Here are a few of the individuals or parties that you may want to consider when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- Your doctor/ physician
- Your surgeon
- The hospital, clinic, doctor’s office, urgent care center, etc.
- Your nurses or nurse practitioner
- Your CNA or physician assistant
- Your anesthesiologist
- Your phlebotomist
- Your midwife
- Your pharmacist
The list of people you may be able to sue is endless. However, a medical malpractice lawyer in Duluth, GA, will help determine who you should file a lawsuit against. Sometimes, you may need to file separate lawsuits against multiple parties if they share responsibility for your accident and injuries.
Why You Need a Duluth Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice cases are far more complex than typical personal injury cases. You must trust your case to a skilled medical malpractice attorney in Duluth, GA, who is prepared to navigate the specific laws and processes governing medical malpractice lawsuits.
The Statute of Limitations
Georgia law §9-3-71 states victims have two years from the date an injury or death caused by a medical practitioner’s harmful action occurred to file a claim.
There is a specific statute for objects left in the body after surgery but not discovered within the initial two-year period.
Statute of Repose
9-3-71 (b) of the statute of limitations provides a “statute of repose,” stating “in no event may an action for medical malpractice be brought more than five years after the date on which the negligent or wrongful act or omission occurred.”
This provision both expands and limits the victim’s options. Perhaps the effects of an injury did not appear within the two-year timeframe. However, once the five-year statute ends, the window for filing closes firmly. The statute of limitations for minors injured at birth may be paused or “tolled” until their fifth birthday.
It is easy to misunderstand these complicated statutes, which can lead to tremendous financial loss. By consulting with a Barrios Virguez lawyer right away, you can be confident your attorney will meet all legal deadlines.
Expert Affidavit Requirement
Under Georgia law, when you file a medical malpractice claim, you must include an affidavit from a medical expert affirming your healthcare provider’s negligence through a sworn, factual opinion. Your case will most likely be dismissed if you do not submit this affidavit. Your Duluth medical malpractice attorney from Barrios Virguez will ensure the affidavit is collected and submitted.
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How to Prove Medical Malpractice
To win a settlement in any negligence case, you must prove the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and the breach caused your injuries, leading to damages.
In medical malpractice cases, proving these elements requires additional specificity.
You must prove you had an actual doctor-patient relationship with the medical practitioner. You scheduled an appointment in their office and paid for their services.
The Doctor Failed to Meet the Applicable Standard of Care
You must prove that your doctor failed to meet Georgia’s standard of care. In other words, your doctor did provide the level of care competent doctors facing similar circumstances would have given. Proving this requires testimony from medical experts.
The Doctor’s Failure Caused Harm
You must prove that the doctor’s negligence or incompetence, not a pre-existing condition or injury, caused you harm. Proving this also requires testimony from medical experts.
Damages You Can Pursue in Medical Malpractice Cases
The injuries you sustain from a medical malpractice incident can be severe and may change your ability to move, work, care for yourself, socialize, and carry out daily activities. Your medical malpractice attorney in Duluth will fight for a settlement to bring financial relief and a sense of justice for what you have lost.
- General Damages include compensation for loss of future earnings, physical and emotional distress, and losses to your quality or enjoyment of life, among other losses.
- Special Damages cover the measurable costs of your injuries, such as medical expenses and wages lost due to missed work.
- Punitive Damages force the doctor to acknowledge and pay for the harm they have caused. To collect punitive damages, you must prove the doctor knew their behavior was harmful.
Schedule a Risk-Free Consultation with a Duluth Medical Malpractice Lawyer
The pain of an injury or death caused by medical malpractice is extensive, but proving a doctor’s negligence is challenging. You need someone by your side to fight this legal battle for you. As client testimonials show, we will treat you and your family with the compassion you need while fighting for the settlement you deserve. Contact a Duluth medical malpractice lawyer from Barrios Virguez today to schedule a free consultation.