Whenever an individual interacts with the healthcare sector, there is a chance that he or she will be improperly treated. Whether it is due to a misdiagnosis, negligence on the part of the staff or defective equipment, many cases of famous catastrophic medical malpractice in Georgia have resulted in the victim or his or her family taking legal action in order to obtain compensation. However, because of the complexity of medical malpractice lawsuits, effective legal assistance is a vital part of ensuring a successful outcome.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice arises when a physician, hospital, equipment provider or other agency involved in an individual’s healthcare causes harm to the patient through negligent or malicious actions. In many cases, more than one individual may be guilty of negligence, especially if they were in a position to notify the authorities or management of the problem but failed to do so.
Examples of typical types of medical malpractice can include the following:
• Failing to properly identify and treat a patient’s illness or injury.
• A failure on the part of management to adequately train and supervise the employees, leading to avoidable patient injuries.
• Healthcare professionals providing treatment while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
• Discharging patients who are not yet ready to be sent home. Most well known cases of catastrophic medical malpractice in Georgia are due to one of more of these factors. In general, an individual can obtain compensation for their real damages, including pain and suffering, lost work, and any long-term medical or financial costs they may have suffered. Someone who can no longer work due to their condition can receive support for the rest of their lives.
Punitive damages may be awarded if the court feels that the conduct was particularly egregious. Examples of conduct that can result in punitive damages would be a surgeon operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or the failure of management to take action against an employee even after they had been warned multiple times. However, obtaining punitive damages can be a complex matter that is best handled by a skilled personal injury attorney.
Examples of Medical Malpractice Cases
There have been a number of cases of tragic medical malpractice in Georgia. Some of the more recent include the following:
• The family of a woman who died after a negligent surgeon failed to properly insert a stent sued the surgeon, hospital administrators and other staff, receiving an undisclosed settlement.
• A $1.25 million dollar verdict was awarded against a Georgia nursing home for leaving a patient lying in his own waste, resulting in the patient’s death.
• In 2010, the Supreme Court of Georgia in Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgery, P.C. v. Nestlehutt, et al., struck down previous caps on the total amount of noneconomic damage that could be granted in medical malpractice cases.
Finally, it is important to note that a skilled attorney can often convince the defendants to settle out of court. Not only does this reduce the stress on the injured parties of having to appear in court, it can result in swift compensation for their injuries. In fact, many cases of disastrous medical malpractice in Georgia have been settled out of court. Individuals who have been victimized by malpractice on the part of their healthcare providers should immediately contact an attorney in order to receive prompt compensation.