Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney
We all expect doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers to do their best when it comes to treating their patients. And for the most part, that is exactly what they do, which is why most people should not have a problem with putting their trust in the hands of healthcare professionals. However, medical professionals are still people, and people can make mistakes, and when healthcare professionals make mistakes, it can have dire consequences for their patients.
When a doctor or other healthcare professional makes a mistake, it is called medical malpractice, which is a subcategory of personal injury law. Personal injury law is about accidents that are caused by the negligence of another person, which is why medical malpractice falls under that umbrella. At The Issa & Castro Law Firm, we are committed to helping the victims of medical malpractice in Atlanta. We are a medical malpractice law firm whose attorneys have decades of combined experience helping medical malpractice victims recover the compensation they need. We will do the same for you, so get in touch with us if you have suffered from medical malpractice in Atlanta.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is when a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or nurse, causes an injury to their patient because of negligence or an act of omission. The negligent act could be a mistake in the diagnosis of the patient, the treatment of the patient, or in the aftercare of the patient. Since medical malpractice is a part of personal injury law, a malpractice case must have the following elements:
- The healthcare professional violated their standard of care. Under the law, medical professionals must provide the kind of medical treatment that a reasonable professional would under similar circumstances. If a medical professional does not do so, they have violated the standard of care and are considered negligent.
- The negligence caused an injury to a patient. In order for a medical malpractice claim to happen, the negligence of the healthcare professional must have led to an injury. It is certainly bad when the professional violates their standard of care, but it only becomes malpractice if it results in an injury.
- The person suffered damages because of their injury. A medical malpractice claim involves the victim recovering compensation for their damages, which means that they must have suffered damages in the first place. Those damages could include significant medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income, as well as permanent or temporary disability.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
Medical neglect can have many different forms. Patients who are victims of medical malpractice may not even know that neglect has occurred until years later, when the fallout is evident. The following are some common examples of malpractice that a medical malpractice lawyer can help you with:
- Unnecessary surgery
- Failure to diagnose
- Delayed diagnosis
- Improper prescription
- The right prescription but in the wrong dosage amount
- Perforation during surgery
- Surgical tools left inside the patient
- Amputation of the wrong limb
- Prematurely discharging a patient
- Not taking a patient’s medical history into account
- Poor or nonexistent aftercare
- Derelict use of x-ray
- False procedure
- Birth injuries
- Failure to monitor for signs of distress
- Faulty preparation of anesthesia
- Lack of informed consent
Proving a Medical Malpractice Case
Medical negligence violates the standard of care you and your loved ones expect from medical professionals. Part of determining liability calls into question whether an equally qualified medical professional would have handled a patient’s care similarly under the same circumstances.
Your medical malpractice lawyers in Atlanta, GA, can determine this through the testimony of medical experts. To determine that medical malpractice has occurred, our medical malpractice defense attorneys will establish the following:
- The hospital, doctor, or medical professional had an obligation of a standard of care.
- This standard of care was established when a provider-patient relationship was set up, and the patient consented to treatment.
- They failed to fulfill this standard of care.
- You or a loved one have suffered injury or pain as a result of this failure of care.
- The injury resulted in both non-economic and economic losses.
It is important to note that a medical professional is obliged to offer medical treatment within the following conditions:
- Clinics and hospitals cannot deny access to care to indigent persons while the facility receives federal funding
- ER workers are required to treat patients with a life-threatening condition
- Medical professionals are required to treat unconscious patients, especially when the family authorizes medical care
Damages That Can Be Recovered in a Georgia Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
In Atlanta, GA, you or a close family member can recover compensation for serious injuries or wrongful death, including non-economic and economic losses that directly result from medical neglect.
Non-Economic Damages Include:
- Psychological and physical harm to yourself or a loved one
- Loss of quality of life for the victim
- Pain and suffering
- Mental pain and anguish
- Loss of companionship
Economic Losses Refer To:
- Future medical expenses and treatments related to the injury
- The cost of necessary medical treatments
- The cost of medical equipment
- The cost of in-home care
- The loss of earnings while you heal
- The loss of future earnings
Another classification of medical neglect damages is punitive. Punitive damages are retribution if medical malpractice victims can clearly prove that the medical professional acted with intentional malice, misconduct, fraud, or indifference to consequences.
Your experienced medical malpractice attorney can determine the type and extent of your losses in order to assure appropriate financial compensation for your pain and suffering.
Who is Liable for Your Injury?
Many medical procedures involve multiple different departments, including the front desk staff to the triage nurse. Since there are so many different responsibilities during treatment, there are many potential defendants involved in medical malpractice lawsuits, including:
- Doctors – Including primary care physicians, radiologists, surgeons, dentists, psychiatrists, and more.
- Medical professionals – Including EMTs, anesthesiologists, paramedics, first responders, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, physician assistants, x-ray techs, and more.
- Medical facilities – Including surgery centers, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, labs, urgent care centers, hospices, and more.
- Insurance companies – In cases where HMOs can be found liable for not vetting the medical professionals included in their organization. Patients can sue HMOs if they force a patient’s release from a medical facility before it is safe or fail to approve a necessary, life-saving treatment, and more. Insurance companies can be liable for the same reasons or denying the claim after a treatment has been performed.
- Pharmaceutical companies – Medicine manufacturers can be liable if they have created defective products that harm their patients or fail to warn doctors and consumers of detrimental side effects.
Why You Need an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney
Medical malpractice cases can be complicated because it can be difficult for the layperson to know whether a healthcare professional made a mistake or not. As such, expert testimony is required, and a medical malpractice attorney can assemble the experts who can testify why the medical professional was negligent. In fact, Georgia law states that the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case must file an affidavit that has been prepared by a qualified medical expert. That expert will offer their sworn opinion of the negligent act committed by the healthcare professional.
A medical malpractice lawyer will also make sure that the victim’s claim gets filed on time. The statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case in Georgia is two years, so if a claim is not filed within that period, then the case will become ineligible. There is an exception if the injury to the patient is not immediately apparent or if the malpractice caused the patient’s death years after it occurred. In those cases, there is a statute of repose that allows the patient or their family to file a lawsuit five years after the malpractice occurred.
Another exception is if a foreign body was left inside of a patient; in those situations, a case must be brought forward within one year of the discovery of the foreign body.
Contact Us if You Are a Victim of Medical Malpractice in Atlanta
At The Issa & Castro Law Firm, we will use our knowledge and experience to help anyone in Atlanta who is the victim of medical malpractice. No one should have to suffer because of poor treatment by a medical professional, which is why our medical malpractice firm will help anyone who was hurt because of the negligence of a doctor or any other kind of healthcare professional.
We will help you to file your malpractice claim and we will help to find medical experts to testify on your behalf. If a lawsuit becomes necessary, then we are not afraid to take on any hospital or clinic for our clients. So if a medical professional mistreated you, come to Issa & Castro to get the treatment you deserve.