There are several facilities to choose from when you’re facing a medical issue. Most of the time, regardless of the hospital or facility, patients receive the care they need to recover from whatever is ailing them. In some instances, however, patients leave in a worse condition. When that happens, there’s the possibility a medical error was made. If you think you’ve been injured in a hospital, a DeKalb County medical malpractice lawyer can evaluate your situation and help you take legal action against the doctor, medical professional, or facility that caused you harm.
There are several elements involved in pursuing a successful claim. You’ll need to be able to prove you were wrongfully harmed and suffered as a result. Doing so is a multi-step process that we can guide you through. To start, let’s take a look at how medical malpractice affects our area.
Medical Malpractice in DeKalb County
According to a John Hopkins study, medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. This means that more than 250,000 patient deaths are the result of a physician or hospital error annually.
While California, Texas, Florida, and New York experience the highest number of medical malpractice incidents based on population, those in Georgia are also affected. For example, a medical negligence lawsuit was filed in late 2019 in DeKalb County after doctors failed to correctly diagnose and treat a Fulton County man’s stroke. Because of their failure to diagnose, he suffered cognitive defects, the inability to move his left arm or leg, and difficulty speaking and swallowing. The patient is seeking full compensation.
In another local case, Georgia’s largest health system, WellStar, was sued by a Paulding resident who claimed he received subpar care and was misdiagnosed. The plaintiff sought physical, emotional, and economic damages for spinal inflammation that went untreated and caused permanent injuries.
If you’ve wrongfully sustained injuries while being treated in a medical facility anywhere in DeKalb County or surrounding areas, a med mal attorney from Bey & Associates can look into your case and determine if malpractice played a role. Doing so involves determining why the mistake happened in the first place.
How to Know If You Have a Medical Malpractice Case
Determining if your situation warrants a medical malpractice claim can be confusing. If you’re considering filing, remember to consult an experienced attorney. They’ll be able to advocate for your rights and build a claim that proves you were wrongfully injured and suffered losses. Remember that the sooner you get in touch with a med mal lawyer, the better your chances are of receiving the compensation you need to make a full recovery.
In order to have a valid claim, you need to make sure you can establish having a patient/doctor relationship. This means you hired a doctor and they agreed to treat you as their patient. Medical practitioners can only be sued for acts of malpractice that were committed within the scope of their employment. So, if a doctor gives you advice at a friend’s party, for example, and you sustain injuries after following that advice, you will not have sufficient reasoning to file a claim. You can only take legal action against a physician who agreed to treat you in a medical facility or their place of employment.
Once you’ve established a doctor/patient relationship, you’ll be able to move forward and prove that you were owed a duty of care. Doctors are obligated to provide patients with the established standard of care. This means that if they act outside of the way another doctor would in a similar situation, there could likely be grounds for malpractice if a patient was injured.
Why Medical Mistakes Happen
Determining why a hospital error happens can be complicated. Your lawyers will need to evaluate your situation and conduct an investigation to figure out what happened. They’ll likely bring in a medical expert to help draw conclusions. There’s also research both parties can draw on that discuss common reasons why mistakes are made by doctors and other medical professionals.
A study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) published by the Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences examined the causes of medical errors. According to their findings, the majority of medical errors, 48%, were labeled minor and 18% were serious. The remaining errors documented were considered near misses or were not labeled.
The causes were broken down into two categories – intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic factors originate from the person making the mistakes, while the extrinsic factors involve the physical environment and other outside elements. The most common intrinsic errors were fatigue due to long duty hours, inadequate experience, and missing warning signs. In regard to the extrinsic factors, the most common were having other things to take care of, complex cases, and inadequate supervision.
In general, those factors relate back to human error and communication problems. If you were injured by a physician, at least one of those elements likely played a role.
The Impact of Medical Errors on Patients
When a patient finds themselves dealing with an instance of medical malpractice, they’ll have to cope with a number of issues. The most important is their health status. If a condition was misdiagnosed, they suffered a reaction to a medication, or they were injured during surgery, it’s likely their original condition could worsen, or they could develop other medical issues. Not only will they be facing a longer recovery, but there could be lasting physical or mental effects.
In addition to dealing with additional health complications, the injured patient could incur financial problems. Medical bills add up quickly and paying that off can be challenging. This is especially true when a patient is injured to the point they cannot work. While they may have some unused sick time, if that runs out, they could be dealing with not having a source of income for an unknown period of time.
When you work with a DeKalb County lawyer, they’ll determine how you’ve been impacted by the instance of medical malpractice and what it has cost you. When we file your claim to seek compensation, we’ll be sure to include both your economic and noneconomic losses. Some of the factors we’ll consider include medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, the future cost of care, and pain and suffering.
The Benefits of Working With Experienced Lawyers
Medical malpractice claims fall into one of the more complex areas of personal injury litigation because they intertwine law and medicine–two areas requiring expertise. While you have the right to handle such a claim on your own, it’s important to understand that you’re more likely to walk away from the situation with full and fair compensation when you work with a law firm that has a proven track record of helping clients with their cases.
At Bey & Associates, our attorneys have a firm understanding of medicine and are able to navigate through complex medical records. We’ll have access to the experts your case needs and know which questions to ask to build a strong case on your behalf. In addition to calling on experts to review your situation, we’ll look at all the information you provide us with to determine the value of your claim. Doing so it complicated with medical malpractice claims, especially when future care and additional lost wages are factors. Fortunately, we’ll do whatever it takes to accurately value your claim and ensure the settlement off you receive is full and fair.
In the event negotiations do not result in an acceptable settlement offer, you can trust us to guide you through the lawsuit process and help you take your claim to court. By filing a lawsuit, you’ll give yourself the chance at a fair recovery by means of a judge or jury. While this can seem overwhelming, we’ll make the process as easy as we can for you as our plaintiff, so you can continue to focus on healing and getting your life back in order.
Work With a Georgia Law Firm You Can Trust
When you’ve been injured by a doctor, it can feel like a breach of trust. You’re supposed to be able to turn to a medical professional when you need help; however, negligent doctors often do more harm than good when it comes to helping patients recover. When you decide to take legal action against the party that harmed you, it’s important to work with a law firm that has a proven track record of helping medical malpractice clients. At Bey & Associates, we have the experience and resources needed to take your case on.
Working with a DeKalb County medical malpractice lawyer significantly improves your chances of a successful outcome. While we’ll do our best to reach a settlement in your favor outside of the courtroom, we won’t hesitate to file a lawsuit on your behalf and seek a fair verdict in front of a judge or jury.
Filing a claim takes time, but it could be your best chance at maximizing your recovery – physically and financially. If you’re considering filing, get in touch with our attorneys. We’ll take a look at what you’ve been through and provide you with information on how to best protect yourself and your future.