Georgia’s Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Have you suffered as a result of the mistake of a medical practitioner? You may have a malpractice claim. Call our attorneys for a free initial consultation.
Defense For Victims of Medical Malpractice
Clearly, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are human. By that very definition, they make mistakes, but those mistakes can cost you dearly.
In the United States, medical errors are the third leading cause of death with more than 440,000 a year. That’s not counting the numerous injuries that result from medical mistakes.
If you or someone you love has suffered as a result of a mistake made while in the medical care of a physician, nurse, or other medical professionals, it’s important to discuss your situation with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Your family shouldn’t have to bear the burden of the medical expenses as a result of those mistakes.
The attorneys at The Thompson Law Group have the negotiation and litigation experience you need in a medical malpractice claim. We provide legal representation for victims of medical malpractice in Gwinnett County, Fulton County, and Hall County. If you or a loved one is a victim of medical malpractice call us today and let us fight for you.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is described as the negligent act or omission by a hospital, doctor, or other health care professional, that causes an injury to a patient. If a medical professional was medically negligent, you may be eligible for compensation for any ensuing losses.
Medical negligence for example would be if a surgeon removes the wrong organ or leaves a surgical tool inside a patient’s body after a procedure and a subsequent injury ensues. If the injured person can demonstrate that their injuries were caused directly by the negligent act, they may be awarded various damages such as lost wages, emotional suffering, medical expenses, and more.
How To Prove Medical Malpractice?
For medical malpractice to be proven, a patient must show that harm was caused directly due to a healthcare provider that acted negligently. Four general elements for proving medical malpractice are:
- Duty of Care: The medical professional in question must have been responsible for treating the patient within the accepted standards of care.
- Breach of Duty: The medical professional must have violated their duty to the patient.
- Causation: The patient must prove that any injuries were directly caused by the breach of duty.
- Damages: The injuries must have caused damages, either economical or non-economical, such as additional medical bills or emotional suffering.
There are numerous types of medical malpractice cases which we have taken the time to cover in more depth down below.
Emergency Room Errors
Emergency rooms can be an incredibly chaotic place, and while nurses and doctors are trained for these instances, every human has his or her limits. Mistakes or negligence on behalf of a medical professional can lead to serious complications and injuries. Some examples of emergency room errors and negligence include:
- Making an incorrect or delayed diagnosis
- Failing to diagnose a condition or medical issue
- Misreading x-rays, MRIs, or patient charts
- Making prescription medication errors
- Neglect of post-treatment monitoring of patient
- Failure to recognize or treat post-operative infections
There are some instances where the hospital itself can be liable in a lawsuit pertaining to medical malpractice. Hospitals are required to evaluate prospective employees, including their certifications, level of education, and past experience. A hospital might be liable for any injuries incurred due to an incompetent or underqualified staff member.
Hospitals are also responsible for keeping track of patient records and giving patients proper care by appropriately staffing the hospital so that employees are not tasked with more than can reasonably be expected. A medical malpractice lawsuit may be brought about if these standards and others are not met.
Hospitals as well can be held partially liable if a staff member or employee causes injury to a patient while performing within the scope of their employment when the negligent act happened. This being said, vicarious liability is not assumed when the negligent actions are of an independent contractor. Many doctors are not employees of a hospital, rather they are employed as freelancers while they run their own private practices. The exception to this is when a doctor causes any injuries due to lack of requisite experience or credentials, then the hospital may be liable.
There are four main categories for anesthesia. They are:
- General: General anesthesia renders the patient unconscious and unaware of sensations. The patient does not feel any pain or remember the procedure.
- Sedation: Sedation is induced by medications, usually through an IV, to make a patient feel relaxed and drowsy. Different operations may require different levels of sedation. Mild sedation allows the patient to stay awake and responsive to questions or instructions. Moderate sedation may cause the patient to doze off but be easily awoken. Deep sedation is closely related to general anesthesia in that the patient is deeply asleep but with the ability to breathe on their own.
- Regional: Regional anesthesia numbs a specific body part, such as an arm or a leg.
- Local: Local anesthesia will numb only a small area of the body such as to relieve a patient’s pain while a deep cut is stitched.
Each type of anesthesia is used for different procedures and has its own risk for complications. One serious complication is anesthesia awareness (intraoperative awareness) which occurs when a patient regains consciousness during surgery.
If injury results due to the incorrect usage of anesthesia by a negligent medical professional, they may be liable for any damages that result. Examples of anesthetic negligence include:
- Administering an incorrect type of anesthesia
- Administering an incorrect dose of anesthesia
- Administering anesthesia too late
- Failure to put a patient under anesthesia
- Failure to manage the proper administration of fluids and medications
Postoperative care is the treatment you receive immediately after surgery or other medical procedure. Clearly, your medical staff is responsible for your monitoring and post-operative care in the event that you have any complications as a result of your procedure. Such care includes monitoring your vital signs, care of any wounds, preventing and/or treating any infections, appropriately prescribing any follow-up medications, and providing post-surgical care for example.
If symptoms are not properly identified after a surgery or a doctor fails to properly monitor a patient, they may be liable for a malpractice lawsuit.
Common illnesses, infections, and other conditions that can arise due to postoperative negligence include:
- Internal bleeding
- Bloodstream infections
- Organ perforation
- Tissue necrosis
- Staph infection
- Blood clots
- Pulmonary embolism
- Pneumonia or other respiratory
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Infections at site of surgery
- Viral infections
More examples of Medical Malpractice
Among the medical malpractice issues listed above, these are just a few of the many different types of malpractice. Many other examples of medical malpractice can include:
- Neglecting a patient
- Failure to adhere to hospital protocols
- Neglect of informing a patient of the instructions regarding a procedure
- Refusing to offer proper treatment
- Performing non-consensual surgery
- Administering a drug to a patient who is allergic
- Administering drugs that do not interact positively together
- Failure to intubate
- Neglecting to monitor or act on changes in vital signs
These are just a few examples of the many things that can happen as a result of mistakes or malpractice that can injure a patient.
What Damages Can Be Awarded In Medical Malpractice Lawsuits?
The victims of medical malpractice may be awarded damages for the harm incurred. These damages intend to compensate for the losses they have suffered, including:
- Lost Wages or Loss of Capacity to Earn: You may be eligible to collect compensation for lost wages if you are forced to take time away from work to recover from your injury. You may also be awarded compensation for diminished earning capacity if you are unable to earn the same amount of money prior to your injury.
- Medical Expenses: This may cover hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription drugs, physical therapy, prescription drugs, assistive devices, and other costs associated with your injury, both past, and future.
- Pain and Suffering: Physical pain, as well as emotional distress such as anxiety, depression, fear, and other mental sufferings, are compensated by Pain and Suffering damages.
- Loss of Consortium: Loss of aid, companionship, or other benefits of a familiar relationship can be caused by compensation awarded to surviving family members.
- Other Damages: Other various damages you may be awarded can include disfigurement, loss of life’s enjoyment, and punitive damages which are intended to punish severe negligence.
In Georgia, there is a $350,000 cap on non-economic damages in any single medical malpractice claim. There can be other caps depending on your situation, the number of facilities involved, and other factors.
Call The Thompson Law Group and schedule an initial consultation today to discuss whether or not you have a valid medical malpractice claim.
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