Understanding the Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations Georgia Uses

Table of Contents

  1. Medical Malpractice is Different Than Other Personal Injury Cases
  2. What is the Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Georgia?
  3. How an Experienced Attorney Can Help in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
  4. The Brown Firm Knows How to Manage Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

When you place yourself in the care of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, you put a massive amount of trust in their skill and judgement. After all, they have the credentials and experience that qualify them to hold your life in their hands.

So when something goes wrong during a treatment or surgery, you may experience not only an injury but a sense of betrayal and fear. How can you be expected to trust another medical professional after you’ve been hurt by medical malpractice?

Fortunately, there are paths to justice and compensation to help you rebuild. In order to make the most of them, you need to understand certain things about the legal system.

This article will outline the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Georgia, and how it can be more complex than a hard and fast deadline that applies to all cases. We’ll also explain how a personal injury attorney can make all the difference to the outcome of your case.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Medical Malpractice is Different Than Other Personal Injury Cases

Medical malpractice works a little differently than other kinds of personal injury cases, such as car accidents and slips and falls. In a typical car accident case, for example, it’s often (although certainly not always) easy to determine who is at fault and why. Further, you’re likely to have eyewitnesses with no conflicts of interest who can support the truth about a negligent or wrongful act.

During a medical procedure, the patient might not even be awake, and the process might be so complicated that they wouldn’t understand it even if they were. Further, witnesses tend to be other medical professionals who might be biased in favor of the healthcare provider.

All of this can make it harder for an injured person (plaintiff) to prove their medical malpractice claim. This is why it’s so important to understand how Georgia law treats medical malpractice, including details like the statute of limitations.

RELATED: Do I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

medical malpractice statute of limitations Georgia
medical malpractice statute of limitations Georgia

What is the Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Georgia?

A statute of limitations applies in all sorts of legal cases. It is essentially the deadline for getting a case into the state’s court system, also known as filing a lawsuit.

The standard statute of limitations for a Georgia medical malpractice lawsuit is two years. Most of the time, a lawsuit filed more than two years after the malpractice will be dismissed by the court, ending the plaintiff’s chances for compensation.

However, the law also goes on to state what’s known as a “statute of repose.” The statute of repose says that no medical malpractice action may be brought more than five years after the negligent medical act occurred.

This might be confusing. Let’s dig a little deeper into the exceptions to the Georgia medical malpractice statute of limitations.

Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations Deadline

As we said earlier, medical malpractice claims tend to be more complex than other personal injury cases, and in many cases may not even be identified until long after the incident occurred. To allow for this, Georgia law specifies two major exceptions to the medical malpractice statute of limitations:

  • Statute of repose: Some lawsuits may be brought as long as five years after the malpractice incident happened. This applies when the damage of the malpractice isn’t evident soon enough for the two-year deadline. An example of this might be when the side effects of a certain medication take a few years to manifest, but then become obvious and are clearly linked to the medication.
  • “Foreign object” cases: This is an exception to even the statute of repose. It applies when a “foreign object” is left in a patient’s body due to medical negligence. Foreign objects are things like sponges or surgical instruments, but not prosthetic devices or chemical compounds. These lawsuits must be brought within one year of the foreign object’s discovery and are allowed even if it’s been more than five years since the object got there.
  • Failure to diagnose: Injuries and harm caused by a doctor’s failure to diagnose a condition or disease may receive a filing extension from the court, though this is very much determined on a case-by-case basis.

These exceptions are not common, however, and missing applicable deadlines jeopardizes any chance for fair compensation. You should not rely on them. That’s why it’s so important to understand the law and seek the help of an attorney.

medical malpractice statute of limitations Georgia
medical malpractice statute of limitations Georgia

How an Experienced Attorney Can Help in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Most people are not personal injury law experts, let alone medical malpractice experts. In addition, when someone is trying to heal from an injury (on top of whatever they were being treated for in the first place), the last thing they should have to do is expend energy on researching the law.

An experienced medical malpractice attorney is skilled at navigating the legal system and knows how to talk to healthcare providers and insurance companies. Let them do the heavy lifting while you focus on getting better.

The sooner you start working with an attorney, the better. Did you know that medical malpractice lawsuits involving Georgia cities, states, and other municipalities may have shorter time limits than the standard statute of limitations? This is just one example of how an attorney might save you from missing a vital deadline and missing out on fair compensation.

RELATED: 5 Essential Steps to Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim

Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?

The Brown Firm Knows How to Manage Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

At The Brown Firm, we are dedicated to protecting the injured in all sorts of personal injury cases, including medical malpractice lawsuits. Our legal team has decades of combined experience and will put it to work so that you can focus on healing.

Better yet, our managing member, Harry Brown, has worked as a medical practitioner himself. This gives him critical insight as someone who understands not only the injuries themselves, but how to navigate the health care and insurance systems that can feel so overwhelming to our clients.

To set up your free initial consultation today, call (800) 529-1441 or complete the easy contact form on our website, and someone will be in touch with you soon.

References

Goguen, D. (n.d.). Georgia medical malpractice laws. NOLO. Retrieved from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/georgia-medical-malpractice-laws.html

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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What’s The Difference Between Negligence and Something Criminal?

The terms negligent or negligence are used a lot in the legal world.

Even most people outside of the legal industry are at least somewhat aware of what these words mean.

In this blog and many other legal blogs, people who have been injured in accidents are told to speak to lawyers if the negligence of others caused their injuries.

TV shows, movies, radio, and internet news sites are littered with news reports about incidents of negligence that have led to injuries.

But what is negligence? Is there a difference between something being deemed negligent and something being considered criminal?

In the legal world, there is negligence, or civil negligence, and criminal negligence.

The article below will define criminal negligence, civil negligence and the differences between the two.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

What Is Civil Negligence? 

The legal definition of negligence is “failure to use reasonable care, that a reasonable person would, resulting in damage or injury to another.”

Negligence is an integral part of personal injury cases because injuries are often the result of someone else’s negligence.

Negligence can occur in car accident cases, slip and falls, workplace accidents, and more.

Negligence cases have four basic elements that are used to prove whether or not a person acted negligently.

Those elements are:

  1. Duty – The defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff under the circumstances
  2. Breach – The defendant breached that legal duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way
  3. Causation – It was the defendant’s actions, or inaction, that caused the plaintiff’s injury
  4. Damages – The plaintiff was harmed or injured as a result of the defendant’s actions.

You have to prove each of these elements before your case can be settled. 

It is your attorney’s responsibility to prove that the defendant was at fault before you will be able to receive any compensation for your damages.

Proving negligence often requires extensive fact-gathering and collecting evidence regarding every moment that led to your accident and the moments following your accident.

Examples of Civil Negligence

There are plenty of examples of negligence that can lead to someone filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. 

Some prime examples are:

  1. A doctor operating on the wrong patient or the wrong body part because they misread the chart.
  2. A driver running a stop sign and driving well over the legal speed limit.
  3. A restaurant owner who mops the slippery floor and doesn’t put up a “Wet Floor” sign.
  4. A company releasing a hazardous drug without thoroughly testing the medication and identifying side effects.
  5. A property owner that let the steps to their house decay, or never fixes a broken handrail could be negligent if they invite friends over to their house and their friends hurt themselves on the railing or steps.
  6. A store owner knowing that things get out-of-hand on Black Friday but still hosts a big sales event, encouraging a mob scene with no security.
  7. A person with a known dangerous dog that he takes to the park where the dog bites a small child.

What Is Criminal Negligence? 

Criminal negligence is conduct where a person ignores an obvious risk or disregards the life and safety of those around him.

Both federal and state courts describe this behavior as a form of recklessness.

The negligent person acts significantly different than most people would under similar circumstances.

An unfortunate example of this is a parent or guardian leaving a loaded firearm where a small child can get it.

Certain crimes base culpability on a criminally negligent standard.

An example of this is involuntary manslaughter.

To be convicted of this crime, and held criminally negligent, the prosecutor will have to prove that the defendant killed someone unintentionally but acted with unlawful negligence when they did it.

Elegant man crying at accident scene

Examples of Criminal Negligence

A few examples of a person acting with criminal negligence are:

  1. Firing a weapon in the air during a celebration at a public space park
  2. Leaving your child in your car unattended in hot weather.
  3. Swiping at someone’s hand while they are holding a loaded gun
  4. Texting and speeding while driving.

We mentioned this above, but a textbook example of criminal negligence is involuntary manslaughter. 

A person has committed involuntary manslaughter if:

  1. They kill someone unintentionally
  2. They do so via criminal negligence or in the commission of a crime that’s not a felony.

What About Criminal Neglect? 

A term that is often confused with negligence is neglect.

These two terms are related, but they describe two different kinds of actions.

Both civil and criminal negligence describe failures to exercise reasonable levels of care in certain circumstances, but neglect describes a type of abuse where a person fails to care for someone who cannot care for themselves.

This often occurs in familiar or other caretaking settings.

Neglect can often rise above the level of criminal behavior, but criminal neglect is different from criminal negligence.

Examining The Differences in Negligence and Criminal Negligence

Criminal negligence and civil negligence definitions share much of the same terminology, like the “standard of care,” and “a reasonable person.”

Still, there are some clear differences.

Criminal negligence requires someone to fail to know of a substantial and unjustifiable risk to be convicted.

That same requirement doesn’t exist for civil negligence.

Also, criminal negligence requires a gross deviation from a reasonable standard of care.

Civil negligence can be found if there is any deviation from a reasonable standard of care.

This makes it much harder to meet the criminal definition of negligence than to meet the civil definition.

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Intent in Criminal Law

To find someone guilty of a crime, it has to be proven that the person committed a criminal act and had the appropriate means rea.

Mens rea translates to guilty mind, but it has come to mean criminal intent in criminal law.

Most statutes that criminalize behavior will also specify a level of intent required for conviction, but all will.

There are many levels of criminal intent, including intentional behavior, criminal negligent behavior, and reckless behavior.

Needing intent is vital for many societal and policy reasons.

Criminal convictions can result in incarceration, fines, and probation, so there’s a belief that a person’s conduct should be intentional, grossly negligent, or grossly negligent to be convicted.

When Does Negligence Come Into Play? 

Only the government can bring a case when it comes to criminal negligence.

That means the appropriate prosecutorial body will examine facts and have the responsibility to decide if a criminal charge should be filed.

If it is decided that a criminal charge should be filed, the elements of the criminal case have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Civil negligence is used to determine liability in car accidents and many other types of civil actions.

Civil negligence is used to determine liability in:

  • motor vehicle accidents
  • semi-truck crashes
  • medical malpractice
  • slip and fall accidents
  • nursing home liability
  • premises liability

Any case in which one person sues another person for negligently causing injury to the victim falls under the civil negligence umbrella. 

As a plaintiff, to win a civil negligence case, you only need evidence to back up your claim.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

If you are unable to prove negligence, whether it is civil or criminal negligence, in your personal injury case, there’s no way for you to recover monetary damages.

That means you will be responsible for paying your medical expenses and any other damages incurred in the accident without any financial assistance.

Negligence is a tricky term because it depends on things like “a gross deviation from a standard of care” and deciding what a reasonable person would do. 

Depending on your case, there isn’t always an easy way to identify the parameters around a reasonable standard of care.

This is why criminal and civil negligence cases are often complicated, expensive, and unpredictable.

That’s why if you’ve been injured in an accident, you need to enlist the help of a law firm.

As the victim of someone else’s negligence, it is the job of your attorney to prove that the defendant was negligent.

This can often be done before going to trial, but some civil cases do make it to court because it isn’t clear if the defendant is negligent or not.

An experienced personal injury attorney will not be afraid of taking a personal injury case to court to win compensation for their client.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney at The Brown Firm Today

Recognizing both criminal negligence and civil negligence keeps society safer by holding people accountable for their behavior.

That’s why the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Brown Firm take their job of holding negligent parties responsible for their actions seriously.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else, you might not be sure what to do next and have several questions about your rights.

If so, please contact The Brown Firm today to set up a Free Consultation so they can go over the facts of your case.

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You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

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If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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The First Steps You Need to Take in a Medical Malpractice Case in Georgia

If you were involved in an accident that was caused by the negligence of a medical professional, you might be entitled to take legal action by filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

Medicine is all about accuracy, and unfortunately, there are times when something goes terribly wrong. Inadequate medical care, lack of consent, misdiagnosis, or breach of doctor-patient confidentiality occur much more regularly than you would think.

When any of the above occur, medical harm or injury can be the unfortunate result, leaving the victims to suffer great consequences. 

You may be asking yourself, “Do I have a medical malpractice case?” 

Medical Malpractice claims are arguably the most difficult to file, which is why it is never advised that you do so on your own. If you were injured in an accident that you believe was caused by medical negligence, below are the first steps you need to take in a Medical Malpractice Case. 

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

#1 Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney 

The very first you should take if you believe your injury was due to medical negligence is to contact an experienced attorney for legal advice. Even if you think that you can handle certain legal aspects on your own, it is strongly suggested that you hire an attorney sooner rather than later. 

A Medical Malpractice Attorney can help you file your case before the statute of limitations is up. Your attorney will also be highly-trained when it comes to the legal process of filing these complicated cases. They will know who to talk to, when specific paperwork needs done and turned in, and how to speak with opposing attorneys regarding the case.

Having an expert on your side will be your best chance at obtaining the compensation that you are owed for the injuries that you suffered. Your attorney won’t let anything slip through the cracks, and they will most definitely not let you get taken advantage of. 

medical records folder

#2 Obtain your Medical Records 

You will need your medical records and any medical documentation that was taken to have a strong case. The contents of your medical records can make or break your case. Due to privacy laws, you will need to sign a waiver if you want your attorney to obtain the records for you. Otherwise, it is something that you will have to do on your own. 

If you give permission for your attorney to obtain the records, they can do it in a timely manner and have them sent to their office immediately. Your medical records will give your attorney a much better and more in-depth  understanding of all the details of your case. It will also allow them the opportunity to look for medical experts who can give their professional opinion regarding your case and the treatment that you received. 

Having other medical experts weigh in on the case is crucial. If your attorney can get them to state in writing that the treatment you received did not meet the standard level of care, it will make your case stronger.

Having an attorney help with this step is crucial, because it may be very challenging for you to find other medical experts who are willing to weigh in on the case, however, your medical malpractice attorney may already know who to contact. 

#3 Notify the Insurance Company 

Once again, if you have an attorney, they will be able to notify your insurance company and the hospital that a lawsuit is being brought forth for medical negligence. Often a case can be settled between the attorney and the insurance company without needing to file the formal suit. 

However, often when you’re offered an early settlement it is not for the amount that you are actually owed or that you deserve. This is another reason why it’s crucial to have an attorney; they will make sure you do not accept an offer less than what you deserve. 

Often when you try to handle these things alone, the insurance company will take advantage and try to make  you believe that the amount they are offering you is the best and only amount that you can get for your case. With the help of an attorney, you will be well informed of what you’re entitled too, and they will fight for you to obtain that amount. 

#4 Filing an Official Complaint 

Filing an official complaint is a formal document that will cite the allegations that you are bringing against the doctor for the injuries that you suffered. Filing a complaint is what will trigger the lawsuit to begin shortly afterward. 

Once again, knowing when and how to file a complaint is difficult unless you have legal training. This is another task that your attorney will be able to complete much more thoroughly than you. Filing complaints is part of their job, they went to school and were trained in this area, so knowing what to do will come second nature. While for you, you may need to do extensive research and still not complete the document correctly. 

This step is critical to do correctly if you want to obtain the amount of compensation that you deserve. Like we said, this triggers the lawsuit process, and so making sure it is done correctly will be crucial to the outcome of your case. 

Choosing an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney 

When you suffer an injury because of medical negligence, you deserve to be compensated fairly for your losses. Having an experienced attorney on your side will be your best opportunity at obtaining the benefits that you are owed. 

The Brown Firm employs a team of Medical Malpractice Lawyers who specifically specialize in medical negligence cases. 

Our attorneys know exactly what to do to make sure your case is proceeding the way it should. The sooner you contact us for help, the sooner we can begin your case. 

It’s important to remember you only get one shot at compensation. That means you can’t decide to go at it alone, and if you don’t like the outcome, decide it’s time for an attorney. By then, you will be too late, and your only chance at obtaining compensation will be gone. 

Hiring an attorney from the beginning is the only way you will receive the full amount that you deserve. The insurance companies will be waiting for you to make a mistake so they can deny your claim altogether.

The lawyers at our firm provide a free consultation so they can speak with you and find out exactly what happened so they can figure out how they are going to be able to assist with the recovery of your losses. 

Click below to schedule your appointment with one of Georgia’s Top Medical Malpractice Attorneys today. 

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If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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Do I Have A Medical Malpractice Case?

Experiencing a life-altering injury or the death of a loved one is an extremely traumatic experience.

If the loss is caused by wrongful behavior or the negligence of another individual, the pain and suffering is intensified.

You’re going to be stressed during this time no matter what, but if you have to determine whether or not you have a case of medical malpractice or wrongful death, your stress is going to be amplified.

Medical malpractice might not be something that people think of every day, but thousands of people die every year from unnoticed or undocumented medical negligence and malpractice.

Some people even estimate that medical malpractice and negligence kill more people annually than car accidents.

Some cases of medical malpractice are obvious.

A surgeon sews an instrument up inside of your body or amputates the wrong limb.

It seems crazy, but it has happened. We have to remember, or doctors and surgeons are human just like us.

However, most medical malpractice cases involve mistakes that aren’t as obvious.

The mistakes can arise from surgeries, medication errors, bacterial infections, birth injuries, diagnosis errors, and negligence, among other things.

We also have to keep in mind that just because something has gone wrong, or a patient’s health worsens, it doesn’t mean you have a case of medical malpractice on your hands.

In the article below, we’ll talk about a few situations where medical malpractice might have caused an injury or death, and when it probably wasn’t an issue.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

When It Might Be Malpractice

Below are a few instances when you might have a case of medical malpractice.

Negligence

Negligence occurs when a doctor provides substandard care to a patient.

It means they fail to provide the type and level of care that a prudent, local, similarly-skilled, and educated doctor would provide in similar circumstances.

To put it in even simpler terms, the doctor didn’t do his job.

When negligence rises to the level of medical malpractice, it can be due to a number of reasons.

The doctor could have failed to diagnose a serious condition, they failed to advise a patient of the serious risks of specific treatments, or they could have performed unacceptable errors during surgery or other procedures.

Doctors aren’t perfect. Again, they’re humans that can make mistakes just like us.

Medical malpractice laws do not require perfection.

But if a doctor’s error falls below the applicable medical standard of care, the mistake can rise to the level of malpractice.

Most medical malpractice cases turn on the following questions:

  • What was the medical standard of care in the situation in question?
  • Did the defendant adhere to or deviate from that standard?

Both sides of the case, the doctor, as well as the patient, will likely turn to medical experts to help bolster their case.

Recklessness

This is rarer than negligence, but sometimes a doctor’s actions or in actions could be considered reckless.

Recklessness goes beyond the level of human error.

An excellent example of recklessness is performing a procedure under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Or, a doctor could be charged with administering potentially lethal levels of medication to a patient in contravention of accepted medical practices.

This is what happened in the 2011 criminal case of Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s doctor.

In some cases, recklessness can be viewed as extreme cases of negligence where the doctor’s actions are so far below the accepted norm in their field that they placed their patients at serious risk of suffering or harm.

When It Probably Isn’t Medical Malpractice

The doctor isn’t always to blame if the patient doesn’t get a favorable outcome.

The Patient’s Condition Gets Worse

A doctor can’t be held responsible for medical malpractice just because a patient’s condition becomes worse during treatment.

Sometimes a doctor simply can’t treat, let alone cure, certain illnesses, and even when conditions are considered treatable, there is no guarantee that patients will respond favorably to treatments.

As long as the doctor acted with reasonable care and skill in choosing and performing treatments, typically, no medical malpractice can be said to have occurred.

Not even when a patient’s condition takes a turn for the worse.

The Condition Isn’t Treatable

Unfortunately, not all illnesses and health issues can be treated.

A doctor who correctly diagnoses a health problem and makes sound decisions in deciding how to treat the patient, can’t be held responsible for medical malpractice because the condition is terminal.

Medical malpractice laws aren’t in place to offer a remedy for unfortunate healthcare outcomes like terminal illnesses and death.

Medical malpractice laws are in place to provide legal protection when the treatment a patient is given falls short of acceptable standards of medical care.

In The Case Of A Wrongful Death

Wrongful death is the death of an individual as a direct result of the negligence of another individual, company, or entity.

Wrongful death claims are usually based on the cause of death, who is strictly liable for the death, and who can claim the wrongful death.

Usually, wrongful death cases are brought by relatives, siblings, or descendants of the deceased’s estate who have experienced a monetary loss as a result of the wrongful death.

Aside from medical malpractice, wrongful death claims can arise out of automobile accidents, dangerous or defective products, other forms of negligence, and more.

hand on clipboard with pen

Contact A Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical malpractice is highly regulated by a complex body of rules, which vary considerably from state to state.

It’s often essential to get advice or representation from a lawyer if you or someone you know may have suffered or is suffering from medical malpractice.

Due to the statute of limitation laws, time is of the essence, so contact an experienced attorney as soon as you can.

Be prepared to provide your lawyer with relevant information such as dates you were treated, where you were treated, who treated you, etc.

The more information you have ready for your lawyer, the faster he can get started building your case.

Check out another blog: Surprising Cautions of Aspirin and Antacid Drugs | Enteric-coated aspirin

If you don’t have a lawyer, you can contact experienced medical malpractice lawyers in Georgia at The Brown Firm.

They have years of experience and expertise in the medical malpractice field, and they are prepared to help you today.

Click the button below to get started.

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Get the Answers and Compensation You Deserve

You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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Can You Sue for Weight Loss Surgery Injuries?

Medical malpractice is something no one should have to deal with.

Unfortunately, though, it’s a harsh reality in today’s world.

Patient experts at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland found that 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical errors in the U.S. 

Astonishingly enough, this makes it the third leading cause of death in the country, behind heart disease and cancer.

With that many deaths every year, there are many more injuries.

Even the most common surgeries can result in injury.

One of the most common is weight loss surgery.

Over the years, weight loss surgery has been becoming increasingly popular as a way to lose a lot of weight and regain your health.

So with the increase in popularity likely comes an increase in malpractice.

If you suspect that you’ve been injured due to medical malpractice, contact our Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Georgia today. 

In this article, we will discuss common types of weight loss surgery, and what to do if you’re injured as a result of your operation.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

What Is Weight Loss Surgery?

The primary goal of weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, is to help you lose weight and reduce your risk of illnesses due to obesity.

Bariatric surgery helps with weight loss in two ways, restriction and malabsorption.

Restriction surgery limits the amount of food your stomach can hold, which limits the number of calories you can consume.

Malabsorption surgery shortens or bypasses part of the small intestine, which reduces the number of calories and nutrients the body absorbs.

Getting either one of those surgeries will go a long way to help you lose weight and achieve optimal health.

What Happens If You’re Injured?

Surgeons owe every one of their patients a certain standard of care. 

Their level of skill, expertise, and care should be the same possessed and practiced by physicians in the same community under similar circumstances.

Your weight loss surgeon is held to the same standard as any other weight loss surgeon in the country, and you should be confident that you can undergo surgery without any additional risks.

Like any surgical procedure, gastric bypasses, lap-band procedures, and other weight-loss surgeries are risky.

Surgery in itself is inherently risky.

However, if something goes wrong, how do you know if it was an inherent risk or a case of malpractice?

When can you sue the surgeon or clinic for damages?

Surgical Standards Of Care

The only way to answer that question depends on the standard of care and whether or not your surgeon met it.

In every medical malpractice case, you need to determine whether your doctor or surgeon acted in a manner consistent with the expectations of the medical community.

Your weight loss surgeon needs to act in a way that is inconsistent with the standard of care upheld by other surgeons in his community.

If they don’t, they could be held liable for any harm that comes from not adhering to those standards.

Establishing that standard, and then proving your surgeon didn’t meet it, can be incredibly difficult.

You need to present expert testimony defining the standard of care, and proving your surgeon was negligent by not upholding that standard.

This is tricky because the experts in the field tend to be other doctors, and doctors like to avoid calling each other negligent.

Post-Surgery Steps

If you were injured during your surgery, and you think it’s due to medical malpractice, there are certain things you need to do as soon as possible.

If you were injured due to negligence from your surgeon, you need to start building your medical malpractice case right away.

Take these first steps right away:

Collect Relevant Paperwork.  Your diagnoses, prescriptions, bills, and any other documents you’ve received from medical professionals regarding the surgery could be relevant.
Contact the Medical Professional Involved. Sometimes a simple conversation can clear the air.
Contact the Relevant Medical Licensing Board. Although the board can’t compensate you for injuries, it can issue warnings or discipline to the surgeon.
Know How Long You Have to File a Claim. Look up your state’s statutes of limitation immediately. The laws on medical malpractice claims vary widely, and you don’t want to miss a deadline.

Malpractice Or A Poor Result?

It’s important to know whether you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, or if you just haven’t had the outcome you expected.

An injury is not the same as a poor result.

Understandably, if you’ve gone through weight loss surgery, you’ll expect immediate and drastic weight loss after your surgery.

You’ve gone through extreme lengths in order to slim down. So, naturally, you want drastic results.

It’s important not to blame your surgeon based solely on poor results.

There are some reasons your weight loss surgery could have been unsuccessful without any malpractice.

That’s why the conversation you have with your surgeon if you feel like you’re a victim of malpractice is essential.

Talk about what you think went wrong. You need to have a sense of whether your doctor committed medical negligence or if your procedure didn’t work.

For example, during the conversation you might find out that you didn’t follow your doctor’s orders after the surgery, leading to your unfortunate result.

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The Final Step

If you still feel like you’re a victim of malpractice, and not just disappointed from the result, there’s one last thing you need to do.

The last step, but one you want to take as soon as possible, is to contact an attorney.

If you have been a victim of malpractice, you’ll need the help of an experienced attorney.

Your attorney will take you by the hand and guide you through the process, ensuring you get what you deserve.

The lawyers at The Brown Firm are more than prepared to help you with your lawsuit.

Click the button below to get started.

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When can Patients Sue a Hospital for Medical Negligence?

When a mistake is made by the hospital that rises to the level of negligence, the patient who suffers harm as a result of this mistake has the legal right to receive compensation for any injuries that they may have suffered due to the error. 

Medical malpractice laws are in place to protect the legal rights of the patients who have been given substandard medical care, however, the fist step in asserting those rights must normally be taken by the patient themselves. 

In order to know when you can sue a hospital for medical negligence it’s important to understand what qualifies as “Medical Malpractice”. 

Here are some examples of botched surgeries and medical malpractice claims.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

What Qualifies as Medical Negligence (Malpractice) 

Medical Negligence occurs when a health professional, who owes his patients a standard duty of care, fails to uphold his duty of care and the responsibility that is expected in such a way that because of this failure, the patient suffers an injury or harm. 

All of these elements must be met in order for someone to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital or health care provider.

A hospital can be liable for their health care professionals such as anesthesiologists, employed doctors, and radiologists when they treat patients in or for the hospital. 

Often times a hospital is found to be liable for negligence if they did not ensure that their staff had the required education, training, or licensure at the time of the accident.

In addition, the hospital may be found liable for not properly checking the backgrounds of other individuals who are not direct employees, such as the surgeons or attending physicians who may have administered care to the injured patient.

If a patient’s condition became worse because they had to wait longer to receive treatment because the hospital was not properly staffed, the hospital may be found to be negligent. 

The Hospital Is Responsible for the Conduct of the Healthcare Provider

A hospital that is direct employer of certain healthcare such as nurses, paramedics, and medical technicians, can be sued under if a patient undergoes an injury because of the negligence of a healthcare staff member. 

This means that if an employee under the direction of the employer (the hospital) acted in a negligent manner, the employer is responsible for any injuries that resulted from the negligence.

If the hospital employee was performing a “job-related” function when the patient was injured, the patient can then sue the hospital for the employee’s mistake.

In many cases, doctors are not considered to be direct employees of the hospital, but are rather considered to be independent contractors.

Depending on the hospital and situation, some doctors may be considered employees of the hospital. In very rare cases is a hospital to be found liable for a doctor’s services, negligent or otherwise. 

Check Out Our Previous Post: Five Things Everybody Needs to Know About Motorcycle Accidents

How to File a Lawsuit against a Hospital

If you were injured and believe it was the result of a hospital employee’s negligence, your first step should be to contact an experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney for legal help. 

Filing a lawsuit in general is never easy to do on your own, but when your want to file a lawsuit against an establishment such as a hospital, your chances of obtaining compensation on your own just got even harder. 

A hospital will have a team of lawyers who work for them, a team of lawyers will be ready to do whatever they can to deny your claim or offer you the lowest settlement amount possible.

Without an attorney, you have hardly a chance at succeeding with your lawsuit. 

When you hire an attorney it will be up to them to prove that an employee of the hospital failed to uphold the standard level of care and because of this, you suffered considerable harm and injury.

Medical Malpractice is a serious offense, and you should not have to suffer further when you’re injured because of someone else’s careless or negligent actions.

Having an attorney help with your case will ensure that you obtain the benefits that you are owed during this very difficult time. 

Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney from The Brown Firm 

At The Brown Firm we have a team of attorneys who specifically practice Medical Negligence Law and who have the experience and training to help with your case. 

Our lawyers will provide you with a free consultation so we can hear all of the details of your case, ask questions, and answer your questions in order to determine if we can assist with the recover of your losses. 

If for some reason we cannot take your case, we will provide you with counsel on what your next steps should be. We are honest and diligent when it comes to working on your case.

We will never accept a settlement offer without consulting you first, and providing you with our professional opinion on the matter. 

You should never weather the storm of a medical malpractice lawsuit on your own. With an attorney on your side, you have a much better opportunity at obtaining the money you deserve for your losses. 

Click the link to schedule a time to speak with one of our expert Medical Malpractice Attorneys if you believe that you were injured by a health care professional’s negligence in Georgia. 

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Botched Surgeries And Medical Malpractice Claims

There’s no industry we trust more in the entire world than the medical industry. When we go in for our annual checkups, we expect them to catch anything that’s wrong.

When we aren’t feeling well, we expect them to tell us what’s wrong, and then fix it.

And, usually, we trust what they say.

Sometimes we get a second opinion from another doctor, but either way, we are putting our trust into our doctors.

It’s generally because we have no choice. It’s not like buying a car and trusting the car salesman. If we don’t like the deal on the car or the salesman, we can decide to wait.

That’s not the case when it comes to doctors. We have to trust that they’ll make the right diagnosis, and recommend the correct treatment as soon as we need it.

The same thing goes with surgeries.

If we need a hip replacement, back surgery, or the like, we expect our surgeons to do a good job.

That’s unfortunately not always the case.

Misdiagnosis, improper treatment, and botched surgeries are more common than you may think.

So what are we to do? How do we protect ourselves? One form of protection we have is medical malpractice lawsuits.

In the article below, we’ll discuss how medical malpractice can protect us from botched surgeries.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is when a doctor, hospital, or other healthcare professional causes an injury to a patient.

This injury has to occur through neglect or omission.

The negligence might stem from errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management.

To be considered medical malpractice under the law, the claim must have the following characteristics:

  • A Violation Of The Standard Of Care As a patient, you have the right to expect that health care professionals will deliver care that is consistent with the medical standards that are recognized by the profession as being acceptable medical treatment by reasonably prudent health care professionals under like or similar circumstances. 
  • An Injury Was Caused By The Negligence: For your claim to be valid, the health care professional must violate the standard of care, AND cause an injury due to the violation.
  • The Injury Resulted In Significant Damages: For your claim to be viable, you must show that significant damages resulted from an injury received due to the medical negligence. If the damages are small, the cost of pursuing the case might outweigh the benefit.

Here are some essential steps to prove a medical malpractice claim.

Examples Of Botched Surgeries

Dr. Death

Dr. Christopher Duntsch, deemed Dr. Death, is the poster boy for botched surgery and medical malpractice.

Dr. Death is accused of intentionally, knowingly, and recklessly botching at least 15 surgeries.

In one instance, a medical staff horrified by Duntsch’s errors forced him to stop operating according to a police affidavit.

Dr. Death left a surgical sponge in the victim’s body, which got infected.

In addition to that case, Duntsch is accused of one death and four injuries in Dallas that were all due to his practice.

If you thought it couldn’t get worse, more charges are stemming from the death of another former patient and the injuries of 10 others.

It’s pretty terrifying when you think about it.

Luckily, Duntsch was eventually convicted of these and other crimes and is currently serving life in prison.

All of the hospitals he worked for currently have civil cases pending against them.

Related Post: Do I Have to Take the Stand if my Personal Injury Case Goes to Court?

Spine Surgery Gone Wrong

Faith DeGrand was ten years old when she went in for a routine back surgery. She had scoliosis, and the surgery was intended to relieve compression and straighten her spinal cord.

However, after the surgery, she experienced extreme pain and paralysis, and eventually lost control of her bladder and bowels.

While Faith recovered in the hospital, her doctor went on vacation, leaving her for ten days.

Another doctor would eventually notice Faith’s condition deteriorating and removed the hardware in her spine immediately, but it was too late.

Faith was unable to walk for a year, lost permanent control of her bladder and bowel functions, and requires assistance with day-to-day activities.

Her doctor was accused of medical malpractice for improperly inserting the screws in her spine.

The hospital was also named in the lawsuit.

The jury would ultimately award DeGrand and her family $135 million for her malpractice case, ensuring her family would have the money to take care of her.

Even though Faith and her family got what she needed from the lawsuit, she’ll never get back the quality of life she could have had.

Problems Caused By Botched Surgeries

As demonstrated by the examples above, a botched surgery can cause numerous problems. Surgical errors occur at an alarming rate and are catastrophic to patients and their families.

Some common results of botched surgery are:

  • A worsening of the patient’s condition
  • A deterioration of the patient’s quality of life
  • Infection
  • Deformity
  • Loss of limbs
  • Brain damage
  • Fractures
  • Internal bleeding
  • Nerve damage

A successful surgery is never guaranteed, but healthcare providers have the responsibility of ensuring that risks are reduced as much as possible. 

Not only do the botched surgeries result in the physical results listed above, but they often present a huge financial burden on the victim and their family.

Typical Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

The above examples are extreme, but malpractice is more common than you may think.

The majority of medical malpractice claims, about 40%, are due to a failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis.

The failure to diagnose can be the result of an improper physical exam, a failure to perform regular screenings of high-risk patients, or misinterpreting test results.

No matter what the reason, the failure to diagnose, or misdiagnosis can be detrimental to the patient.

The patient can suffer from medical complications, the need for more treatments, permanent injury, decreased survival rates, and even death.

Unfortunately, medical mistakes are estimated to cause up to 440,000 deaths every year in U.S. hospitals.

That makes it the third leading cause of death in the country, behind only heart disease and cancer.

Medical Malpractice FAQ

It’s Obviously The Doctor’s Fault, Right?

Sometimes the surgical errors are easily prevented. Like when the surgeons leave medical instruments behind in the patient’s body.

It’s not always that easy though. Sometimes complications only show up months later that were caused by a botched surgery.

Situations like that are a lot harder to prove than your surgeon sewing up his scalpel inside of you.

Is A Witness Required?

Not always.

In complex cases involving technical errors, an expert may be needed to explain how the injury was due to the surgeon’s negligence.

These witnesses will often be master surgeons who can clearly see, and then articulate, how negligence caused the injury.

Again, if a medical instrument was left behind in a patient’s body, an expert is not needed to prove negligence.

Do I Have Access To My Medical Records?

Yes.

You can get access to your record by having a court issue a subpoena. A judge will then review the case for credibility and then court order the facility to release the information.

Have You Been Injured Due To The Negligence Of A Doctor Or Surgeon?

If you’ve been injured by the negligence of a medical practitioner, you may be entitled to compensation.

If your quality of life has suffered, you have demonstrable injuries, and you’re sure you can prove negligence, it’s time to get a lawyer.

In most cases the difficulties experienced due to medical malpractice are extremely serious, so you need to be sure your rights are upheld by an experienced attorney. 

The lawyers at The Brown Firm have years of experience helping people just like you.

If you’d like to chat with one of them about your case, click the button below.

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The Dramatic Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries on Myelin

The consequences of traumatic brain injury (TBI) can turn your world upside down.

Some brain injuries are mild, with symptoms that disappear over time, provided that victims are cared for immediately and given proper attention.

However, others that suffer more severe damage are susceptible to permanent disability.

This poses a problem for millions of victims and families, since even mild TBI may result in life-long disability along with enormous social and medical burdens.

TBI happens when a person experiences a sudden blow, bump, or jolt to the head or body.

The degree of damage determines the nature of the injury or the force of impact.

Let’s take an in-depth look at traumatic brain injuries’ effects on myelin.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Symptoms That May Arise From The Loss Of Myelin

Symptoms can range from a mild concussion to impaired thinking or memory, personality changes, depression, vision, hearing problems and to an even farther extent, epilepsy, coma, or in worst cases, even death.

A brain injury can kill neurons outright or slowly starve them of oxygen and nutrients they need to survive.

This, in turn, destroys neural pathways between them, affecting the whole neuronal circuitry.

Research done by Rutgers University concluded after studying laboratory rats that the birth of new neurons decline more rapidly after a head injury than it would during aging.

This proves to be a problem as the brain is primarily composed of neurons.

It allows the body to communicate, learn and remember.

In short – we rely on neurons to function.

Neurons (nerve cells) have three parts that carry out the functions of communication and integration: these include dendrites, axons, and axon terminals. The signals are passed to the brain with the myelin sheath allowing a nerve signal to travel faster and more effectively.

So what happens when damage occurs to the Myelin?

Reduction of Myelin Thickness

Myelin is made of membrane layers that wrap around axons.

It acts similarly to insulation on an electrical cable.

However, its primary function is to insulate the neuron, protect the axon, and direct the nerve’s impulse where it’s supposed to go.

Messages that pass along a damaged myelin sheath slow down, become disrupted or blocked altogether which can happen after TBI.

A week post-TBI, myelin thickness may significantly reduce and can continue to become thinner through the next six weeks.

If these nerve signals slow down, it could open you up to a whole host of potential problems relating to the nervous system activity.

Potential problems include sensory impairment, such as blurred vision, memory problems, movement, coordination, problems with bodily functions, and more.

Traumatic Brain Injuries usually happen in events such as falls, violence, sports injuries, physical abuse, and car accidents.

Related post: Traumatic brain injuries and how they affect your personal injury case in Georgia

Motor vehicle accidents are accounted for 14% of TBI causes in 2013, making it the second leading cause in the United States.

Get Legal Help If You Have Suffered A Traumatic Brain Injury

In the event that you sustained a traumatic brain injury from an automobile accident in Georgia caused by another persons negligent acts, you deserve to obtain compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and medical expenses from the party at fault.

Consult with an experienced Personal Injury Attorney from The Brown Firm to help you get the compensation you deserve.

Call now at (912) 200-9755 for a Free Consultation to discuss the nature of your case.

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5 Essential Steps To Proving A Medical Malpractice Claim

If you believe that you or someone you love has fallen victim to Medical Malpractice, you probably want to file a claim against the negligent medical professional who caused you to suffer unnecessarily.

When it comes to proving fault in a medical malpractice claim, it usually comes down to proving that the doctor or medical professional was negligent when administering medical treatment, and as a result, you suffered injury or harm. 

Although it may sound simple, proving medical malpractice claims are usually just the opposite. They are often very complicated and require not only legal but also medical knowledge to be able to prove that negligence did indeed occur.

When proving a medical malpractice claim, there are a few things that need to be established:

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 
1. Doctor/Patient Relationship

A doctor-patient relationship exists when a doctor agrees to provide you with some type of diagnosis or treatment. The first thing you need to prove is that there was a doctor-patient relationship.

This is probably the easiest step and is rarely disputed. This just tells the court that there was a doctor who had an obligation to the patient to provide competent care.

2. Prove Negligent Care

To prove negligent care in a medical malpractice case, you will need to prove that your doctor did not meet the medical standard of care.

The Medical Standard of Care is the level and type of care that a competent, reasonable, and skilled healthcare professional, with a similar background and that, is also in the same medical community, would have provided under the same circumstances that led to the malpractice.

In many malpractice lawsuits, expert witnesses such as other doctors or medical professionals in the same field will be asked to testify as to what a competent and reasonably skilled doctor would have done in the same situation.

3. Prove an Injury Occurred as a Result of Negligence

To win a medical malpractice case you cannot just prove that your doctor was negligent and failed to provide you with the standard level of care. You will also need to prove that because of the doctor’s negligence, you suffered an injury or harm.

It must be proven that your condition became worse, or that you suffered an additional medical issue as a result of the medical professional’s actions. This is another situation where an expert witness may be called to testify to explain how the additional issues were a direct result of the doctor’s negligent actions.

4. Present Proof of Damages

Finally, you must also provide the court with details regarding the damages that you suffered as a result of the malpractice. This may include the amount of wages that were lost or any additional medical costs incurred due to the negligence of the medical professional.

In a medical malpractice case, the victim is normally entitled to receive compensation for the pain and suffering that the malpractice caused.

Related Post: Does Daylight Savings Actually Cause More Auto Accidents?

5. Prove all Elements

In a medical malpractice lawsuit, you need to prove all elements stated above “by a preponderance of the evidence.” This means each of the statements above needs to be more likely true than not.

This can be an extremely complex undertaking for the victim, and nearly an impossible task for them to handle without the help of an experienced Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorney.

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Hire an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

When you become the victim of medical malpractice, you will need the help of an attorney to gather detailed evidence to explain the following:

  1. Establishing the Extent of the Doctor-Patient Relationship
  2. Proving Negligent Care
  3. Proving an Injury Occurred as a Result of Negligence
  4. Presenting Proof of Damages
  5. Providing all Elements to a Judge or Jury

Trying to complete the above tasks on your own is nearly impossible. As discussed, in a medical malpractice case there is often cause for expert witnesses to testify on your behalf, and without the help of an attorney, it is very difficult to find these expert witnesses. 

It is the medical establishment’s job to have a team of lawyers on call and ready to assist with medical malpractice claims. Their job is to try and save the establishment as much money as possible, which means they often do whatever they can to downplay your injury or concern so a lawsuit is not filed.

If you are concerned that you were injured as a result of malpractice, your best option is to contact the experts at The Brown Firm for a free consultation.

Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys will speak with you directly to determine if you have a case.

Our lawyers have the experience and skills to file your lawsuit and help you receive the compensation that you deserve for your pain and suffering.

Do not wait to call a professional if you were injured as a result of a medical professional’s negligence.

Click below to schedule your free consultation today with Georgia’s Leading Medical Malpractice Attorneys today.

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Opioid Lawsuits: The Fight Against Prescription Pain-Killers

Addiction to Opioid Narcotic Drugs Spreads Throughout the Nation

Thousands of Americans have been touched by the nationwide crisis of opioid addiction. Opioids are powerful prescription medications intended to give pain relief. Despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration about the dangers of opioid painkillers, drug companies continue to market and doctors continue to prescribe narcotics to patients.

Over-prescribed pain-killers lead to serious addiction problems, health complications, and overdoses (sometimes resulting in death.) The result has been that the U.S., while making up less than 5% of the world population, uses 80%of prescribed opioids. Drugmakers continue to reap sales projected next year to hit $15.3 billion. What’s even worse, many users have switched to the cheaper and easily accessible drug heroin.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Why are Prescription Pain-killers so Dangerous? 

Opioids are CNS depressant drugs, which means that they slow down the part of the brain that controls breathing. When patients are given an excessive dose of painkillers, they may suffer an overdose and lapse into respiratory depression. Death can result, usually because breathing stops. You can even die from an opioid overdose even if you take the medication as prescribed.

According to the CDC, consumers spend four times as much money on opioids than they did in 1999, and approximately 40 Americans die each day due to opioid overdoses.

People who use opioids regularly soon develop tolerance to the effects. As a result, they need more and more of the drug to achieve the same effect.

As the amount taken increases so does the risk of overdose or other harmful side effects. If people stop taking the drug, they lose their tolerance. If they then resume taking the same amount they had taken before they stopped, there is an extreme risk of overdose.

Most Commonly Prescribed Opioid Painkillers

  • Vicodin (sold generically under the name hydrocodone)
  • OvyContin (sold generically as oxycodone)
  • Dilaudid (sold generically under the name Hydromorphone)
  • Methadone
  • Duragesic or fentanyl pain patch (sold generically under the names Sandoz, Watson, and Mylan)
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When the Medical Industry and Physicians Fail Us 

Unfortunately, addictions and narcotic abuse happen to normal people.

Many of us put a high amount of trust in our physicians and medical staff to efficiently diagnose and prescribe medication when we are sick, and we don’t think twice about it. Here is a classic example of how potent and highly addictive prescription painkillers can be.

  • Mr. Smith was injured at work and began taking prescribed oxycodone for the pain from his primary physician. After three months, the original dose prescribed no longer controlled his pain, and Mr. Smith began gradually increasing the dose and subsequently running out of his medication earlier than anticipated. After failed attempts to cut down on his medications and discussions with his primary care physician on his increased use of oxycodone, Mr. Smith’s primary physician stopped prescribing him medication.
  • Inevitably Mr. Smith ran out of his medication and woke up sweating profusely, with diarrhea, nausea, bone aches and pains, and anxiety. The next morning, he experienced unyielding urges to use oxycodone, and he made three appointments with different physicians successfully obtaining prescriptions from all 3 of them. Also, he began buying “blue proxies (an informal term for Oxycodone 30-mg tablets) from a neighbor, soon after he learned to crush the medication and ingest it improperly making the onset faster and more satisfying.
  • The ending result, Mr. Smith, lost his job, stopped engaging in hobbies he once enjoyed, developed depression, a poor appetite, and no sex drive, preferred to stay isolated, and became violently ill when he didn’t have enough pills. Mr. Smith lost his income, well-being, and social life because his primary physician prescribed him oxycodone for an injury caused at work.

Who Is The Culprit For Pain-Killer Abuse?  

This sad and tragic craze was fueled by the greedy pockets of medical industry leaders and drug maker corporations. Regrettably, manufacturers have known for years’ opioids are an addictive and debilitating drug, yet still wanted to promote the market and demand higher sales.

Drugmakers recruited doctors who would give scripted talks about their benefits and trained their sales forces to push drugs to doctors treating back pain, downplaying their risks for such uses. One example is the drug OxyContin, released in 1996. Sales exploded from 40 million to approximately $1 billion in just five years.

One of the biggest problems originating with opioids is drug makers encouraged these powerful painkillers for relatively mild discomfort rather than for patients suffering unmanageable pain. This quickly resulted in physicians continuously prescribing painkillers to their patients; increasing their risks of addiction, overdose, or other health complications.

Common Drug Companies:

  1. Purdue Pharma
  2. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
  3. Johnson and Johnson
  4. Depomed
  5. Endo Health Solutions
  6. Allergan

Related Article: 4 Crucial Steps for Every Personal Injury Case in Georgia.

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Medical Malpractice and prescription painkillers

The following are examples of medical malpractice when doctors negligently prescribe prescription painkillers that may injure, harm, or even cause death to patients. 

  • Some physicians place patients on high doses of painkillers when unnecessary, putting them at risk of an overdose
  • Patients are treated with these drugs for longer than necessary, increasing the likelihood that they may become addicted
  • Patients are not a proper candidate for a particular opioid painkiller, but it’s prescribed to them anyway (e.g.  patients suffer from conditions such as sleep apnea and pulmonary problems) which make the use of opioid painkillers very dangerous.
  • Patients are switched from one powerful painkiller to another by their doctor (practice is known as opioid rotation) may also face serious health risks, either from an interaction between two drugs, or because a new medication is much stronger than the old.

Pain Killer Class Actions 

Luckily, people are becoming more educated and aware of the dangerous effects caused by narcotic opioids. Increasing numbers of lawsuits are being filed each year by patients who have suffered an overdose or other potentially deadly side effect. More and more manufacturers are being held liable for their negligent actions and being forced to pay millions back to suffering and injured plaintiffs.

In 2007, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (at the time, attorney general of Connecticut), the Democrat filed a lawsuit and won against Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, over its contribution to opioid addiction. Purdue Pharma was being sued for marketing OxyContin for off-label uses, and instructing doctors to use the medication in ways other than approved by the FDA. E.g., doctors, were prescribing their patients to take the drug every 8 hours instead of the recommended use of every 12 hours.

Also, Purdue failed to include the drugs risks of abuse and misuse when marketing OxyContin. In the end, Purdue Pharma agreed to act more responsibly and decided to pay $19.5 million in damages plus refrain form marketing the drug for off-label purposes.

Slowly manufacturers are beginning to take steps in admitting their role in addressing the opioid problem. One significant effort was promoting the development of abuse-deterrent pain medications; already Purdue Pharma reported developing a new series of abuse-deterrent OxyContin.

Also, Buprenorphine was formulated and released to the market. Helping people addicted to heroin or other opiates by relieving the symptoms of opiate withdrawal such as agitation, nausea, and insomnia. It’s designed to be significantly less addicting and has a lower risk of overdose than methadone.

Even though prescribers and medical manufacturers are beginning to make changes, the opioid abuse and heroin overdoses have clearly reached a tipping point. In the past decade, other companies have manufactured opioid painkillers, and heroin has become cheaper and acting as a quick substitute for people who are already addicted.

After a decade of optimistic reform towards painkillers evidence still surrounds our nation that this dangerous epidemic is far from shutting down.

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The Brown Firm Can Help

If you or a loved one has been a victim of the severe complications caused by the use of opioid painkillers, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.

The Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorneys at The Brown Firm represent people who have been injured or died due to negligent care by a medical professional or medical institution.

Our attorneys have gratitude, understanding, and compassion for your specific circumstances; please contact us today for help by clicking the link below.

Are you the victim of medical malpractice?

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You’ll notice the difference when you contact The Brown Firm! Our local dedicated attorneys want to help you recover and rebuild.

Schedule your free consultation by calling (800) 529-1441 or completing our simple online form.

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If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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Top 5 Dangerous Drugs and Pharmaceutical Lawsuits

Prescription drugs are designed to improve the quality of life and overcome enervating diseases. Most of us don’t think twice when our medical providers administer medications. But every drug has it’s intended effects, and it’s unintended side effects, and some of those side effects can be harmful and even deadly.

When patients undergo injuries and even death due to adverse effects from prescribed drugs, medical facilities, and providers can be held responsible for these horrific incidents. No one should have to suffer a death of a loved one or irreversible life-changing effects caused by a prescribed medication. 

Here are five pharmaceutical drugs involved in current litigation over dangerous and deadly side effects.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

Invokamet Side Effects and Injury:

  • Invokament was formed to help patients with type 2 diabetes manage their insulin levels by processing blood sugar and regulating the amount of glucose released from their liver.
  • Type 2 diabetes affects over 28 million Americans that face risks of blindness, kidney failure, neurologic damage, and necrosis, or death of living tissue, often resulting in amputation.
  • Invokament helps people with Type 2 diabetes decrease the amount of glucose released from the liver storage and by limiting absorption of sugar from the gastrointestinal tract.
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Side effects associated with Invokamet

  1. Genital yeast infections (male and female)
  2. Urinary tract infection
  3. Sun intolerance
  4. Rash or Itching
  5. Fatigue
  6. Indigestion and nausea/vomiting
  7. Flatulence and diarrhea
  8. Headache
  9. Low vitamin B12 levels
  10. Increase in LDL cholesterol

Inovkament also leads to increased risks of falls and bone fractures

Onglyza and Serious Health Risks:

  • Onglyza is also prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes but also is associated with serious health risks.
  • This medication has a higher risk to patients who already have heart or kidney disease due to high risks of heart failure associated with Onglyza.
  • Earlier this year the FDA warned that type 2 diabetes medicines like Onglyza that lower blood sugar may increase risks of heart failure and can be life-threatening.
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$70 million in Johnson and Johnson Risperdal Lawsuit:

A Philadelphia jury awarded $70 million to a boy who developed breasts after using antipsychotic drug Risperdal. For those with schizophrenia, autism, or bipolar disorder, Risperdal can reduce aggressive behaviors.

But for young men taking the drug, it can also cause gynecomastia or breast enlargement. Sadly, the pharmaceutical company not only failed to warn patients about this potential side effect, but the drug wasn’t even FDA-approved for adolescents.

Xarelto and Internal Bleeding:

Jassen and Bayer are awaiting trials beginning in early 2017, claiming the drug manufacturers failed to warn patients adequately that Xarelto could increase risks for cranial and gastrointestinal bleeding. For people with irregular heart rhythm, hypertension, or another valvular heart condition, blood thinners can be beneficial in preventing dangerous and potentially deadly blood clots.

For adults undergoing hip and knee replacement surgeries, the popular blood thinner Xarelto is commonly prescribed. But for some adults ingesting Xarelto has lead patients to suffer from severe bleeding, and even resulting in death.

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Morning sickness drug Zofran causes birth defects:

Zofran was created to treat nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. But the company that manufactured Zofran started pushing the drug towards pregnant woman. Unfortunately many tragic birth defects resulted from Zofran.

If you have suffered serious side effects or lost a loved one from a prescription drug, you may have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit. The Brown Firm has the medical and legal experience that other law firms can’t compete with. Our Medical Malpractice Attorney’s have successfully helped thousands of injured patients get the justice they deserve, Contact Us Today!

Keep Reading: Does Workers Compensation Cover Car Accidents?

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If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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Hazardous Antibiotics Sweep the Nation

The antibiotic family, Fluoroquinolones are among the most commonly prescribed in the United States, and also the most harmful. These high-risk antibiotics have the potential to cause serious, permanent injuries and even death. Our Georgia Drug Error and Medical Malpractice Attorneys describe the effects of these powerful antibiotics.

Despite these terrible risks, doctors continue to prescribe these dangerous drugs even for mild infections. Reports show half a million Americans are affected by these toxic antibiotics, and 30,000 resulted in death.To make matters worse, most people report never being told that there are dire adverse effects associated with these antibiotics. The public is strongly advised to refuse any prescriptions for these drugs, and not to take Fluoroquinolones unless necessary! 

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

How do Fluoroquinolones affect the body? 

Fluoroquinolones have fluoride as a central part of the drug. Fluoride is a known neurotoxin, and drugs with attached fluoride molecule can penetrate into very sensitive tissues, including your brain. Because these drugs have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, it makes them such a potent neurotoxin. Not only does the antibiotic affect your blood stream, but it can also damage your immune system. Fluoride disrupts the collagen synthesis, depletes energy reserves, and inhibits antibody formation in the blood.

Based on findings Todd R. Plumb, M.D., (being a fluoroquinolones victim himself), concluded the following four possible mechanisms of harm by fluoroquinolones: 

  1. Inhibition or disruption of the central nervous system GABA receptors
  2. Depletion of Magnesium and disruption of cellular enzyme function
  3. Disruption of mitochondrial function and energy production 
  4. Oxidative injury and cellular death

Serious Risks Caused By Fluoroquinolones 

Just last year the FDA finally issued a warning that Fluoroquinolones antibiotics, taken by mouth or injection, carry a risk for permanent peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves that send information to and from the brain and spinal cord and the rest of the body. Damage depends on which nerves are affected; characteristics include Pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness, and change in sensation to light touch, pain, or temperature, or sense of body position. 

Research have also linked these drugs to damage in the lining of the aorta, the largest blood vessel in the body. Evidence shows these harmful antibiotics can cause two kinds of damage to the aorta. 

  1. Dissection (tears)
  2. Aneurysms (bulging or enlargement) 

These conditions weaken the walls of the aorta and can lead to leaks or ruptures resulting in possible death. 

Adverse reactions to Fluoroquinolones include:

  • Nervous System Symptoms– pain, tingling, and numbness, dizziness, malaise, weakness, headaches, anxiety, and panic, loss of memory, psychosis 
  • Musculoskeletal Symptoms– tendon ruptures, tendonitis, weakness, joint swelling
  • Sensory Symptoms– tinnitus, altered visual, olfactory, and auditory function 
  • Cardiovascular Symptoms– tachycardia, shortness of breath, chest pain, palpitations
  • Skin Reactions– rashes, hair loss, sweating, intolerance to heat or cold
  • Gastrointestinal Symptoms – Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain  

These terrible symptoms occur in patients that are usually healthy, active, and young. The problem arises because these medications are being prescribed for mild infections, such as sinusitis, urinary or prostate infections. When adverse reactions occur, it can take only a few doses, and the severity ranges from acute, severe, frightening, and often disabling.  

Other Dangerous Antibiotics 

More than 23 million patients received a prescription for one of the following medications in 2011. All drugs listed are in the class of fluoroquinolones and are commonly used to treat urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, and earaches. This drug class makes up about 16.6 percent of the world market for antibiotics.

  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)-most commonly prescribed 
  • Gemifloxacin (Factive) 
  • Levofloxacin ( Levaquin)- most commonly prescribed 
  • Moxifloxacin (Avelox)- most commonly prescribed 
  • Norfloxacin (Noroxin)
  • Ofloxacin (Floxin) 

What are Aortic Dissection and Aneurysms?

The aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body and helps carry blood from the heart to all the organs in the body, except the lungs. Harm to this blood vessel can cause some other problems including strokes, heart attacks, organ failure, and even death.  

Aortic ruptures and tears are linked to fluoroquinolone, and are sadly on the rise in the United States; about 15,000 Americans die each year from aneurysms alone. 

In 2008, the FDA required a boxed warning, the most serious type of warning to be added to the medications, alerting patients of the risk of tendon damage and rupture.  

If your doctor hands you a prescription for fluoroquinolone antibiotics, be very confident your condition warrants the risks that come along with the drug. These dangerous medications often lead to serious injury and even death as quickly as 60 days of ingestion lasting to years after taking these medications. Some patients reported no symptoms with sudden quick onset of excruciating pain and even loss of consciousness.

The Brown Firm Can Help

If you have experienced peripheral neuropathyaortic dissection, aneurysms, or any symptoms described above or think you have suffered from the prescription drugs known as fluoroquinolones The Brown Firm can help you today.

Don’t suffer alone and worry what to do next, our law firm has an extensive background in both medical and legal expertise and can help make the drug companies and medical professionals pay for the damages caused.

Our medical malpractice lawyers serve in Savannah, Atlanta, and Athens and areas throughout Georgia.

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Surprising Cautions of Aspirin and Antacid Drugs | Enteric-coated aspirin

In recent years, the growing concern of adults improperly using and mixing medications has become a public health concern.

Even worse, these dangerous concoctions are conveniently at arms reach throughout shelves across the country.

The FDA is currently investigating 8 cases of severe bleeding associated with stomach remedies that contain aspirin.

Despite the warning signs of bleeding on warning labels, the FDA continues to receive reports of this serious safety issue.

As a result, the FDA and external experts continue to pursue an investigation to provide input on whether additional FDA actions are needed.

In the article below, our medical malpractice lawyers will examine the surprising cautions of aspirin and antacid drugs.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

The Dangers of Aspirin

It is no secret that even low dose Aspirin is well known to cause internal bleeding.

This isn’t the first time the FDA issued a warning regarding stomach bleeding and the use of aspirin. Other related drugs such as ibuprofen do as well.

They’re known as a non-steroidal anti-inflam, or anti-inflammatory, drug or NSAID.

The issue lies in many people do not realize antacids and various stomach remedies already contain aspirin.

Risks of serious health problems increase if you have the following:

  • History of ulcers
  • Heavy drinking
  • People who already take an NSAID for something else
  • People over the age of 60 have a higher risk of stomach bleeding.

It is highly recommended that high-risk candidates look at the drug label before purchasing an antacid product.

You should be able to find an over-the-counter product that doesn’t contain aspirin.

Warning signs of stomach or intestinal bleeding include:

  • feeling faint
  • Vomiting blood
  • Passing black or bloody stools
  • abdominal pain
  • stomach pain

If you have these signs, consult a health care provider right away.

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3 Types of OTC Medicines That Treat Heartburn

  • Antacids neutralize the amount of acid your stomach produces. They can provide short-term fast relief.
  • H2 blockers reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes. While they don’t relieve symptoms right away, H2 blockers relieve symptoms for a longer period than antacids. They usually start to work within the hour. Examples of H2 blockers are Ranitidine (brand name: Zantac) or Famotidine (brand name: Pepcid)
  • Proton pump inhibitors greatly reduce your body’s production of acid. It may take a little longer for proton pump inhibitors to relieve your symptoms than H2 blockers, but relief will last longer. These medicines are most helpful to people who have symptoms lasting longer than two days a week.

Beware of products sold under the various trade name, like:

  • Alka-Seltzer Original
  • Bromo Seltzer
  • MediqueMedi Seltzer
  • Picot Plus Effervescent
  • Vida Mia Pain Relief
  • Winco Foods Effervescent Antacid and Pain Relief
  • Zee-Seltzer Antacid and Pain Reliever.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration contains over 9 million reports of drug adverse events, resulting in serious outcomes and even death.

Serious outcomes include death, hospitalization, life-threatening, disability, congenital anomaly, and other serious outcomes

FAERS Reporting by Patient Outcomes by Year

As you can see, the effects of OTC medications and prescription drugs affects millions of Americans each year.

If you suffered harm that could have been avoided under normal standards of care, then you may have a valid case for seeking injury compensation.

Medical Malpractice occurs when a person sustains an injury or death due to negligent care by a medical professional, medical institution, and even drug manufacturers.

The Brown Firm represents people who have been injured due to others’ negligence, including medical malpractice. We can help today.

Who Can Take Antacids?

Most people can take antacids without issue.

But, people with certain medical conditions should consult with their doctor before they start taking antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate.

People with heart failure might have sodium restrictions to decrease fluid buildup, but antacids usually contain a good amount of sodium.

If that’s a concern for you, speak with your doctor before taking antacids.

If you have kidney failure, you could develop a buildup of aluminum after using antacids leading to aluminum toxicity.

If you have kidney failure, you may also have problems with electrolyte balance.

Antacids contain electrolytes, which could make electrolyte any balance problems worse.

It would help if you also spoke to your child’s doctor before giving your child antacids.

Children don’t usually have excess stomach acid symptoms, so their symptoms could be related to another condition.

An antacid product taken with a blood thinner like warfarin could also cause drug interactions.

Always check with a healthcare professional before you start taking a new medication.

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Who Should Take Aspirin?

Doctors commonly use aspirin to lower heart attack risks and prevent blood clotting.

Patients who have suffered a heart attack or an ischemic stroke (the type caused by a blood clot) are wise to take a low-dose (81-mg) aspirin every day.

Aspirin works by preventing platelets from clumping together in your blood and forming a clot.

Most heart attacks are from a clot blocking blood flow in a vessel that feeds the heart, so decreasing the clot-forming process lowers your odds of blockage.

Want to know if you are at risk of having a heart attack or stroke over the next ten years?

Click Here to use the heart attack risk calculator.

Risks of Bleeding

While lowering the body’s ability to clot, aspirin also hinders important substances that protect the stomach’s delicate lining.

As a result, stomach upset or bleeding in the stomach and intestines can occur. This may be where the suggestion started of merging aspirin and antacid to help stomach upset?

Many people believe if you stick to an enteric-coated or buffered aspirin it protects and causes less irritation to the stomach.

Most of the aspirin sold in the United States is enteric-coated (sometimes called safety coated.) The coating allows the aspirin to pass through the stomach to the intestine before fully dissolving.

That is supposed to lessen stomach upset, but in reality, aspirin affects the entire digestive system tract via the bloodstream.

In fact, studies show that not all aspirin in coated pills gets to your circulation, which can compromise heart benefits.

Digestive disease expert Dr. Loren Laine, a professor of medicine at Yale University, says, “Enteric-coated aspirin does not decrease the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding compared with uncoated aspirin,” The same goes for buffered aspirin, which combines an antacid such as calcium carbonate (found in Tums) or aluminum hydroxide (found in Maalox) with aspirin.

Evidence shows buffered aspirin with an antacid does not provide better protection to the stomach.

  • The coating in the aspirin requires an acidic environment to remain stable until it passes through the stomach. Antacids will cause the coating to dissolve too soon.
  • Also, Aspirin works by reducing the production of prostaglandins, which help protect the stomach. Antacids won’t prevent this.

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Contact The Brown Firm Today

If you feel you are a victim of medical malpractice, contact our personal injury attorney immediately in Savannah, Athens, or Atlanta to determine if you have an eligible injury lawsuit.

The Brown Firm can protect your rights, so contact us today.

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Frequently Asked Medical Malpractice Questions

Best Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorney

When you place your trust in the hands of a medical professional, it can be devastating to learn that something has gone wrong. A mistake on behalf of a negligent medical doctor can lead to life-long injury, which is one of the many reasons why victims of medical malpractice deserve justice.

If you or someone you know has fallen victim to Medical Negligence or Malpractice, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the negligent health care professional. 

The complex legal rules of medical malpractice cases almost require you to hire an experienced medical negligence attorney.

Here are some of the most common questions regarding Medical Malpractice cases in Georgia:

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 
Table of Contents

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional fails to provide adequate medical care to a patient. Their actions may involve negligence, incompetence, error, or even intentional wrongdoing.

The legal system defines medical negligence as failing to use the applicable standard of care under the circumstances. An injury must derive from medical negligence to be classified as medical malpractice.

Evidence used to prove negligence could include your medical bills, medical records, and expert testimony.

To establish liability for medical malpractice, a plaintiff must prove these four elements:

  1. Duty: Reasonable care owed to a patient.
  2. Dereliction: Breach of the standard of care.
  3. Direct Cause: The breach caused the patient’s injury.
  4. Damages: Economic and non-economic damages suffered by the victim because of the injury. 

A person who suffers harm because of another’s negligence has a right to sue that other party in court. A successful medical malpractice lawsuit will result in maximum compensation for the injuries suffered.

A medical malpractice lawyer can help determine if you have an acceptable medical malpractice claim.

Is Medical Malpractice Common?

Medical mistakes leave thousands of people injured or dead every year.

However, many medical malpractice cases go unrecognized and unreported, leaving a small amount to seek the compensation they deserve through a lawsuit.

The most common types of malpractice include:

  1. Failure to diagnose a disease or medical condition
  2. Faulty medical equipment
  3. Improper medical treatment
  4. Negligent treatment
  5. Failure to inform the patient of risks associated with a treatment
  6. Medication errors
  7. Botched surgical procedures
  8. Anesthesia errors

What Should I Do if I Suspect Medical Malpractice?

It is critical not to accuse the health care provider immediately. If you suspect medical malpractice, contact a medical malpractice attorney immediately. The sooner you get the ball rolling, the better your chance of recovering monetary damages.

The first step in filing a claim against a hospital or a hospital employee is to file a complaint with the state board of medicine. Doctors must be licensed by the state to practice medicine. Once the board has investigated your complaint, it may issue a letter stating whether the doctor’s license should be revoked or suspended.

If you decide to pursue legal action, you may need to hire a medical malpractice attorney to represent you.

Medical malpractice attorneys can assist in determining whether you have a case and negotiate a malpractice settlement with the doctor or hospital.

Who Can Be Liable for Medical Malpractice?

Doctors aren’t the only ones who may be on the hook for negligent care.

Any licensed medical expert in the medical community can be found guilty of medical malpractice, including:

  1. Doctors
  2. Nurse Practitioners
  3. Medical Assistants
  4. Dentists
  5. Hospital Staff
  6. Surgeons
  7. Anesthesiologists
  8. The Hospital
  9. Medical Equipment

All doctors and all hospitals have medical malpractice insurance to compensate people they hurt if there is a medical error. Because medical malpractice law is very complex, the best way to know if you have a case is by talking to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.

What Are Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Damages in a medical malpractice case include economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages may also be awarded.

You may receive compensatory damages for pain and suffering, emotional duress, loss of wages, loss of enjoyment, medical expenses, and future treatment costs.

A plaintiff must prove negligence before they can receive damages. The financial amount you receive will depend on the severity of the injury and whether complications arose.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice?

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases varies depending upon the state. In Georgia, the law states that you must file within two years of the injury or death.

This period may be extended if you were not aware of your injury at the time it occurred. Certain types of injuries may give rise to additional time limits.

If you do not file suit within the applicable time limit, you may not be able to file a claim for negligence.

What if I Cannot Afford a Medical Malpractice Attorney?

At The Brown Firm, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means we do not charge you any up-front fees, and we only get paid when you receive a malpractice settlement. If no money is recovered, you are not responsible for repaying any costs for the developing case.

We all rely on doctors to make us well, so when their actions worsen our condition or further injury, they should be held fully liable for the damages they inflicted. Our experienced lawyers represent people injured due to any type of doctor error. 

We have many years of experience handling similar cases and will ensure you get the settlement you deserve. And since Harry Brown has a medical background, he is uniquely positioned to handle these cases.

To speak with one of our lawyers directly, call (800) 529-1441 to schedule a free consultation to see how we can best assist you and answer any legal questions about your Georgia Medical Malpractice case.

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If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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Common Georgia Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical Malpractice in Georgia is surprisingly common.  Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in The United States, after heart problems and cancer.

A recent study revealed that the number of patients who die from avertable medical errors is between 210,000 and 400,000 each year. Our Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys see these errors appear time and again, and most of them are avoidable!

Medical Malpractice cases derive when a patient is harmed in some way by a doctor or a nurse (or other Medical Professional) who fails to provide adequate health care treatment.

Keep in mind: For a case to conform to the legal term of medical malpractice in Georgia, the doctor or medical provider must have been negligent in some way meaning the doctor was not rationally skillful, or capable, and the incompetence harmed the patient.

It’s also important to protect your rights. Here’s how to protect your rights with medical malpractice lawsuits in Georgia.

I met with Harry Brown personally and he sat with me for 20 minutes at our initial consultation to explain everything. He even called after my surgery to see how I was doing. I met with him several more times after that and was kept informed about my case throughout. I highly recommend Harry Brown as an attorney.

STEVEN SWEENY, SAVANNAH 

COMMON TYPES OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

A broad variation of situations can lead to medical malpractice, from a doctor forgetting to remove a surgical instrument in a patient’s stomach to a physician’s absentminded instructions on a drug that could result in heart failure.

Most medical malpractice claims fall in the following tiers:

Misdiagnosis: The two, misdiagnosis and delayed diagnosis account for a vast majority of medical malpractice claims. Misdiagnosis cases are common when cancer is missed, or when a disease or chronic condition is misdiagnosed as a less severe one, and a patient’s condition declines in the meantime. If the patient would have received the proper care, serious harm or death would have been prevented.

Failure to treat: This occurs when a doctor reaches the correct diagnosis but fails to deal with the condition according to standard care. These scenarios may seem fluky; however, are often a result of overworked and understaffed hospitals pushing patients through too quickly. In a similar fashion, it may also be malpractice if the doctor chooses the correct treatment but administers it improperly.

Surgical Errors: There are two leading causes associated with surgical errors: anesthesia errors and surgical mistakes. One and the other can cause permanent injury or death. Brain damage is a direct correlation related to anesthesia errors. Even the most minuscule oversight made by an anesthesiologist can cause permanent injury, brain damage, or even death.

A physician is required to assess the patient correctly before anesthesia is administered. The physician is required to note the individual characteristics and conditions.

They will also take the following information:

  • patient’s age
  • medical condition
  • past reactions
  • type of surgery
  • medication into account

Any negligence during the original assessment or while the patient goes under can end with mortifying results. Patients hold high expectations for the performance of surgeons, and foresee receiving flawless results. Surgical errors can easily contrast between a full recovery and a life accompanied by physical anguish.

Prescription Drug ErrorsPrescription Drug Errors happen if the doctor either writes an improper dosage on the prescription, or if the nurse administers the wrong amount, for example, if a drug that is known to cause birth defects is prescribed for a pregnant woman, or if a patient is prescribed two medications that have adverse synergistic effects. The treating doctor has performed below standard care.

Childbirth Injuries: Childbirth injuries are the most tragic because they can result in a lifetime of pain and grief.

These injuries typically constitute the following:

  • brain injuries
  • fractured bones
  • damage to the nerves.

A GEORGIA MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY CAN HELP YOU

If you feel you are a victim of medical malpractice, don’t hesitate to get legal help immediately. You deserve to be rightfully compensated for any personal pain, and financial distress brought upon you due to negligence.

Our Georgia Medical Malpractice Attorneys cannot correct the problem but they can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (912) 200-9755 or click the link below for a Free Consultation.

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If you or a loved one were injured and need help, our skilled personal injury lawyers will be at your side every step of the way.

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