The very first thing you should know is there is a time limit or Statute of Limitations to file a lawsuit. The standard amount of time you can bring charges against a doctor, hospital or medical facility is two years. There are exceptions. For example, you may be granted additional time if your charges are for “failure to diagnose.” In a case that involves death, you could be granted up to five years to file a case. But there are also exceptions that could shorten your time. If you feel you have a case against a medical professional, contact a personal injury attorney or a medical malpractice attorney immediately.
When something has gone wrong with medical care, we often find ourselves in a medical nightmare, and we often tend to put all our energy into our immediate health concern. We think we will speak to an attorney as soon as everything is over. This is a mistake. Your attorney can be working on your behalf while you are taking care of your issues. They know the time limits, and they are not emotionally tied to the outcome. Let them help protect your interests.
Do you have a case?
The medical field is complex, and the common non-medical professional does not always understand the reasons behind certain treatments. Many medical professionals are skilled and good at what they do, and they work well with other professionals. Nurses and other medical staff serve as a type of safety net to catch anything one set of highly trained eyes may not see.
A bad outcome to your medical care may not be a malpractice case. For it to be a malpractice case you must be able to prove that the medical professional was:
- Grossly negligent
- Failed to exercise appropriate standards of care
- Did not diagnose something that should have been obvious
- Caused premature death
What you must produce
The Georgia courts require the plaintiff to submit an affidavit by a medical expert who meets the criteria of the courts. This is the most important document you will need, and you will not be able to proceed without it. Your attorney will know who to contact to produce this affidavit.
The expert will need copies of your medical records. This includes doctor’s visits, hospital visits, emergency room visits, and any additional care you were instructed to seek.
In order to seek damages, you will need to provide receipts for any medical related expenses you suffered due to the care of the doctor. This includes nursing care, housekeeping, travel expenses, lost wages, and co-pays.
What are damages?
Damages are the term the court uses for monetary awards. There are a few different types of damages. Which damages you are entitled to and for how much is something your attorney will determine.
The three types of damages are:
- Compensatory damages
- This refers to money you lost for missed work, and money you spent for medically related care.
- Non-economic damages
- This is the money you seek to compensate you for the pain and suffering you experienced due to the treatment you did or did not receive.
- Punitive damages
- This is a dollar amount set by the court and intended to punish the doctor, medical professional, or facility.
For more information, contact a medical malpractice attorney.