4 Crucial Things You Should Know About Medical Malpractice in Georgia
According to research, over 250,000 people die in the U.S. every year due to medical mistakes. This makes medical mistakes the third leading cause of death in the United States. In Georgia, if a medical professional’s failure to follow the accepted medical practice results in injury or death, the victim or their family can file a medical malpractice claim against the negligent medical professional and recover financial compensation. If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice in Georgia, the following are some crucial things you should know about medical malpractice in the state:
#1: Evidence Is Crucial for Your Medical Malpractice Claim
The first thing you need to know if you plan to file a medical malpractice claim in Georgia is that evidence is vital. You need evidence to help you prove the elements of a medical malpractice claim, which are:
- The existence of a doctor-patient relationship (for cases against doctors)
- Substandard medical care; and
- A causal link between the substandard care and your injury
Evidence that can help you with your medical malpractice claim includes:
- Medical records
- Expert witness testimony
- Photographs of the injury
- Other witness testimony
A qualified Georgia medical malpractice attorney can help you understand and gather the evidence you need to prove your medical malpractice case. So it is vital that you reach out to an attorney if you plan to file a medical malpractice claim.
#2: There Is a Time Limit for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Georgia
Generally, in Georgia, you have two years from the date of the malpractice or any resulting death, whichever is later, to file a medical malpractice claim. However, in the case where a medical professional left a foreign object in the body, a medical malpractice claim must be filed within a year of discovering the foreign object. Furthermore, the statute of repose gives victims of medical malpractice and their families a maximum of five years after the date of the negligent care to file a medical malpractice claim. In other words, Georgia law prohibits people from filing any medical malpractice claim more than five years after the date of the malpractice.
#3: There Are No Caps on Compensatory Damages in Georgia Medical Malpractice Cases
Damage caps are laws that limit the amount a claimant in a personal injury or medical malpractice case can receive. In Georgia, there is no limit to the amount you can recover for economic and non-economic damages in a medical malpractice claim. However, while there are no caps on economic and non-economic damages, there is a cap on punitive damages. According to Georgia law, except where the defendant specifically intended to cause harm (very rare in medical malpractice cases), punitive damages are capped at $250,000.
#4: Winning a Medical Malpractice Can Be Challenging
Another thing you need to know is that it can be challenging to win a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice cases are complex, and juries tend to give doctors the benefit of the doubt. In fact, Georgia law specifically requires the judge to instruct the jury that they are to presume the doctor provided proper medical care unless proven otherwise. However, an experienced medical malpractice attorney can go a long way in overcoming these challenges. It would be best to retain a qualified medical malpractice attorney.
Contact an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you need help with your medical malpractice case, our skilled and dedicated Atlanta medical malpractice attorney at Carroll Law Firm is here for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.