A medical malpractice lawyer like me represent individuals and families who have been injured by the careless conduct of doctors, nurses, and hospitals who failed to follow the standard of care mandated by other professionals in their same area of practice.
In other words, these healthcare providers must follow the safety rules that have been put in place to prevent harm and protect us all.
As a licensed RN and former critical care nurse, I am very familiar with the standard of care required to keep patients and families safe, as I followed those safety rules in providing care to my patients. Because of my nursing experience and 27 years of experience litigating these types of cases, I can quickly assess the truthfulness in healthcare providers’ stories and find the contradictions and violations of the safety rules revealed in the nursing and medical documentation.
What constitutes medical malpractice in Georgia?
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care professional (doctor, nurse or other licensed health care giver) or hospital or nursing home causes an injury to a patient through an act or a failure to act. In other words, when a medical professional fails to follow the standard of care or safety rules in providing care to a patient either knowingly or due to a lack of training, experience, or oversight by the hospital or corporation, and that failure harms a patient, then those involved have breached the standard of care and are responsible for the harms and damages he/she/they caused. The standard of care or safety rules that must be followed are what a reasonably prudent healthcare provider, like a nurse or doctor or hospital, would do under the same or similar circumstances.
There are 4 basic requirements in a medical malpractice case. All 4 must be proven.
Types of mistakes and errors which constitute medical malpractice include:
Failure to order or provide the correct treatment in a timely manner
Ex: Dialysis needed for fluid overload and delayed for 6 hours
Failure to recognize the signs of a stroke and order correct treatment in the time allowed to prevent/minimize the effects of a stroke, stroke, or heart attack
Ex: Not ordering a stroke assessment on a patient with a sudden loss of mobility in their arm
Failure to order appropriate testing
Ex: Not ordering an MRI or CT scan on a patient with back pain after a fall
Failure to timely review diagnostic tests or lab results
Ex: Suspecting an infection and not reviewing the blood work/CBC to order necessary antibiotics
Failure to recognize that a baby is experiencing distress prior to birth
Ex: Not recognizing that the fetal monitor strips indicate the baby is not getting enough oxygen
Failure to train nursing staff properly to work in certain areas of the hospital
Ex: Staffing the ED triage area with nurses who are not familiar with the signs and symptoms of life-threatening conditions
Failure to make sure patient drug allergies and accurate medication dosages are documented in the medical record
Ex: Writing the drug allergy on one record but not making sure it is documented on all records for that patient
Failure to diagnose a patient’s problem/complaints correctly
Ex: Chest pain diagnosed as indigestion when it is a heart attack
We’re here to help, call to schedule a consultation: (478) 477-9000
Medical Malpractice FAQS
When should you contact a medical malpractice lawyer?
If you believe that you or someone in your family has been harmed by a doctor, nurse, or hospital, you need to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney, one who can evaluate your concerns and provide you with guidance regarding whether to pursue a claim or not. We can provide you with that guidance at Dellacona Law Firm.
Time is of the Essence
Georgia law sets specific time limits regarding when a lawsuit must be filed or the person(s) loses the right to bring a claim. These time limits are called statute of limitations. Most statute of limitations on personal injury matters are 2 years from the date of the injury. However, as with most things, there are exceptions. The time limit may be affected by when the estate of a deceased person has an administrator appointed, for example. If a child is involved who is younger than 5 years of age, then the time limit is expanded to 2 years from the child’s 5th birthday (however the parents must file a claim for any medical bills before or by the 2 year anniversary date of the injury). Wrongful death claims must be filed before or by 2 years from the date of the death (again, there are exceptions involving this claim so please seek an experience attorney’s advice before it is too late).
What questions should you ask a medical malpractice attorney?
The following questions will help you determine if you should hire a particular medical malpractice attorney.
- How extensive is your medical knowledge?
- Have you handled a case like mine before? What was the result?
- Have you gone to trial on a case like mine and what was the result?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of my case?
- How will I be kept updated on my case status?
- Can you give me a time frame of how long it will take to get my case to trial?
- How much will it cost to pursue my case and do I have to pay any money as a retainer?
How do I prepare for a medical malpractice case?
Once you have decided that you want an attorney’s advice about what happened to you or your family, gather any information you have regarding the incident (medical records, bills, texts, emails, pictures, the phone used to make or receive information or take pictures) and make an appointment. We will then provide you with any further instructions about what to do if the case is one that needs further investigation and that should be pursued.
What does a medical malpractice attorney do?
Good question! I like to say we wear many hats at various times during our representation of you and your family. I am a healthcare professional, a teacher, and many times I feel like a social worker, a forensic investigator, and a therapist. Why? Because at Dellacona Law Firm, you become part of our family so we not only try to fix the wrong that happened, but we also try to assist you with other issues that flow from the devastation you have experienced as a result of the carelessness of others.
We secure experts who work or teach in the specialty area involved in your case to verify that negligence occurred, and that the negligence caused the injuries at issue. Georgia law requires these types of experts for the lawsuit to be brought.
Do most medical malpractice cases settle?
Sometimes. Each case is different, and many factors influence whether a case will settle or go to trial. We do not take a case that we are not prepared to take to trial. It is our goal to place you in the best position you can be in to make informed decisions about the resolution of your case.
How much does a medical malpractice attorney cost?
We offer free consultations to individuals and families seeking guidance about whether a hospital, doctor, or nurse hurt them or their loved ones. Please call us to discuss your situation. At Dellacona Law Firm, we would welcome the opportunity to seek justice for you and your family through our representation. To set up your free consultation, call us at 478-477-9000.