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Many patients each year are seriously harmed as a result of errors or mistakes made by healthcare professionals. The legal system allows for injured patients to file a personal injury claim against the negligent physician. These civil actions seek to recover damages for injuries that occur while seeking treatment from medical, dental, and surgical professionals.

These cases can be very complex and require expert knowledge on medical treatments. Therefore, if you or a loved one suffered harm from a careless doctor, you may require assistance from an experienced Athens medical malpractice lawyer. A well-practiced injury attorney has the knowledge needed to guide you through the legal process and advise you on your best course of action.

Common Types of Medical Errors

Medical providers have a legal and professional duty to meet the necessary standard of care for each of their patients. However, when a healthcare professional fails to meet these standards of care, it constitutes negligence.  Some of the most common medical errors include:

  • Failing to make a timely diagnosis or misdiagnosing a condition that, if identified and treated earlier, would prevent harm
  • Errors made in surgery such as accidentally damaging an organ that was not associated with the procedure, performing an operation on the wrong body part, or leaving an object inside of a patient
  • Medication-related errors such as prescribing an incorrect dosage or prescribing drugs that are known to have harmful interactions
  • Administering too much anesthesia, which is often fatal

These errors can cause devastating harm to a patient, and in serious case, result in their untimely passing. An Athens attorney handling a medical malpractice case often identifies evidence of negligence from the claimant’s medical records. Critical evidence may emerge upon reviewing physician notes, X-rays, other visual images, pharmacy records, and witness statements.

Recoverable Damages for Injured Patients

A patient who is harmed be a careless or reckless healthcare provider can seek economic and non-economic damages. A skilled Athens attorney could review the facts of the medical error case to determine what damages are available.

Economic damages commonly include the costs of medical treatment, lost wages, and ongoing physical therapy. These expenses are usually well-documented and are not subject to any maximum cap or limit.

Non-economic damages may compensate patients for emotional distress, loss of consortium, and other often intangible concerns. However, O.C.G.A. Section 51-13-1 limits awards for damages in cases involving one or more medical providers to $350,000.

If determined that a defendant, or defendants, acted with malice or intent, punitive damages may be awarded. These are intended to punish a defendant and are subject to a $250,000 limit.

Proving Physician Negligence in Athens

Under O.C.G.A. Section 51-1-27, injured parties can pursue damages when they result from a medical provider’s failure to maintain the standards of care or expected skill level within their profession. It must be shown that the patient’s injuries were caused by the defendant’s breach of their duty to perform as others in their field would have under similar conditions or circumstances.

To prove that a medical professional failed to adhere to the standards, Georgia law requires testimony from a medical expert. An experienced lawyer in Athens could obtain the necessary statements required to prove a careless healthcare provider caused a patient injury. However, it should be noted that people who do not currently work in the same specialty or sphere of medical practice as the defendant are not qualified to testify.

Get in Touch with an Athens Medical Malpractice Attorney

When a health care provider makes an error or mistake, a patient could potentially suffer catastrophic injuries or even death. Fortunately, you may be eligible to recover substantial financial compensation through civil action.

Under Georgia law, a claimant only has two years from the date of the incident to file a claim. Therefore, it is essential that patients who believe they may have been the victim of medical negligence promptly contact an Athens medical malpractice lawyer. Schedule your initial case consultation right away.

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