Although professionals in the medical industry admit that medical errors occur regularly, proving malpractice can nonetheless be a challenge. Moreover, state lawmakers have enacted complex rules limiting patients’ ability to file claims.
Accordingly, if you suspect medical malpractice caused you to suffer injuries, it is wise to consult a Cobb County medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. A dedicated personal injury lawyer familiar with the unique requirements of medical malpractice cases could begin investigating to find out whether you are eligible for compensation.
Application of the statute of limitations is often unique in medical malpractice cases. Official Code of Georgia Annotated §9-3-71 sets the statute of limitations at two years and the statute of repose at five years in most instances. In other words, lawsuits seeking compensation for medical malpractice must be filed within two years of an injury or death caused by an act of medical malpractice. Sometimes, an injury may not manifest, or a death may not occur until long after the negligence or wrongdoing. In those cases, a lawsuit must be filed within five years of the time of the negligence as required by the statute of repose.
To further complicate matters, a different limitation period applies in situations where a foreign object has been left inside a patient’s body after surgery. In these cases, the patient has one year after the discovery of the object to file a claim.
One unique requirement for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is an affidavit from a medical professional. At the time a Cobb County medical malpractice attorney files a complaint to initiate a medical malpractice claim, the injured person must also file an affidavit that meets the specifications of Ga. Code Ann. §9-11-9.1.
The affidavit must explain at least one negligent act (or negligent failure to act) and the basis for the negligence claim. Affidavits submitted to fulfill this requirement must be prepared by an “expert competent to testify.”
An experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Cobb County could find a medical expert and obtain an affidavit to satisfy this criterion. This step can take time, however, so it is wise to begin working with an attorney as soon as possible.
Medical malpractice may result in a variety of types of harm to a patient. Often, patients suffer economic losses such as reduced income due to time missed from work and added medical bills.
Also, patients may suffer non-economic harm, which may be harder to quantify. Non-economic damages may include pain, suffering, and emotional anguish. A Cobb County doctor malpractice lawyer could calculate an approximate value for each loss in a situation to determine an appropriate amount of damages.
It can be frustrating when the medical professionals we trust to protect and improve our health end up causing more harm. When the negligence of a doctor or other medical provider causes an injury, it is only fair to hold them accountable.
A Cobb County medical malpractice lawyer could help you recover compensation if you have suffered harm due to medical mistakes that could have been avoided. To learn more about your options for recovery, call for a free consultation.