Medical Malpractice: Knowing If You’re Entitled to Compensation

Medical Malpractice: Knowing If You're Entitled to CompensationMedical malpractice occurs when a health-care provider strays from the acknowledged standard of care in the treatment of a patient and an injury or wrongful death ensues.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recognizes medical negligence as the third leading cause of death in America.

Making a Medical Malpractice Case

In 2012, over 3 billion dollars were spent on medical malpractice expenditures in the United States. Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit can be tough. The process generally requires a lot of patience, persistence, and legal expertise.

People who pursue medical malpractice lawsuits typically seek compensation. In order to establish appropriate compensation for medical negligence, the cost of injuries—“damages”—must be determined.

Determining Compensation

There are 3 types of compensation involved in medical malpractice cases: economic, non-economic, and punitive.

Punitive damages are solely for patients who believe the defendant should be punished for his or her negligence.

Economic Damages

When a health-care professional unnecessarily injures a person physically or mentally, the injured person might seek compensation for various expenses he or she had to pay because of the injury. These expenses are known as economic damages and are generally the easiest damage to recover (if supported by bills, receipts, and other proof).

Economic damages typically include quantifiable expenses such as:

  • Loss of income or wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Cost of necessary rehabilitation, surgeries, tests, procedures, hospitalization, medications, etc.

If a person was required to hire help to clean his or her home or care for his or her children because his or her injury made him or her unable to do so, the person might request compensation for these expenses, as well.

Non-Economic Damages

People who pursue medical malpractice lawsuits can ask for compensation for non-economic damages too. Non-economic damages pertain to a patient’s pain and suffering, disfigurement, humiliation, the loss of the ability to work, or the loss of enjoyment of life—anything that has changed directly because of malpractice and is not monetary.

Non-economic damages are often more difficult to justify and obtain than economic damages. A number of states in the U.S. have placed caps on the maximum amount of compensation an injured person can receive in relation to particular damages. Such caps usually apply to non-economic damages.

Talk to an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

Hiring an experienced medical malpractice lawyer can mean the difference between receiving compensation and walking away with nothing.

Contact Eric J. Hertz Today

To discuss a medical malpractice case further with a qualified and practiced medical malpractice lawyer, contact Eric J. Hertz today by calling 404-577-8111 or fill out our online contact form today. Learn more about the services our firm provides and the cases we’ve worked with in the past by visiting our website.

Famous Catastrophic Medical Malpractice in Georgia

Famous Catastrophic Medical Malpractice in GeorgiaWhenever 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.

Contacting the law firm of Eric J. Hertz, P.C., is a vital part of the process of obtaining the compensation needed to help both the victim and his or her family to recover from their ordeal.