Medical Malpractice FAQs

The Fitzpatrick Firm - Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorneys

1. What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice refers to the negligent or careless practice of medicine. This can be by a medical doctor, a dentist or some other licensed medical person. The key words here are “negligent” or “careless.” Medicine is not an exact science, and diagnosis can involve a variety of different factors. While most medical diagnoses are routine, complications or past medical history or any number of other elements can cause a misdiagnosis. In order for it to be malpractice, the diagnosis must be shown to be outside standard practice. Because this can be a complex and sometimes delicate procedure, your medical malpractice lawyer has received extensive training, both in the classroom and in practice.

2. Are Medical Malpractice Case Like Other Personal Injury Cases?

Medical malpractice actions are extremely complicated and expensive to pursue. The insurance companies that handle claims on behalf of the physicians and other medical professionals are very aggressive in defending claims against the physicians and hospitals they insure. In addition, the physician generally must consent to any settlement. This results in many cases being litigated. In the State of Georgia, a lawsuit cannot even be commenced unless the affidavit of a physician setting forth the negligence of the Defendant is attached to the complaint. Since many physicians will not give an affidavit against a fellow physician in the same city, a nationwide search for an expert to testify for the injured person may be required.

3. How Are Cases Established?

The process of showing that a diagnosis or treatment was malpractice or that patient treatment was in some way out of the normal way, can be extremely complex. It will usually involve the testimony of a doctor not involved with the original diagnosis. This can be difficult to obtain since doctors might feel obligated to protect members of their own profession or local organizations. Sometimes proof can require a consultation with an out-of-state doctor to obtain the necessary second diagnosis. Your lawyer can help you with contacting the right people and gaining medical opinions that will have weight in your case.

4. Is it Malpractice?

Not every medical error can be considered a case of malpractice. There are two key elements in determining if a medical situation falls into the malpractice category. First, it is necessary to determine the normal standard of medical care for your condition in the location where it occurred. Second, your legal team must show how the doctor or other medical practitioner fell short of that standard. This is why medical experts are so vital to a medical malpractice lawsuit. An added question that must be answered is how the error has affected you. Medical mistakes can range from misplaced decimals (which can be scary with certain types of medicines) to surgery gone wrong. Once the malpractice has been established, the next step is to place a dollar value on the resultant difficulty. Malpractice can even include inappropriate disclosure of personal information – something that can have far-reaching results.

5. Your Medical Malpractice Lawyer Works for You

Your medical malpractice lawyer must engage in extensive training just to begin practice. Your lawyer has a vested interest in applying all due diligence to your situation. He or she can probably quickly establish whether you have a real case or not. Once that is determined, your lawyer will work conscientiously on your behalf. The money will not compensate for the loss of physical proficiency or loss of life, but it can help fill in the financial hardships that can be incurred. For some types of cases, these can be considerable.

They can include not only the added expenses incurred because of the malpractice, but can also include loss of income, and even monetary compensation for emotional anguish. Your medical malpractice lawyer will be able to guide you through the correct responses to receive the just amount of compensation for your circumstance.

6. Malpractice Lawyer on the Job

Once established, the lawyer will work diligently on behalf of patients who have to believe they have been misdiagnosed, incorrectly treated, or have sustained an injury from a medical procedure. They work with medical experts, take depositions from qualified experts, gather and analyze medical reports concerning cases, help with setting up independent medical examinations, do medical research related to the patient’s condition, and work with legal nurse consultants to analyze the available material pertaining to a case.

Malpractice lawyers are often paid on a contingency fee, which is a percentage of the fee awarded to you.

If you or a loved one are in need of a consultation in regards to a potential medical malpractice claim, please contact The Fitzpatrick Firm, LLC for a free consultation at (678) 607-5550 one of our Medical Malpractice attorneys will call you immediately.

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