Some patients suffering with an injury or illness seek the help of medical professionals, only to find themselves in worse shape after treatment than they were before. In some cases, this additional pain and suffering is unavoidable, due to characteristics of the patient’s condition. However, in other cases, the patient’s additional harm could have been avoided if the medical professionals responsible for their care had acted in accordance with the medical standards accepted by the community.
When a doctor fails to follow the requisite standard of care, a patient can file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor, as well as the hospital and other medical professionals responsible for the patient’s care. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice claim is two years from the date of the injury.
Proving medical malpractice
In order to file a successful lawsuit for medical malpractice, patients will need to prove a few elements. The main elements of a medical malpractice claim include:
- Duty – Prove the doctor or medical professional owed the patient a duty
- Breach – Prove the doctor or medical professional breached that duty by acting negligently (e.g. failing to diagnose a condition, failing to provide proper course of treatment, failing to follow-up after treatment, surgical errors, errors in administration of anesthesia)
- Causation – Prove the doctor or medical professional’s negligence proximately caused the patient to suffer additional harm or injury.
The key to winning a medical malpractice suit is showing that the treating physicians failed to act the way a reasonable physician in the same field would act in similar circumstances. Expert testimony from other physicians can help show that the patient’s treating physician violated the accepted standard of care.
If you have been injured due to a doctor’s negligence, you can recover damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. A Cook & Tolley medical malpractice attorney in your area can help with your claim and give you the best chance at success.