Marietta Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Unless you are a doctor yourself, you have little choice but to rely on the knowledge and skill of the doctors and other medical personnel who treat you. It’s because of that need to rely on the expertise of medical people that Georgia has a specific law requiring that doctors and surgeons act with reasonable care and skill in their practice. In the even that a doctor does not, our Marietta medical malpractice lawyers may be able to help.
Medical malpractice occurs when medical personnel fall short of that duty. In plain English, malpractice is when a doctor, while attempting to care for a patient, causes harm to the patient that could have been avoided by a competent doctor in the same practice area under the same or similar circumstances.
Basic Types of Medical Malpractice
The types of negligence that end up harming patients rather than helping them can be roughly categorized as:
- Failure to diagnose: the doctor mistakenly thought nothing was wrong
- Misdiagnosis: the doctor knew something was wrong, but didn’t correctly identify the problem
- Failure to perform appropriate treatment for the condition that’s been diagnosed
- Failure to get the patient’s informed consent so that the patient fully understand the risks of the treatment the doctor proposes and possible alternative treatments
- Negligence in actually providing the treatment (prescribing the wrong medicine or dose; operating on the wrong leg; cutting into the spinal cord by mistake; etc.)
Products Liability Claims for Faulty Medical Equipment
If your injury has been caused by defective equipment used in your medical care, you may actually have a product liability claim, not a medical malpractice claim. For example, what if a laser being appropriately used in your care suddenly surges in power because of a defect in the power unit? That’s generally a consumer law problem more than a medical problem. It might turn out to be both if there was a product defect and proper medical practice would have discovered the defect. Little is simple when it comes to injuries from medical care.
What You Have to Prove
The legal requirements for recovering damages for medical practice are:
- A duty owed by the defendant to the victim
- Failure to live up to that duty by acting negligently
- That the act of negligence caused the injury
- What the damages are (the economic and other costs to the victim)
Defense Claims to Avoid Liability
By far the most common defense to a medical malpractice claim is that there simply was no negligence; whatever injuries the patient suffered were the result of bad luck or some unusual circumstances that couldn’t be anticipated, like a patient with abnormal anatomy. In some cases, the defendant will actually attempt to shift the blame to the patient, claiming that the injury occurred because the patient failed to do something essential for a good outcome, such as:
- Failing to tell the doctor everything relevant to the situation (leaving out symptoms, for example)
- Not returning for needed follow-up care
- Failing to follow instructions regarding treatment, including not taking medicine as prescribed
Modern medical practice often involves input and treatment from multiple doctors. When that’s the case, and the patient claims malpractice caused an injury, each of the doctors (or nurses, etc.) has a financial incentive to shift the blame to someone else who was involved in the care.
Help When You Need It Most | Marietta Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Medical malpractice claims have always been difficult. In some ways, they are more difficult these days, as society has become convinced that a good portion of malpractice claimants are simply trying to get rich at a poor doctor’s expense. Except in the clearest instances of negligence, these cases involve complex questions of medicine requiring testimony from medical experts, mountains of records and reports, multiple disputes over what, in fact happened, and highly paid defense attorneys working diligently to defeat the claim.
That’s not intended to deter you from filing a malpractice claim when you have been unnecessarily injured by a doctor you trusted to make you better. It’s only to inform you of reality, and why malpractice cases are so expensive and time consuming to pursue.
One of the things you and your medical malpractice attorney need to address is whether the case is economically feasible: are you likely to obtain more in damages than it will cost to see the case to a successful conclusion. That’s why it is essential to obtain the right lawyer. A me mal attorney who is deeply experienced in these kinds of cases knows what to expect, where to find the expert help required to win the case, and how to efficiently deal with the many ways that defendants and their malpractice insurance companies try to avoid liability.
Clay | Starrett Injury Lawyers, LLC has the necessary experience and resources to take every step possible to ensure that you recover the compensation you deserve from a doctor or other health care provider who injured you instead of healing you.
Give us a call today to arrange a free consultation and get the answers you’re looking for. There is never a fee until you recover compensation.