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When you go to a healthcare professional for medical treatment, you anticipate that you will receive high-quality medical care. Unfortunately, doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other healthcare staff can be negligent, and mistakes happen almost every day in hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, and other treatment facilities across the Atlanta area. If you were injured by a medical professional, you may have a claim for medical malpractice, but this type of case differs from other types of personal injury claims. To speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney about your case, call or contact the law office of Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation.
Statutes of Limitations and Repose
The first major difference in medical malpractice cases and other personal injury claims in Georgia is the statute of limitations and repose. The statute of limitations on both medical malpractice and personal injury claims is two years from the date of the incident; however, Georgia law recognizes that sometimes it takes longer to discover that medical malpractice has occurred. As such, it also introduced a statute of repose for medical malpractice claims, which states that this type of case can be filed past the two-year deadline but never after five years from the date of the incident if it takes longer than two years to discover that the malpractice occurred.
In addition, the law in Georgia gives another exception to the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases when a foreign object is left in a patient’s body. A lawsuit must be brought within one year of the discovery of the foreign body, which may exceed the five year limit of repose if the discovery occurs near the deadline for filing a medical malpractice claim. The law defines a foreign object as a surgical instrument or sponge; fixation devices or prosthetic aids do not qualify for this type of claim.
Affidavit of Expert Requirement
The other major difference between personal injury cases and medical malpractice claims is that a medical malpractice case requires an affidavit of expert in order to proceed through the legal process. In addition to the initial complaint filed for a medical malpractice case, the victim must also provide an affidavit of expert to the court in order to avoid having the charges dismissed. The affidavit must be from a qualified medical expert who has reviewed the facts of the case and determined that the medical provider was negligent in at least one aspect of the claim in addition to the factual basis for this reasoning. The affidavit of expert is required in medical malpractice cases in order to deter frivolous claims against healthcare providers, whereas other types of personal injury claims do not require it.
Talk to Our Office Now
If you would like to speak with a highly qualified medical malpractice attorney about your case, call the office or contact us today at the law office of Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. to schedule a free case evaluation.