Why Medical Malpractice Cases Can Be So Complicated in Georgia
Medical malpractice cases in Georgia are very complex legal matters. The complexity stems from the rigorous requirements of Georgia law to state a claim for medical malpractice. A discussion about the level of complexity underscores the reason why people who were injured or sickened by medical malpractice or families of loved ones who died as a result of medical malpractice need the right lawyers on their side, fighting for their rights and the rights of their loved ones.
Medical Malpractice Claims In Georgia
Medical malpractice claims are expressly permitted by Georgia statute. Title 51, chapter 1, section 27 of the Georgia Code obligates any person who holds themselves out to be a surgeon or a physician and receives payment for those services shall practice medicine with a reasonable degree of care and skill. Any deviation from the standard of care in the medical profession gives rise to a claim for damages to the injured person.
Not every injury case requires the use of an expert. Some cases might and whether the case requires the use of experts depends upon the facts of the case and the circumstances under which the claim arises. Medical malpractice is different. To pursue a medical malpractice claim in Georgia, the claimant must obtain an expert opinion from a medical professional who is qualified to give such opinions, who will say that the treating physicians and medical personnel deviated from the standard of care, thereby causing injury or death to the patient. No other Georgia personal injury claim requires, as a requirement of pursuing the matter, to obtain an expert opinion.
What Proof Is Needed To Succeed In A Medical Malpractice Claim?
For an injured party to prevail on a medical malpractice claim in Georgia, the injured person must prove three components or elements against the medical professional against of whom malpractice is claimed. Those elements are:
1. There was a duty of care between the medical professional and the patient,
2. The doctor breached that duty of care by not using the reasonable care required in the situation, and
3. The medical professional's failure caused the injuries.
The injured party must prove each of those three elements by a fair preponderance of the evidence in order to prevail. Under Georgia law, the preponderance of the evidence is what is known as the burden of proof. The injured person bears the burden to prove that a reasonable mind can find for the injured person concluding that it is more likely than not that malpractice occurred. This burden of proof is something substantially less than the standard to obtain a conviction which is beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the context of a medical malpractice claim, the injured party must prove that there were injuries that were caused by the negligence of the doctor. Georgia law mandates that the injured person use expert testimony to prove what the law calls "causation." An expert witness is needed to show that the doctor's care fell below the standard of care and that failure caused the injury.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 39 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!
Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 39 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour live chat.
Zwiren v. Thompson, 578 SE 2d 862 - Ga: Supreme Court 2003
O.C.G.A. Title 51 et seq.
Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
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