The human body is amazingly complex and so are the diseases and disorders that trouble it. This helps explain why humans cannot expect every diagnosis, treatment or procedure to go as well as hoped. But then, not every doctor always lives up to the standard of care set by Georgia’s medical community.
Sometimes patients must hold physicians accountable for errors and for compensating patients for their losses and suffering. An experienced medical malpractice attorney would need to assess the circumstances, but there are basics to keep in mind while considering whether to explore a medical malpractice case in Georgia.
Standard of care not met
A successful malpractice suit must show that the doctor failed to meet a reasonable standard of care. This is a challenge, since a reasonable standard of care must be judged by comparing apples to apples, one might say.
There can be important variations in what reasonably can be expected of doctors in only somewhat different towns, types of practice, specialties, time frames, and given specific symptoms, available tests and their results, and so on.
Injury caused by falling short of the standard
Also, it is not enough that there be a failure to meet the standard of care as well as an injury. That failure must cause the injury.
Making the case can be tricky and expensive, as it requires considerable research and the time of expert witnesses. In fact, in Georgia, included with the filing of a suit there must be an affidavit written by a medical expert familiar with the case and willing to testify in favor of the complaint.
Statute of limitations
Patients must move promptly if they suspect they have suffered from medical malpractice in Georgia. They must file a suit with the court within two years of the act of malpractice, such as a botched operation, that inflicted the harm.
Recognizing that not every injury is recognized right away, the law includes a “statute of ultimate repose” of five years total. Although a few other technical exceptions exist, the law holds patients to a brief timeline for discovering issues and deciding about legal action.