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Medical Malpractice Attorney in Alpharetta
When you think of personal injury cases, the first type of incident that comes to mind is probably car accidents followed by slips and falls. As the third leading cause of fatalities in the United States, medical malpractice cases produce more than 250,000 deaths each year. Although any type of personal injury case can leave behind physical and emotional scars, falling victim to medical malpractice leaves behind an especially intense type of emotional trauma that takes years to heal. Because we place trust in the healthcare providers that treat our illnesses and injuries, any violation of that trust leaves us feeling highly vulnerable.
If you are a victim of one or more acts of medical malpractice, you should reach out to a medical malpractice attorney in Alpharetta, Georgia. Without legal representation, it can be extremely difficult to prove the presence of the four elements of negligence, which are a duty of care, breaching a duty of care, causation, and damages. An experienced personal injury lawyer can prove the four elements of negligence to help you receive just compensation for the physical and emotional scars caused by one or more acts of medical malpractice.
For more than three decades Morgan and Morgan has provided highly-rated legal services for victims of medical malpractice. Our personal injury attorneys have recovered more than $14 billion in monetary damages, with a substantial percentage of the compensation coming from civil lawsuits filed against healthcare providers for committing medical malpractice. You can expect the medical malpractice lawyer in Alpharetta from Morgan and Morgan assigned to your case to gather the physical evidence required to prove a healthcare provider committed one or more acts of negligence.
Schedule a free case evaluation today with one of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Morgan and Morgan to determine whether you have a strong enough case to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
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What Are the Most Common Types of Medical Negligence?
To prove a healthcare provider committed one or more acts of medical malpractice, the personal injury attorney assigned to your case must first determine the cause of the negligence. With more than 30 years of experience litigating medical malpractice cases, the highly-rated personal injury lawyers at Morgan and Morgan have come up with a list of the three most common causes of negligence.
An act of medical negligence can occur at any point in the healthcare process. The receptionist who checked you in for an appointment can make a mistake in your paperwork that leads to the commission of an act of medical negligence. However, the diagnosis process represents the first common cause of medical malpractice cases.
A misdiagnosis can cause a healthcare provider to recommend a treatment that does more harm than good. An improper diagnosis also can involve the failure to recognize the signs of an illness or injury. For example, a scan to detect cancerous cells that fails to detect cancerous cells delays critical treatment, which can lead to the development of an advanced stage of cancer. If a healthcare provider failed to order additional diagnostic tests to confirm a diagnosis, you might find yourself battling the symptoms of a debilitating illness.
Between 2013 and 2017, roughly one out of every three medical malpractice claims involved some form of misdiagnosis.
Surgical errors represent the type of medical malpractice case that receives the most scrutiny by the media, as well as the government agencies that regulate the healthcare industry. Nonetheless, surgical errors consist of much more than sensationalized stories about a physician leaving an operating instrument inside the body of a patient. Performing surgery on the wrong section of the body can generate life-threatening issues. Surgical errors also occur when a surgeon performs surgery on the wrong patient. Delivering too much of an anesthetic is another example of a surgical error.
Prescription Drug Mistakes
Prescribing the wrong medication, as well as prescribing too much or not enough of a prescribed drug, can generate serious healthcare consequences. This is especially true for pain medications that can cause patients to grow dependent enough on the drugs to form an addiction. Physicians assume a duty of care to ensure every patient not only receives the correct prescription medication but also understands the side effects of a prescribed drug and how to address an adverse reaction to a prescribed medication.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Georgia?
The medical malpractice attorney in Alpharetta that you hire from Morgan and Morgan provides a wide variety of legal services that help you receive just compensation for the physical and emotional toll medical negligence has taken on you. One of the most important responsibilities of a personal injury lawyer is to ensure you meet the deadline for filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.
Each state establishes a deadline, otherwise referred to as the statute of limitations, for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Most states have set a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit that seeks monetary damages between two and four years. However, a few states have bucked the trend by allowing plaintiffs as long as six years to file a civil lawsuit for a personal injury case. A couple of states have shortened the deadline to one year. In Georgia, plaintiffs have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit. The clock starts to click towards the deadline on the day when a personal injury incident occurred.
Despite the two-year statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit that seeks monetary damages, you can expect the medical malpractice attorney in Alpharetta from Morgan and Morgan assigned to your case to recommend that you act with a sense of urgency. Waiting too long to file a personal injury lawsuit might diminish the impact of witness statements. Witness accounts tend to be more accurate the closer they are given to the date of a medical malpractice incident. You also should act with a sense of urgency to recover financial losses. Until you receive compensation from your insurance company and/or the award approved by a judge hearing your civil lawsuit, you must pay for every expense out-of-pocket.
If you fail to meet the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia, the court clerk processing your lawsuit has the legal power to dismiss it.
What Do I Need to Do to Prove Medical Negligence?
As with other types of personal injury cases, the attorney assigned to your case by Morgan and Morgan must prove the four elements of negligence.
Duty of Care
The duty of care doctrine states that one party is responsible for the well-being of a second party. For example, the owner of private property has a duty of care to ensure every visitor to the property is protected from incidents that can cause illness and injury. For healthcare providers, the duty of care doctrine applies to every patient treated regardless of the severity of symptoms. Your personal injury attorney only has to show the court that you received treatment from a healthcare provider to prove the healthcare provider owed you a duty of care.
Breach the Duty of Care Doctrine
As the second element of proving medical negligence, breaching the duty of care doctrine represents the act that caused you harm. For instance, since a healthcare provider owes you a duty of care, misdiagnosing a medical condition is considered a violation of the duty of care doctrine and thus, represents an act of medical negligence. Proving this element of negligence requires the medical malpractice attorney from Morgan and Morgan to gather and submit an overwhelming amount of persuasive physical evidence.
It is not enough for a medical malpractice attorney in Alpharetta, Georgia to prove a healthcare provider breached the duty of care doctrine. Your personal injury lawyer also must show the court the breach of the duty of care doctrine produced your injuries or illness symptoms. The attorney representing the defendant might claim you sustained your injuries as a result of another event. Let’s say an act of medical malpractice caused internal bleeding. The other party’s lawyer might claim you sustained the injury from participating in a high-contact sport.
Once your medical malpractice attorney in Alpharetta proves the first three elements of negligence, the last element involves linking your injuries to financial losses. By submitting copies of bank records and timekeeping statements, you demonstrate how much you have paid in medical expenses, as well as show the court how much money you have lost because of lost wages. Requesting economic damages is just one of three types of monetary damages awarded for medical malpractice cases. You also have the right to request compensation for non-economic and punitive damages.
What Options Do I Have to Receive Monetary Damages?
After your personal injury lawyer from Morgan and Morgan helps you receive just compensation, you have to decide which of the two payment options works best for your financial concerns.
A lump-sum payment arrangement allows you to take care of all your bills at one time. You receive the entire value of a settlement or favorable legal judgment, then you pay off outstanding debts. Many personal injury cases include a clause in an agreement that allows creditors to access monetary damages after a plaintiff receives compensation. You can set up this arrangement only if you agree to receive a lump-sum payment for monetary damages. The downside of a lump-sum payment is it can be difficult to manage a large sum of money awarded to you at the same time. However, receiving a lump-sum payment prevents your money from losing value because of inflation.
A structured payment plan grants you the right to receive a series of monthly payments split up into amounts that match your budget requirements. This type of payment permits you to follow a monthly budget that takes care of outstanding debts over time. For example, you can set up a structured payment plan that runs for 24 months. A structured payment plan allows you to follow a budget that pays off medical bills and the expenses associated with repairing property damage. The one glaring negative of a structured payment plan is the money you receive at a future date might diminish in value because of inflation.
You also can request a hybrid payment arrangement, which pays you a large sum of money, with the balance of your monetary damages following a structured payment arrangement.
Learn more about how a medical malpractice attorney in Alpharetta from Morgan and Morgan can help you receive the compensation that you deserve by scheduling a free case evaluation.