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Macon Medical Malpractice Lawyer Blog  

As the victim of doctor error or hospital negligence, you might be entitled to receive compensation for your personal injury. Georgia, like all other states, gives you the right to sue a health care provider for medical professional negligence, but waiting too long before filing that lawsuit could cause your claim for damages to be dismissed.

Georgia has a statute of limitations to encourage people to file civil lawsuits in a timely manner. The state legislature has decided what constitutes timely for purposes of the statute of limitations for various types of cases. For example, a cause of action for personal injury suffered in a car or truck accident must be filed with the court within two years from the date of the accident to avoid having it dismissed.

Medical malpractice cases also have a statute of limitations to limit how long you can take before filing them with the court. A lawsuit arising from a worsened medical condition caused by a misdiagnosis must be filed within two years from the act which is similar to the general personal injury statute of limitations, but there is a major difference.

Lawmakers recognized that a patient who is the victim of a surgical error or mistakes by a doctor or by a nurse might not realize the connection between the doctor error and the injury. This is the reason that the two-year medical malpractice statute of limitations is calculated from the date of the act or two years from the date of the delayed discovery of the injury or its cause.

The fact that a person has two years from discovery of the injury or from the discovery that the injury was the result of medical malpractice does not extend the statute of limitations indefinitely. There is a maximum of five years from the date of the act of malpractice within which a lawsuit must be started.

The complexity of the statute of limitations, particularly with regard to medical malpractice, is a reason to speak with an attorney as soon as possible after you suspect that you might have been the victim of a negligent surgical act or other acts of negligence by a health care provider. A personal injury attorney can review your claim to determine how the statute of limitations applies to it.
 


You may already be familiar with the concept of medical malpractice, which can happen when a health care provider like a doctor, nurse, surgeon or pharmacist performs his or her duties in a negligent manner and thereby causes patient harm. There also exists another legal doctrine related to medical malpractice that sometimes arises in connection with or independently of it: hospital negligence.

The idea behind hospital negligence is that you can be harmed in a hospital, doctor's office or other health care environment in the same way that you can be injured when you visit a business. As a general rule, businesses -- and most hospitals, clinics, doctors' offices and pharmacies are businesses -- owe a duty of care to their customers to protect them from foreseeable injury. In a sense, you might think of hospital negligence as a form of vicarious liability, which holds an employer liable for the wrongful acts of its employees.

Sources of foreseeable injury that can be present in a health care facility include 

  • Staffing errors. These include not having enough staff available, or failing to ensure that employees are properly qualified when they are hired.

  • Dangerous conditions. Problems with cleanliness at the facility that result in opportunistic infections, or failure to provide adequate security are some of the sources of hospital negligence-related harm to patients.

  • Training and supervision errors. A hospital or other health care facility is responsible to see to it that its employees are properly trained and supervised. A failure to uphold these requirements can lead to the institution itself to becoming liable for any injuries that may take place as a result.

If you have been harmed while you were at a health care facility in Georgia, the determination of what legal remedies you may have -- medical malpractice or hospital negligence, or both -- is something that an experienced personal injury attorney can help you with.


Georgia residents may be aware that Medicare is now covering the costs associated with annual lung cancer screenings for eligible individuals. In 2011, the National Lung Screening Trial revealed that a spiral CT scan could detect early signs of the cancer, and it could have a significant impact on the 150,000 deaths caused by lung cancer every year.

Because the scans can pick up the presence of abnormal growths and benign cancers, physicians have expressed concern about the implications that these screenings may have on patients. False-positive tests may result in an individual seeking additional care that includes tests or procedures that carry a risk of harm to their health. Although doctors review the pros and cons of further testing, it is ultimately the patient's decision whether to go through with them.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force was made up of experts who evaluated the results of the study, and they concluded that spiral CT scans for lung cancer screenings was a favorable option. However, to determine the success of the screenings, government officials will be monitoring the reports from the medical centers that are carrying out spiral CT scans and the patients who are receiving the scans.

An individual who has not received the necessary medical treatment after a doctor's diagnosis may consider speaking to an attorney for guidance on their situation. Legal advice tailored to the person and their circumstances may be given, and an attorney may be able to assist an individual in recovering damages related to costly medical care, diminished quality of life and loss of income if medical malpractice has been committed.
 


 






Tracey L. Dellacona, Esq
R.N., M.B.A
 

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