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Medical Malpractice is when a doctor, hospital, or healthcare professional causes injury to a patient through a failure to perform their duties. It is an issue that medical institutions take very seriously, and so should you.
These cases are much more involved than normal personal injury cases both for the lawyers and the patients. Misinformation is everywhere and many patients can end up with an inexperienced lawyer who is not familiar with the methods to prove damages, and the values associated with them. We urge you to speak with our experienced personal injury lawyers in Athens so you or your loved ones can be properly taken care of. These cases can be intimidating, and Dan Chapman and Associates is here to relieve that pressure off of you.
DCA has proven results in the metro Atlanta area for decades with our focus always being on keeping our clients comfortable. We have developed strong contacts with medical experts in the area and are very experienced with the minute details of the legislation that can help you receive compensation. Our cases have involved:
- Doctor Negligence
- Nursing Negligence
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Hospital Negligence
- Pharmacy Negligence
- Birth Injuries
- Surgical Injuries
- Failure To Diagnose
- Prescription Drug Error
What Exactly is Negligence?
In the case of Bolam V. Friern Hospital Management Committee, (1957) 2 All ER 118, McNair, J. summed up the law as the following:
“The test is the standard of the ordinary skilled man exercising and professing to have that special skill. A man need not possess the highest expert skill: It is well-established law that it is sufficient if he exercises the ordinary skill of an ordinary competent man exercising that particular art. In the case of a medical man, negligence means failure to act in accordance with the standards of reasonably competent medical men at the time. There may be one or more perfectly proper standards, and if he confirms with one of these proper standards, then he is not negligent.” (Pandit & Pandit, Medical negligence: Coverage of the profession, duties, ethics, case law, and enlightened defense – A legal perspective 2009).
Generally, four elements need to be proved:
- The plaintiff was owed a duty of care by medical personnel
- That duty of care was violated
- This violation was the cause of the plaintiff’s injuries and losses
- These losses have a calculable value
This duty of care can change between the medical professional at fault. Nurses, surgeons, doctors, and all other healthcare workers have varying training, and different roles. Thus, proving what the “duty of care” strictly is can be difficult without a lawyer.
What You Need to Know
Unlike other states, if you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice you have a time limit to sue. According to Georgia O.C.G.A 9-3-17 you must sue within two years of injury or death. Missing this deadline will result in your claim being denied and there will be no financial compensation. The state of Georgia will also not recognize any lawsuit 5 years after the date of the act that caused an injury. There are additional parameters that can affect your case. For example, if a surgeon has left a foreign object inside of you, there is a one-year deadline to sue upon discovery. If you had surgery 10 years ago but discovered the foreign object six months ago, you still have another six months to sue.
If you think you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, here is a checklist to help you get situated with your claim:
How do I get compensation?
The lawyers at Dan Chapman and Associates have been practicing medical malpractice for over 20 years. We know exactly how to build your case and how to prove the hardship in your life caused by the negligence of others. Here are some of the ways we go about showing that hardship
- Financial Hardship via lost wages and medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional damages and mental anguish
- Loss of family or spousal support
- In some cases, punitive damages is possible
What You Need to Do
The first step is to get in touch with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. All medical records, information about your injuries, names of hospitals and doctors, and financial hardship (bills, receipts, lost wages) need to be procured. Medical malpractice cases are very long and time-consuming. It takes a while to build a strong case from the ground up, but we can do it. We will interview hospital staff and investigate all potential reasons as to how and what kind of malpractice occurred. We will also find a medical professional who can properly testify on your behalf. These cases require a doctor who has worked in the field and can properly testify on behalf of your case. They will need to review your evidence and provide an expert affidavit. Finding the right medical professional can be tricky, but with our connections and experience, we can find the right one to make your case air-tight.
Remember, hospitals have ample amounts of resources, lawyers, and insurance companies to protect them in the event of injustice. Every healthcare professional pays high amounts of money for malpractice insurance. Mistakes are always made. Hospitals always have insurance. You are always entitled to financial compensation. If they can have a lawyer, you can too. Call our lawyers at 678-CHAPMAN or 678-504-8564 for a free consultation about your case. We do not take fees until we win your case and you collect a settlement.