Going into any medical procedure, a sense of trust for the medical staff performing these procedures is standard. Although this is expected, sometimes, medical professionals can make mistakes that leave patients in pain and facing serious injuries. Medical malpractice can happen to anyone, so understanding how to address these problems and seek proper legal help with these issues is imperative to rectifying these problems and receiving proper treatment.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is the legal term for describing negligent behaviors or actions made by medical staff that result in injuries, illnesses, or deaths. These actions range from seemingly minor problems like misdiagnoses to larger, more life-threatening issues like leaving surgical instruments in the body or performing surgery on the wrong body part. Any mistakes made during the birthing process for both the mother and child involved can also be considered medical malpractice, especially if caused by blatant negligence or avoiding proper care. Evaluating what happened during any medical procedure, especially ones that leave long-lasting injuries or produce long-term side effects that go beyond the normal scope of the recovery process, is necessary for solidifying an instance of medical malpractice.
Common Injuries Associated With Malpractice
On average, around 35,000 malpractice claims are made across the country. The scope of injuries or illnesses that can be linked to medical malpractice range drastically. Before pursuing a medical malpractice case, evaluating whether the situation at hand is considered medical malpractice is a crucial first step for any claim. Some of the most common medical malpractice injuries include:
- Surgical errors or any problems associated with an operation
- Refusing to treat certain medical conditions
- Invalid or wrong prescriptions for certain medical conditions
- Injuries sustained by either the mother or child during childbirth
For example, if a patient was scheduled to have a knee replacement on their left knee, but surgeons operated on their right knee, this would be a clear-cut case of medical malpractice resulting from negligence on behalf of the operating doctors. Seeking legal help after experiencing any of these events is critical for receiving compensation for any malpractice-related injuries.
Legalities Surrounding Medical Malpractice
Any individual who represents themselves as practicing medicine or surgery in Georgia may be held liable for medical malpractice under Georgia Statute 51-1-27 if they fail to employ “a reasonable degree of care and skill” and cause an injury. Medical personnel is held to an extreme standard of care, and any form of negligence can be punishable by law. According to the Georgia Supreme Court, for a patient’s malpractice claim to be legitimate, they must prove three things:
- An obligation that comes with the doctor-patient relationship, like a procedure or check-up
- An infringement of the responsibility caused by a failure to use the necessary skill and care, or negligence
- A direct link between the breach of trust and the patient’s harm
After taking these into account, contacting a medical malpractice attorney should be the next step if the actions and resulting conditions are in line with Georgia’s definitions of malpractice. From there, compiling all available evidence, including medical records, expected treatment plans, and involved medical personnel, is necessary for building a strong and reliable foundation for these cases. The statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases in Georgia is two years, so contacting an attorney should be done as soon as possible.
Seeking Legal Help With Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice can leave people with long-lasting physical wounds and an overall mistrust of doctors and medical personnel. Although unpreventable, medical malpractice can be addressed and handled in a court of law, helping award victims the compensation they deserve for their unfortunate medical experience. At Lamar Law Office, our staff can help handle medical malpractice cases and lead victims of malpractice toward the settlement they deserve, so contact us today to get started on filing a claim.