Q: How do I report medical malpractice?
How you report medical malpractice depends on your definition of report. Victims and their families can report medical malpractice to the Georgia Composite Medical Board, the Secretary of State, or by filing a lawsuit.
How do I report medical malpractice to the state?
It depends on whom you are reporting. The Georgia Composite Medical Board (GCMB) regulates doctors, doctors in residency training, physician assistants, hospitals, and several other types of medical professionals. You can report malpractice online or mail in the form. There is no time limit for reporting malpractice to the GCMB.
To report malpractice of any other licensed healthcare professional in Georgia, you should contact the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. This includes medical malpractice complaints against nurses. Although the Georgia Board of Nursing regulates nurses, the Secretary of State handles complaints against nurses.
How do I file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Georgia?
In Georgia, as in many states, you cannot just go to the courthouse and file a medical malpractice lawsuit. You must first get a written, sworn document from an expert who says that the healthcare provider committed malpractice. The expert must identify the specific act of malpractice, and the evidence you provide must support these allegations. You must file this in court with your complaint.
Is there a time limit to file a medical malpractice lawsuit?
Yes. Per GA Code § 9-3-71, you must file the lawsuit within two years of the malpractice that caused the harm or death, unless the injury did not show up right away. Even if you did not discover the harm until long after the act of malpractice, you only have five years from the negligent act to file suit.
There are, however, two exceptions to the rule of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit within two or five years in Georgia. If the health care provider fraudulently concealed the malpractice to keep you from finding out about the negligence, the time limits do not start to run until you discover the negligent act. If your doctor left a foreign object inside you (e.g., left a surgical sponge in after surgery), you have one year after discovering the object to file a lawsuit. This could be many years after the negligent act.
Why is it important to have a lawyer handle your medical malpractice lawsuit?
Medical malpractice lawsuits are complicated and difficult. Both sides will have medical experts. There will be highly technical medical issues. Doctors and other health care providers have malpractice insurance companies with teams of lawyers protecting them. These cases are aggressively defended. You need a knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer fighting for you.
If you have been injured or a loved one has died as a result of medical malpractice, the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. can help. Call us today at 404-474-0804 for your free consultation with an Atlanta medical malpractice attorney.