When doctors make mistakes, it can have a disastrous effect on a patient’s health. Depending on the nature of the mistake, a patient’s health can get worse, or the patient can die. Doctors can make mistakes in diagnosing patients and in prescribing a course of treatment. Because patients are sick when they see the doctor in the first place, it can take a while for patients to realize that the doctor made a mistake.
Patients who receive a misdiagnosis, a delayed diagnosis, or the wrong course of treatment do not automatically receive compensation for the doctor’s mistakes. Even if the patient has evidence that the doctor made a mistake, there are several hurdles that the patient has to overcome to prove medical malpractice has occurred.
A patient can only receive compensation following a doctor’s misdiagnosis or improper treatment if the patient can show that the doctor was negligent. This means proving that the doctor did not act with reasonable care and skill when diagnosing or prescribing treatment for the patient. This sometimes involves comparing the doctor’s actions to those of doctors in similar areas and fields of practice.
In addition, the doctor’s negligence must cause the patient injury in order for the patient to receive compensation. If the doctor misdiagnoses a patient and the patient’s illness does not get worse, the patient will not be found to have suffered any injury from the misdiagnosis. Additionally, the specific injury suffered by the patient also has to be attributable to the doctor’s mistake. If the patient’s condition gets worse, but the deterioration is because of something else, then the doctor is not likely to be found liable.
A person making a medical malpractice claim against a doctor has a limited time within which to make the claim. The statute of limitations for these cases is two years from the time the patient discovers the doctor’s mistake. The statute of limitations could begin to run soon after the doctor makes the mistake or years later, depending on when the patient discovers the mistake. However, claims have to be brought within five years of the mistake. If the person dies as a result of the medical malpractice, the statute of limitations starts to run from the time of the person’s death.
Figuring out whether the statute of limitations has run on your case can be a tricky. If you think you have a medical malpractice case, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. This would ensure that an otherwise valid claim is not dismissed
Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
Having confidence in a doctor is important to most patients, and patients can sometimes be reluctant to file claims of malpractice against their doctors. However, in some cases, filing such a claim can be the only way for the patient to get answers and hold the doctor accountable for being negligent. To learn more about how you can file a claim, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, at Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C., to speak to an attorney today.