People throughout Georgia regularly rely on doctors to provide preventative care and treat acute and chronic conditions. Typically, patients anticipate that they will receive thorough and competent care from their treatment providers, but unfortunately, thousands of people are harmed each year due to the careless behavior of physicians. Doctors who breach the duties that they owe to their patients should be held accountable, and people who suffered losses because of incompetent medical care should seek legal counsel as soon as possible about their right to pursue medical malpractice claims. Tracy Udunka is a Stockbridge medical malpractice lawyer who is adept at navigating the complexities of proving the liability of negligent health care practitioners under Georgia law. If you or a family member were hurt by medical malpractice, she can help you pursue damages for your losses.Common Examples of Medical Malpractice
There are many errors and missteps that doctors make, but some happen more frequently than others. A failure to diagnose a patient is one of the most common examples of medical malpractice and can occur for several reasons. For example, a doctor may fail to prescribe the required tests or take note of a patient's symptoms and may miss a critical issue. In some instances, a physician may provide a proper diagnosis but order an inappropriate treatment, which can allow a disease or condition to progress. Mistakes during surgery, like operating on the wrong body part or lacerating a nerve or organ, regularly cause patient harm as well. Finally, a doctor may be liable for medical malpractice for failing to properly advise an individual of the possible side effects of a procedure or medication and potential alternatives prior to obtaining the person's consent to treatment. In any of these situations, a medical malpractice attorney in Stockbridge can help a patient protect their rights.Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims
Regardless of the circumstances out of which a patient's harm arose, under Georgia law, all medical malpractice claims must generally be pursued within two years of the date of the injury or death. Different statutory limitations apply for cases involving minors or objects left in the body, and the statute of limitations may be tolled in certain circumstances.
Georgia law explicitly allows for the recovery of damages for harm caused by medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is broadly defined as harm caused by a person providing health, medical, dental, or surgical care, or prescribing medication or treating a patient. Hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other entities can be held liable for medical malpractice as well.
The law dictates that a person who administers medicine or performs surgical procedures must exercise a reasonable degree of skill and care in performing his or her professional duties. If a patient suffers injuries due to a doctor's failure to use the proper skill and care, the patient can pursue tort claims against the doctor. Generally, a plaintiff and a Stockbridge medical malpractice attorney will assert that the defendant negligently breached the standard of care, which is usually the level of treatment that a reasonable and competent professional in the same specialty would provide when presented with the same set of facts. Testimony from a medical expert is usually required to establish the standard of care and the manner in which the defendant's actions constituted a breach.
The plaintiff must also show that the breach proximately caused the harm alleged, which often requires expert testimony as well. A plaintiff who proves a defendant's liability may be awarded economic damages, such as the cost of any necessary medical treatment, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses. A judge or jury may also award a plaintiff non-economic damages, which are usually meant to compensate for intangible harm like pain and suffering.
Consult a Knowledgeable Medical Malpractice Attorney People typically seek medical care to protect their health, but when the care that they receive is incompetent, they often suffer harm instead. Doctors who carelessly injure their patients may be deemed liable for medical malpractice, and it is critical for anyone injured by a health care professional to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. If you or a loved one sustained losses due to negligent medical care, Tracy Udunka can advise you about your rights and help you pursue the full amount of damages recoverable under the law. The Law Office of Tracy Udunka represents people who need a medical malpractice lawyer in the Stockbridge area or in Lithonia, College Park, Union City, Decatur, and elsewhere in the Atlanta region. You can contact Ms. Udunka at (770) 629-1383 or through the online form to schedule a meeting.