Medical malpractice lawsuits are a type of personal injury case. When a medical professional’s negligence results in a patient being injured or in the condition of the patient worsening or experiencing complications, then the healthcare provider is considered liable. Medical malpractice lawsuits are often lengthy, expensive, and intimidating, but if you’ve received harm within the healthcare system, we encourage you to have a conversation with an attorney to discover if you could potentially receive some remuneration. When it comes to medical malpractice suits in Georgia, here are some things you need to know:
There is a statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations states that, for the vast majority of cases, a suit needs to be filed within two years in order to be accepted for a trial. Certain exceptions can apply to the two-year rule, but the law (section 9-3-71) states that “in no event may an action for medical malpractice be brought more than five years after the date on which the negligent or wrongful act or omission occurred.” If the statute of limitations has expired, the court will refuse to hear your case, no matter how serious or blatant the malpractice was.
Every case requires an affidavit of expert.
An affidavit of expert is a legally verified written statement from a medical expert detailing the negligence they believe contributed to the case. Courts typically will not receive or review medical malpractice briefs that don’t include an affidavit of expert. If the statute of limitations deadline is pending, however, you can apply for an extension to procure the affidavit within a certain timeframe.
Georgia law sets a damages cap.
A majority of states set limitations on the amount of non-economic damages that a patient can sue for. Non-economic damages include intangible losses related to the incident such as pain and suffering, anxiety, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment, lost companionship, and scarring. Georgia law sets the non-economic damages cap at $350,000 per health care facility. In other words, if the patient experienced harm at multiple healthcare locations, they would be eligible for further compensation. There is no cap for economic damages, however, so all past and future medical expenses, medications, and ongoing therapies, as well as lost earnings and lost future earning capacity can be included in the settlement negotiations.
Talk to Castan & Lecca today to learn more about medical malpractice cases and to share your story with caring and sympathetic professionals who can help you find a path forward.