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What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Georgia?

February 20, 2022Medical Malpractice

Medical professionals have a duty to treat patients with an acceptable standard of care. Unfortunately, some professionals commit acts of negligence that severely harm patients who are receiving care from them. 

In these situations, injured victims have the right to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the at-fault providers. Any situation where a medical professional negligently harms a patient could constitute medical malpractice in Georgia, including misdiagnoses, prescription errors, or surgical mistakes.

Georgia’s Definition of Medical Malpractice

Under Georgia law, a medical malpractice action arises after a healthcare professional causes death or injury to a patient while providing care to him or her. Medical professionals have a duty to uphold a certain standard of care, and their actions must not deviate from what a similarly trained and reasonable professional would do under the same circumstances.

If a medical provider commits a negligent act while caring for a patient, he or she commits medical malpractice. As a result, the provider would be liable for any injury that occurs to the patient.

Examples of medical malpractice include the following.

  • Failing to read laboratory tests
  • Ordering the wrong diagnostic tests
  • Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage
  • Performing surgery on the wrong body part
  • Unnecessarily amputating a limb
  • Misdiagnosing a patient’s symptoms as another condition
  • Failing to consider relevant patient history

Who Is Liable for Medical Malpractice in Georgia?

Any medical professional could be liable for malpractice, including physicians, dentists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other medical specialists. Nurses, medical assistants, and other employees tasked with providing patient care may also be named as defendants in a medical malpractice claim.

How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

If you believe that you are the victim of medical malpractice, it is important to act quickly. According to Georgia’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, you have two years from the date on which you suffered the injury to file your lawsuit. If you did not discover the injury until a later date, you must file your claim within five years of the malpractice. 

How to Prove a Georgia Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

To successfully prove a Georgia medical malpractice claim, you will need to provide sufficient evidence that clearly establishes four important facts.

  • Duty: The at-fault medical provider owed you a duty of care at the time of the malpractice. All medical professionals owe a duty of care to the patients that they treat in a formal capacity. 
  • Breach of Duty: The at-fault medical provider breached his or her duty of care through a negligent act or failure to act. You will need to prove that the provider’s actions deviated from what similarly trained and reasonable professional would have done.
  • Causation: The at-fault provider’s breach of duty caused your injuries or worsening illness. 
  • Damages: You sustained damages that you can collect in your lawsuit, such as medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. 

Speak to a Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you are injured by a negligent medical professional in Georgia, you need an attorney on your side. An Augusta medical malpractice lawyer can guide you through the litigation process and help you hold the at-fault provider accountable for your injuries. 

As soon as possible following the malpractice, seek follow-up medical care and obtain all records related to your condition and treatment. After obtaining the care that you need, contact an Augusta medical malpractice attorney to discuss your next steps.