What You Need to Know About Georgia Medical Malpractice Laws
Medical malpractice is when a medical professional issues a substandard level of care to a patient. Here’s everything you need to know about Georgia’s medical malpractice laws.
There are many forms of Georgia medical malpractice. The court determines if an act is medical malpractice by using the medical standard of care. Victims of medical malpractice can file lawsuits against a medical practitioner.
What is Medical Malpractice in Georgia?
In Georgia, a medical professional commits medical malpractice if they provide an unacceptable medical standard of care. Their actions must also result in harm to their patient to be considered medical malpractice in Georgia.
When a Georgia court identifies if an act is medical malpractice, it considers the medical standard of care. This standard questions if a similarly skilled medical professional would have provided a similar treatment given similar circumstances. If another medical professional would not have provided a similar treatment, then the treatment may be considered medical malpractice.
Examples of medical practice include:
- Issuing a misdiagnosis
- Surgical errors
- Premature discharge
- Failure to order proper testing
- Failure to read laboratory results
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations In Georgia
A statute of limitations is the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit after an act of medical malpractice. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit is within two years of the resulting injury or death.
There are few exceptions to the Georgia statute of limitations. If an adult plaintiff wants to maintain their right to a lawsuit, they should file within two years of the injury or death related to medical malpractice.
One exception to Georgia’s medical malpractice statute of limitations is if a medical professional leaves a foreign object in a patient’s body. In this case, a plaintiff has one year to file their medical malpractice lawsuit after discovering the foreign object was left.
The other exception to Georgia’s medical malpractice statute of limitations is if a child under five years old is the victim of medical malpractice. In this case, plaintiffs have until the child’s seventh birthday to file for medical malpractice. If a medical professional or patient did not immediately find the injury, a court could allow plaintiffs to file a lawsuit until the child’s tenth birthday.
FAQs About Medical Malpractice in Georgia
Can a doctor be sued for medical malpractice in Georgia if they made a mistake but it didn’t cause harm?
Georgia does not consider all mistakes or poor levels of care as medical malpractice. Georgia law only considers an act medical malpractice in Georgia if it harms the patient. To prove medical malpractice, a plaintiff must prove a medical professional caused harm while providing medical care.
How much financial compensation can I earn from a medical malpractice lawsuit in Georgia?
If a medical malpractice lawsuit goes to trial, the court will determine the compensation a plaintiff earns. Georgia does not use “damage caps,” or a maximum amount of money a plaintiff can earn.
A plaintiff can receive economic damages which compensate for their financial loss. They may also receive non-economic damages, compensating for other concerns like pain and suffering.
How can a lawyer help me with Georgia medical malpractice laws?
An attorney can help their client file a medical malpractice lawsuit. They can also advocate for their client during settlements or trials and help them secure damages.