When you go in for a medical procedure, routine or otherwise, you expect that the healthcare professionals treating you do so with the highest standard of care. When a doctor, surgeon, nurse, or other medical professional fails in their duty and causes injury to a patient, a medical malpractice case may be filed for compensation. Unlike other types of personal injury cases, medical malpractice is notoriously complex and nuanced. At the law office of Jonathan R. Brockman in Atlanta, our team of dedicated legal professionals has successfully represented many clients with medical malpractice claims. Call or contact us today to learn more.
Affidavit of Expert Requirements
In other types of personal injury cases, the lawsuit starts with an initial filing of the complaint with the court. In medical malpractice cases, the initial complaint must be filed along with an expert affidavit. The affidavit must be made by a qualified medical expert that swears that a negligent act was performed by the healthcare professional being sued and the basis for that declaration. Failure to file an expert affidavit can result in the case being thrown out of court, and an extension to get an expert affidavit may be granted if the statute of limitations is quickly approaching on the case.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Georgia is also more complex. Under Georgia law, the victim of a medical malpractice lawsuit has two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. In addition, in no case may a claim be brought more than five years after the date of injury. Known as a statute of repose, the statute of limitations may be extended to five years only if the alleged medical malpractice caused damage that was not discovered until years later. However, the statute of repose is limited to within one year after the discovery of the injury if the damage was caused by a foreign object, such as a sponge or surgical instrument, being left inside the patient’s body. If a medical malpractice lawsuit is not brought within the statute of limitations, the court is allowed to throw it out and bar the victim from receiving any compensation for their claims.
Compensation for Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice compensation includes both economic and noneconomic damages for the victim. Economic damages include all out of pocket expenses like medical bills, lost wages, and the loss of future income and benefits. Noneconomic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, and the loss of enjoyment of life. Until 2010, Georgia had a $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages for medical malpractice cases that has since been deemed unconstitutional. As such, there are now no caps on the noneconomic damages for this type of case.
Talk to Our Office
For more information about medical malpractice claims in Georgia, call or contact the law office of Jonathan R. Brockman today to schedule a free evaluation.