If you are a victim of medical malpractice in the state of Georgia, discuss your legal rights and options at once with an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney. On Monday, December 11th, one victim of medical malpractice in our state, Sandra Williams of Columbus, was awarded $26 million by a Muscogee County State Court jury. She was represented by Bell Law Firm and Atlanta medical malpractice attorney Lloyd N. Bell.
A jury reached the verdict in favor of Sandra Williams after a two-week trial. Jurors found that St. Francis Hospital in Columbus was one hundred percent liable for the injuries Mrs. Williams suffered after routine neck surgery at St. Francis in 2012.
WHAT HAPPENED TO SANDRA WILLIAMS?
Three days after the surgery, Mrs. Williams returned to St. Francis with neck pain and an inability to swallow. Although she was admitted to the intensive care until at 5:30 a.m. that morning, she was not seen by the admitting physician until almost noon. The hospital’s policy requires patients to be seen by a doctor within two hours of admission to the ICU.
The Muscogee County State Court jury concluded that the hospital’s physician, Dr. Erik Westerlund was negligent and failed to properly treat Sandra Williams for a post-operative neck hematoma (a blood clot) that blocked her trachea and prevented oxygen from reaching her brain. Attorney Bell argued that Dr. Westerlund failed to review her neck x-rays which showed the hematoma or to treat her quickly enough to prevent catastrophic injury.
The injuries sustained by Mrs. Williams were egregious. She now suffers from brain damage and is dependent on caregivers. She is blind and confined to a wheelchair. Throughout the two-week trial, she sat silently next to attorney Lloyd Bell. You can learn more details about the trial and the verdict by reading this newspaper report.
HOW DOES A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUIT SUCCEED?
When a healthcare provider does not follow the proper procedures, misdiagnoses a disease or other medical condition, prescribes the wrong medicine, or makes a mistake during a surgical procedure, and the patient is harmed, it’s most likely medical malpractice. To succeed with a medical malpractice lawsuit, the victim’s attorney must show that a healthcare provider breached his or her legal and professional standard of care.
Additionally, the victim and his or her medical malpractice lawyer must also prove that the negligence was the cause of the patient’s injury. Finally, victims and their attorneys must prove that the injury caused damages. In Georgia, the injured person may recover economic damages such as lost wages and medical bills, as well as non-economic damages which includes damages for pain and suffering.
TO WIN COMPENSATION, WHAT MUST MALPRACTICE VICTIMS PROVE?
What all of that means is that if you are a victim of medical malpractice, and you take legal action with a medical malpractice lawsuit, you and your attorney must prove that because of your injury or injuries, you lost income and paid additional medical bills, your earning capacity has been impaired, and/or you’ve dealt with unnecessary pain and suffering.
Only patients who fully understand the risks that are involved with surgery should agree to any surgical procedure. Most hospitals in Georgia are superlative, professionally-managed facilities – but some are not. Most doctors in the state of Georgia are superb professional healthcare providers, and most doctors take extra precautions to reduce risks. But some do not.
Medical malpractice is still far too frequent in our state, so if you become a medical malpractice victim, discuss your options and rights with an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney at Bell Law Firm. Call us at (404) 249-6768 to schedule a free, no-obligation, initial legal consultation. If you’ve been injured by medical malpractice, it’s your right.