Helping Patients Hold Negligent Doctors Accountable in Lawrenceville
When people visit a medical doctor or another healthcare provider for a lingering medical condition or problem, they expect their doctor to exercise the proper degree of care when providing treatment, performing medical procedures, and prescribing medication.
Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and even good healthcare providers can occasionally make mistakes. If you believe that you suffer from a complication that was a result of medical negligence or medical malpractice, you may hold the responsible healthcare provider accountable.
Cases that involve medical malpractice or medical negligence can take a significant amount of time to investigate and resolve properly. In many cases, experts will have to testify about the alleged medical mistakes that the treating healthcare provider may have made.
In addition, when it comes to filing a claim or lawsuit arising from medical negligence or medical malpractice, you need to satisfy various procedural requirements promptly. Therefore, you should not take on such a claim without the assistance of an experienced Lawrenceville personal injury lawyer.
The experienced Lawrenceville medical malpractice lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can investigate the circumstances behind the alleged medical malpractice and determine if you have a viable claim. If so, we can assist you with filing a lawsuit and an affidavit of a qualified expert and will pursue your case through the court system. We make it our top priority to help you receive the monetary compensation that you deserve as a result of medical malpractice and medical negligence.
Types of Medical Negligence That Can Lead to a Malpractice Claim or Lawsuit
Serious medical mistakes can lead to a claim against a healthcare provider for medical malpractice or medical negligence. Medical malpractice comes in a variety of forms, and it is compensable when an injury or illness results from the healthcare provider’s negligence.
Some of the most common types of negligence that can occur in the healthcare setting include:
- Failing to obtain a patient’s written consent to a procedure – Before performing a medical procedure on a patient, a healthcare provider is required to obtain the informed written consent of either the patient or the patient’s legal representative or guardian (in cases when the patient is an elderly individual or minor). When a healthcare provider fails to obtain the patient’s consent or does not explain all of the potential risks and benefits associated with a medical procedure before performing it, and some sort of complication occurs as a result of the procedure, the patient may have a valid malpractice claim against the healthcare provider.
- Failing to follow the prevailing medical standard of care – When it comes to treating patients and performing medical procedures, healthcare providers should adhere to a high standard of care. Specifically, they must emulate to the standard of care of a reasonable healthcare provider under the same or similar circumstances. A national standard of care typically applies to healthcare providers who are specialists in a particular field of medicine. If a patient can prove, based upon the testimony of a qualified medical expert, that a healthcare provider deviated from the standard of care when performing a medical procedure or providing medical treatment, then the patient may be successful at a medical negligence claim asserted against the provider.
- Leaving a foreign item inside a patient’s body following a medical procedure – When a healthcare provider, such as a surgeon, performs a medical procedure, they are required to act with the utmost care before, during, and after the procedure. Sometimes, when a healthcare provider is careless, they may leave a surgical instrument, foreign object, or surgical sponge inside of a patient’s body before closing the surgical wound. Serious complications can arise when this takes place, and the patient may sue the healthcare provider for medical malpractice.
- Performing incorrect medical procedures on a patient – In some cases, healthcare providers perform an incorrect medical procedure on a patient. For example, if an accident victim injures their right arm, but the surgeon instead operates on the patient’s left arm, this is a serious medical complication. Moreover, when a healthcare provider acts in this manner, they exceed the scope of the patient’s consent. The patient may assert a claim for medical negligence against the provider.
- Inaccurate medical diagnosis – For a healthcare provider to treat a patient successfully, they must first correctly diagnose the patient’s medical condition. A healthcare provider comes to a diagnosis by examining the patient and ordering imaging studies, such as X-rays and MRIs, as well as biopsies and other medical tests. When the results of these tests come in, a healthcare provider must review them, reach a diagnosis, and treat the patient accordingly. In cases where a healthcare provider makes an incorrect diagnosis, fails to diagnose, or belatedly diagnoses a patient’s medical condition, the patient’s injury or illness may become worse, leading to severe complications. The patient may have a valid medical malpractice claim against the provider.
- Lack of cleanliness in the medical office setting or operating room – In the age of COVID-19, cleanliness and sanitary practices have become essential everywhere, especially in medical offices, operating rooms, and medical facilities. In addition to keeping exam rooms, operating rooms, and other facilities clean at medical offices and hospitals, healthcare providers are also responsible for adequately sanitizing all surgical instruments and other medical devices. If a qualified medical expert can demonstrate that a lack of cleanliness caused your injury or illness, then you may have a valid legal cause of action against your healthcare provider for medical negligence or malpractice.
If you have suffered an injury or illness because of medical negligence, reach out to an experienced Lawrenceville medical malpractice lawyer at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm as soon as possible. We will do everything possible to thoroughly investigate your claim and help you pursue the compensation that you deserve.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Healthcare Provider for Medical Negligence
Doctors and hospitals have insurance companies ready to fight liability when patients file insurance claims for malpractice. For this reason, and because many medical malpractice claims involve severe injuries, not all cases that involve an allegation of medical negligence or medical malpractice settle out of court. Instead, the injured patient’s attorney must file a lawsuit against the at-fault healthcare provider.
However, you must meet other specific requirements, including an expert affidavit requirement.
The purpose of an affidavit of a qualified expert is to provide a complete factual and medical basis for the medical malpractice allegations that you are asserting in your complaint. In the affidavit, the expert must be willing to state, based upon a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that the defendant doctor committed a minimum of one act of medical negligence or malpractice.
This expert must also be a healthcare provider in good standing who has the necessary qualifications to testify in a court of law. In addition, the affidavit must reference the factual scenario that serves as the basis for the medical malpractice or medical negligence complaint.
The affidavit of a qualified expert is a necessary and essential component of the medical malpractice complaint filing process. In fact, if an expert affidavit does not accompany your filing, the court could dismiss the entire complaint. The experienced Lawrenceville medical malpractice attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will make sure that both the affidavit of a qualified expert, along with the actual complaint, is filed with the court in an efficient and timely manner.
Applicable Deadlines for Filing a Medical Malpractice Complaint in Lawrenceville
Medical malpractice cases, like all other cases, are subject to a Georgia statute of limitations. The statute of limitations serves as the filing deadline for medical malpractice complaints against healthcare providers. In the state of Georgia, under the majority of circumstances, there is a two-year window of time for filing a medical malpractice complaint against a defendant healthcare provider. This two-year period begins on the date of the patient’s injury that resulted from the malpractice or negligence of the healthcare provider.
If the patient passed away as a result of the healthcare provider’s negligence, the two-year filing period begins on the date of the patient’s death. In some instances, the negligence may result from a medical or surgical error. At other times, the healthcare provider may have incorrectly diagnosed, failed to diagnose, or belatedly diagnosed a patient’s medical condition, leading to one or more serious medical complications.
The medical negligence may also stem from a procedural error that a healthcare provider committed during surgery, injection, or some other medical procedure.
It is crucial to keep in mind that there is another potential deadline that applies to medical malpractice cases in Georgia, besides this two-year statute rule. There is an overall five-year statute of repose that applies to medical malpractice cases. The statute of repose comes into play when a patient does not discover a medical mistake that a healthcare provider made until some later point in time.
In those cases, the patient has a period of five years in which to file a complaint against the provider, starting on the date they discovered the medical mistake.
Statutes of limitation and statutes of repose that apply to medical malpractice and negligence cases adhere to very strict deadlines. In other words, if you are the injured patient and you do not file your medical malpractice claim against the at-fault healthcare provider within the set time period, your case will likely end up dismissed. This dismissal means that you can’t pursue monetary compensation for the injuries and complications arising from the alleged medical malpractice.
However, certain exceptions may apply to your case. For example, if you were a minor at the time when the alleged negligent act occurred, the statute of limitations may be tolled for a period of time.
Moreover, in cases where a healthcare provider leaves a foreign object, such as a syringe, surgical instrument, or sponge, inside a patient’s body following a medical procedure, then the patient can still file a lawsuit against their healthcare provider within one year of the date they discover the foreign object’s existence. This one-year time period is still in place even if the two-year or five-year limitations periods have elapsed.
File a medical negligence or malpractice claim against an at-fault healthcare provider promptly. Otherwise, you may be waiving your right to recovering a significant amount of monetary compensation. The experienced Lawrenceville medical malpractice attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will make sure to file your case promptly and that the statute of limitations is satisfied in your case. Once we file a lawsuit against the defendant healthcare provider, we can help you pursue the monetary compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
Speak With a Lawrenceville Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
If you or a close family member has suffered from a medical complication that you believe resulted from a healthcare provider’s negligent act, seek legal assistance as soon as you can. The legal team at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can thoroughly investigate your case, pursue litigation against an at-fault healthcare provider, and pursue monetary compensation on your behalf.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Lawrenceville medical malpractice attorney, please give us a call at (404) 418-8244 or contact us online for more information.
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Brauns Law, P.C.
892 legacy park Dr.
Lawrenceville, GA 30043