Calvin Smith Law - The Injury Lawyers

Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyer

No one wants to be the victim of medical malpractice but if you have been hurt or injured by a medical professional who has behaved negligently, you will be needing the assistance of an Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer.

Table of Contents

What is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice happens when a medical professional deviates from what is considered “acceptable standard care” in the medical field.

To prove that medical malpractice is the underlying cause for death or injury will require your lawyer to prove that hospital, doctors or hospital staff was negligent in their care and that this negligence was responsible for the incident. At Calvin Smith Law, we have skilled injury lawyers in Atlanta with experience in prosecuting these very cases. Here are some of the lawsuits we have handled:

  • Lack of oxygen during the medical procedure
  • Negligence of X-ray technician
  • Improper administration of anesthesia
  • Delayed treatment or failure to properly diagnose a condition
  • Transfers of patients to another hospital without consent
  • Injury sustained during childbirth due to negligence or improper treatment from medical staff
  • Blood test and laboratory errors
  • Careless treatment by paramedics and emergency officials
  • Incorrect medication administered
  • Defective medical products and devices
  • Experimental treatment or medication that leads to injury
  • Infections due to contaminated surgery
  • Failure to properly diagnose cancer

A doctor that is upset about an x-ray scan.

What are examples of Medical Malpractice?

Medical negligence is a broad subject and can take on many forms. Some of the more common examples of medical malpractice include unprofessional treatment, incorrect diagnosis and the failure to properly warn a patient or family member of the dangers involved with a specific treatment or medications. Then, there are errors in medical prescriptions, surgical errors, improperly applied anesthetics and errors like these that can cause serious problems for the patient.

Of course, it is important to remember that not every medical treatment turns out as hoped, but it is not always medical malpractice that is at the heart of the problem. It will be very important to speak about your case with a qualified medical malpractice doctor to see if your case qualifies and your medical treatment was indeed substandard by medical standards.

Common causes of medical malpractice

Prescription Medication Errors – This happens more often than we expect, but a doctor will indicate the wrong medication or the wrong amounts of medication to a patient. At other times the handwriting on the prescription may be so illegible that the nursing staff has a hard time reading the information. Robot technology has been considered by many as a solution to this problem. Robots will not sense the tediousness of the task and will eliminate the problem with human error.

Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose – if a patient is not provided with an accurate and precise diagnosis, their treatment will not be effective and can even be harmful. In such a case treatment will be applied which may not be effective. In other similar situations, the doctor may misinterpret their signs and symptoms and assure their patient they have no serious conditions when they actually do. If a serious condition is not properly identified and an effective treatment applied in time, the results could be fatal. This is just one more reason that having more than one set of eyes on a problem will make this type of error so much easier to avoid.

Insufficient Medical Supervision – there are many times when a patient will be admitted to a hospital and not receive their needed supervision. This may happen when a rookie medical professionals are called in to take the place of experience hospital staff or when hospital staff does not monitor their patients carefully enough. When this happens the risk of injury is high. It is essential that hospitals provide the correct amount of attention as per the guidelines in the CMS supervision rules.

Unnecessary Delay of Treatment – if a patient needs treatment but their treatment is delayed for longer than is reasonable, the lack of treatment can lead to an aggravation of a condition and hence the damages that come with this. This is a fairly common problem and when hospitals are sued by patients for unnecessary delay of treatment they lose 39% of the time. Hospitals are bound to ensure that they provide proper documentation and to ensure their treatment is consistent and on schedule.

Failure to Acquire Patient or Family Consent – it is very important that hospitals and staff provide their patients and patient{s families of the risks involved with certain procedures and treatments. This way the doctors have the consent of their patients before these risks are taken.

Insufficient Medical Training or Skills – there is so much medical information being reexamined and doctors should attend regular training seminars to stay abreast with information and take refresher courses that keep them at the cusp of their game.  Unfortunately, this is not always mandatory.

Wrongful Death of a Patient – patients can develop allergic reactions and face other complications while in treatments and surgical procedures. When this happens it is very important that the doctors do all they can to understand what happened in an effort to improve their medical practice. When doctors do not fully review their patient’s files, it is easy to overlook the small details that can cost life and limb.

Hospital Infections – hospitals are notorious breeding grounds for all kinds of infections. Over 2Million people contract an infection in a hospital each year and out of these 2million 90,000 will die of this infection. This is so important to be aware of in a hospital and a good reason to stay sanitized and hygienic at all times when in or around a hospital. It is essential that you insist your doctors or nurse wear gloves when performing their duties.

Mental and Emotional Damages – It is not unusual for injuries to be accompanied by pain and suffering to any degree of severity and this can be much worse when there is no certain recovery. Many patients can become permanently injured or even paralyzed in their injury and this can lead to mental and emotional anguish of the worst kind. This is an important reason that doctors should warn their patients about the risk of the operations they are about to undergo before they do.

Miscommunication between Hospital Staff – there are many different people working together for better health in your hospital and if their lines of communication are confused the results can be catastrophic. If there are confusion in the medications, treatments or doses because of poor communications within the team patients can suffer unnecessarily.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to the malpractice if a medical professional or organization, such as a hospital, call Calvin Smith Law. We have the skill and experience to investigate the details of your case and tell you what options you have and what your case might be worth.

Atlanta Medical malpractice lawyer

Medical malpractice statistics

The statistics that indicate the problem of medical malpractice in the US is a serious issue. In 2016, researchers proved that it is the 3rd most common cause of death. Each year the death toll rises and according to the analysis, some 251,000 deaths a year are due to medical malpractice. This means that there are more deaths from medical malpractice than from stroke, kidney failure or suicide.

Furthermore, the vast amount of medical malpractice lawsuits and a staggering amount of payouts as well. According to the statistics in Diederich Healthcare, medical malpractice lawsuits reached $3,954,339,750 in 2016 alone. The amount of payouts has been different from state to state with some of the higher paying states seeing payouts as high as $300 Million. Some of the states that pay less will still see payouts as high as $20 Million.

There are those that will say that medical malpractice is a frivolous term and thrown about lightly, but this is far from the truth. Actually, 30% of medical malpractice lawsuits in 2017 were for wrongful deaths. And, from all the cases that year 58% of all the cases resulted in permanent injury.

Anything that will lead to permanent damage, life-changing injury or death is a very serious affair.

We handle all types of medical malpractice cases, including:

  • Birth injuries
  • Dental malpractice
  • Surgical errors
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Delayed diagnosis
  • Pharmacy errors

How Do I Know If I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

The details of your situation will determine whether or not you have a case. Just because a treatment did not work out as you had hoped doesn’t mean your medical professionals were negligent. It becomes necessary to see if your doctor actually did something wrong according to standard practices.

For your case to actually be eligible for a lawsuit it will be important that you can show that few things were true.

You must be able to prove that:

  • You have a doctor-patient relationship with the doctor in question. You had already hired the doctor and signed on with their services.
  • The doctor was negligent. This means that they did not act in a way any reasonably minded medical professionals would have responded in the same situation.
  • The doctor’s negligence directly resulted in injury. This will often require the testimony of suitable professionals who can shed light on how the injury was caused and establish the doctor’s negligence as the root cause.
  • Often, this requires the testimony of an expert who can shed light on the likelihood that the doctor’s misconduct caused the injury
  • Damages were suffered as a cause of these avoidable injuries. Some of the damages you may have experienced could include the cost of medical bills and treatments, lost wages from time spent off work and the mental and physical anguish and pain that can be suffered as well.

Elements of an Atlanta Medical Negligence Suit

For your case to qualify you for compensation for medical malpractice damages, it will first be essential that your doctor establish a few points.

  • The defendant is typically a medical professional, and it is imperative that they owe you a duty to provide care to prove you have a case. Doctor’s hospitals and nursing staff are held to a high level of care that ensures their patient is not harmed.
  • The defendant failed to perform their duty of care.
  • As a direct result of this breach, the patient suffered injuries
  • Because of the injuries suffered, the patient also lost wages, incurred medical expenses and other damages.

Calculating Damages and Compensation

A patient who has been injured during their treatment and has a case containing all the elements of a malpractice case may seek compensation for their damages through a Georgia Medical Malpractice Lawsuit. This compensation may be to cover past medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses and the cost of future treatments and expenses related to the injury.

Through a Georgia medical malpractice lawsuit, an injured patient may seek compensation for damages including lost wages, past medical bills and hospital and rehabilitation bills, and out-of-pocket expenses such as home health care and mobility equipment. Furthermore, injured patients may also be eligible for the cost of future medical bills related to the injury.

To come up with a suitable figure that covers the damages adequately it will be essential to bring in medical and economic experts to weigh in their opinions to ensure that a suitable amount of compensation is noted.  Additionally, there will be intangible damages like the suffering and anguish caused by the injury and the need for future care and treatment which will also have to be factored into your total damages.

How long does a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Take?

Every case is different and it is very difficult to guess how long a case might take without fully reviewing every detail. Because medical malpractice cases are so long and drawn out they can often run for many months or even years before a settlement is reached and compensation granted. If you think you have a medical malpractice case, in other words, you were injured as a result of the negligence of medical personnel, contact Calvin Smith Law. Our top attorneys will be able to have look over the specifics of your case and advise you on what to do next.

How Much Time Do You Have To Sue a Doctor?

Just like in a personal injury lawsuit, there is a statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases. In the state of Georgia, you will need to submit your claim within two years of the date of the injury or death that took place. If you wait too long you may miss this important deadline and this will mean you will not receive aid in facing the damages caused by malpractice.

These are the damages that can potentially be recovered in a medical malpractice case:

  • Loss Of Wages and Other Financial Hardships
  • Medical Expenses (Both Present & Future)
  • Inconvenience
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of Companionship
  • Hospitalization Costs
  • Disability
  • Loss of Love and Comfort and Other Non-financial Damages
  • Physical Impairment
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Income Due to Wrongful Death

Who can be held liable for medical negligence that results in injuries and death?

When you think of a medical malpractice case, it is common to assume that only doctors fall foul of these types of lawsuits. For example, a careless surgeon who commits an error in surgery resulting in a complication and injury. Nevertheless, it is not only the doctors who can be liable for medical malpractice. As a matter of fact, there are several professionals in the medical malpractice scene that can be held responsible for medical malpractice.

Some of the other parties who could be liable for medical malpractice could include.

  • Hospital malpractice for medical errors committed by their staff
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Freestanding medical clinic
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers

As you can see, it may not be immediately apparent wherein the medical system the liability should be placed. This is why our top team of legal experts has the skills and experience to research the specifics of your case, consult with the experts and come up with the precise parties that had a role in your situation. Call Calvin Smith Law and have an expert look over the details of your case. We have the skill and experience to get you the compensation you deserve.

What is the standard of care in medical malpractice cases?

In a medical malpractice case, medical professionals are held to a specific standard of care, this is not the same standard of care that you would find in a regular personal injury case, which is the level of care a reasonable human being would apply. A medical professional like a doctor is held to a much higher standard of care when treating a patient.

It is not possible for anyone but a medical professional to give testimony on such a subject and for this reason, your doctor will usually introduce an expert who has looked over the details of your case and believes that the standard of care was not met. To do this, the expert will have to be in the same field of medicine or at least a suitably similar field.

What are damage caps, and why do they exist?

The damage cap set a specific limit of compensation that can be received from a medical malpractice case. These are not always adjusted for inflation and can be applied to the total compensation or simply the damages. These are applied so that a jury does not apply an especially high penalty on a medical professional because they are sympathetic to the plight of the plaintiff. Furthermore, the caps also protect the balance of the medical insurance industry and ensures that a medical professional will still be allowed to practice their profession despite the incident.

Why Should I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Even though there are many benefits to having your case settled out of court, there will be cases that will have to be taken to court and yours may be one of these cases. You can have a better idea if you will have to take the case to court after discussing the details of your case with a qualified medical malpractice attorney from Calvin Smith Law. It is important to note that when a case of medical malpractice does go to court, you will have to face the associated costs.

Here are some of the reasons a medical malpractice case will have to be taken to court.

No Settlement Offer From the Defendant’s Party – the most common reason would be that there has been no settlement offer from the defendant. This is a good reason that having a skilled lawyer on your team is a good idea. They will typically advise you to file a lawsuit. No matter what, it is always a good idea to hire an attorney who is prepared for and experienced in taking a case to court.

Insufficient Settlement Offer – if they did offer a settlement, but the figure is only a fraction of what you know your case is worth, your attorney may suggest that litigation is in order.  Talk this over with your lawyer so you can know if the settlement offer you received is really going to cover your damages.

Gross Negligence – If the case is especially egregious, your lawyer may choose to take the case to court. If a patient died on the operating table because a doctor failed to read the medical history of the patient, this is considered gross negligence and your lawyer may have no choice but to take the case to court.

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Calvin Smith Law - The Injury Lawyers

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