You trusted your healthcare provider to know what they were doing. That’s totally reasonable. But somehow, they screwed up and you became the victim of medical malpractice. We’re so sorry you’ve been harmed this way.
What is medical malpractice anyway?
When a healthcare professional, like a doctor or nurse, is negligent or fails to take an appropriate action (errors of omission), it’s considered medical malpractice. This may have happened while you were being diagnosed, treated, or advised. It can be crushing, if not life-altering, when your healthcare professional fails you.
We’ve seen the consequences our clients have faced when their infections were left untreated; their surgeries were botched; or their prescriptions were incorrectly dosed. We’ve seen others face unnecessary surgeries, be misdiagnosed entirely, or who’ve been discharged prematurely.
What are the most common types of medical malpractice?
The most common negligent acts or acts of omission include, but are not limited to:
- Misdiagnosing an illness or providing a delayed diagnosis: Your provider may have told you that you had one illness or condition but it’s incorrect. For example, the doctor diagnoses the flu but the patient has Lyme disease.
- Surgical errors: These may result from incompetence, insufficient planning, taking shortcuts, miscommunication, fatigue, drugs or alcohol, or carelessness. For example, the surgery was meant for the left leg but the doctor operated on the right leg.
- Prescribing the wrong dosage, the wrong medication, or a medication known to interact with other medications someone is taking.
- Failure to respond in time to patient symptoms, when time is of the essence.
- Misreading diagnostic tests, like CT scans or x-rays.
- Negligent handling of patient records.
what separates a mistake from medical malpractice?
Alright, let’s get down to stuff medical malpractice lawyers say. Medical malpractice is an area of personal injury law and must include the following elements:
- Your healthcare provider must have violated their standard of care. That means they should have done what any other reasonable professional would have done under similar circumstances. If they didn’t, they violated the standard of care are considered negligent.
- For the state of Georgia to consider it “medical malpractice,” your provider’s negligence must have caused your injury.
- You suffered damages because of the injury. Have you incurred significant medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of income, or disability (temporary or permanent)? You may have a medical malpractice claim.
If you’re wondering whether your case fits under these qualifications, call Issa & Castro, medical malpractice lawyers in Atlanta for a complimentary case evaluation.
I think I’m the victim of medical malpractice.
What kind of compensation exists for me?
In medical malpractice claims, the state of Georgia provides for damages (monetary awards) of the following types:
- Economic damages. These would cover your past and future medical expenses, any income you’ve lost or might lose due to your provider’s act of negligence or omission.
- Non-economic damages. This compensation covers past and future pain and suffering.
At this point, you may be wondering what your case is worth. There’s no way to tell without meeting you to review what happened. We’ll look at your unique circumstances and offer our opinion on what we think could happen with your case.
Should I hire an Atlanta medical malpractice attorney?
It can be hard to believe that someone you trusted caused your injuries. How do you know if they made a mistake? It can be confusing and frustrating to deal with all the players involved in a medical malpractice suit. Given the positions of ‘authority’ that these folks have, it’s not uncommon for victims to doubt themselves or their experience. So it’s vital that you have an advocate who’s looking out for your best interests and standing up to the ridiculous defenses we’re sure to hear when we file suit.
There are a few things to consider when we’re looking at medical malpractice cases:
We’ll help you comply with the legal requirements for filing a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years; it’s five years if the injury isn’t immediately apparent or if malpractice caused death years after it occurred. And if something foreign was left inside of you after a surgery, those cases have to be brought forward within one year of discovering the foreign body. Things get more complicated in cases involving minors or wrongful death. If it’s not clear: time is of the essence.
We’ll need to investigate to gather evidence, which includes obtaining certified copies of medical records and bills. We’re going to establish who had access to your records.
Your best bet, whether you’re obviously injured or not, is to get medical attention immediately.
Here’s the thing: they’re going to come at us with experts. We’ve got to assemble our own team to stand up for your rights and your health. Georgia law requires the plaintiff (that’s you) to file an affidavit prepared by a medical expert. That person offers their sworn opinion of the negligent act committed by the healthcare professional named in your lawsuit. If you’ve been the victim of medical negligence, we’ll help you access the experts you need.
Medical malpractice is hard to prove. We talked earlier about the standard of care, and medical professionals are given a great deal of latitude for decision making because of their training and high stress work environments.
we're ready to fight for you
So, how do you prove medical malpractice?
Remember that investigation we talked about a moment ago? Here’s where we start to build your case.
First, we’ll establish that you were in a doctor-patient (or provider-patient) relationship. This typically involves the exchange of money, but not always.
Next, we’ll establish the standard of care—with the ultimate goal of demonstrating negligence. In medical malpractice cases, the provider’s location, training, and background come in to play.
Then, we’ll collect testimony of expert witnesses. Juries are always asked to look at the credibility of experts (witnesses), and under Georgia law, the expert’s testimony must be helpful to the jury, have a factual or scientific basis, and must have properly applied the scientific method to the facts of the case.
Additionally, we’ll point to causation. Establishing the standard of care is part one of this. Part two is connecting the negligence to your damages. We’ll use expert witnesses to establish causation, while the defense (insurance company, their lawyers, and your provider) is going to try to say there was no causation at all.
OK, what should I ask before hiring a medical malpractice attorney?
Does it matter if your attorney goes to court? Yes, it does. Preparing for trial is a practice in and of itself. All lawyers are not created equal; their training and experience matters—especially in these kinds of high-stakes cases. We’ve only got one shot. If your lawyer doesn’t get it right the first time, there’s no going back. Choose a firm like Issa & Castro, where our attorneys are in court more often than they are behind their desks.
Do you get cases from other lawyers? If you want to know who the best of the best is, look for the attorney that other lawyers refer to. Our litigation experience attracts the referrals of other attorneys who either don’t have the resources or the experience to take their cases to court.
Why do you do what you do? People who give their all are moved by something inside of them. It drives their pursuit of excellence in every area of their lives. They’re not willing to settle for second best; they work to win. We’ve been in practice for nearly 20 years, and we’re still excited every day to use our legal skills and experience to help make people’s lives better.
Will I get to work with you (the lawyer) or your representative (a paralegal)? Large firms have a “churn and burn” model. They have to, because volume makes money. With that heavy volume, it’s likely you’ll meet with your lawyer infrequently. Boutique firms like ours focus on quality over quantity, so you’ll have frequent interaction with your attorney for the duration of your representation. It wouldn’t be odd if we shared our cell phone numbers with you and checked in on you from time-to-time.
At Issa & Castro, experienced medical negligence lawyers in Atlanta, GA, we will put our diligence and knowledge to work on your behalf if you’ve been hurt by a medical professional. Your suffering isn’t your fault. We’ll help you hold those responsible for your injuries and find the professional treatment you deserve.