Medical Malpractice Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about a medical malpractice claim, then you are not alone. The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C., has compiled some of the most frequently asked medical malpractice questions and answers. Browse this section to learn more.
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  • Can I sue medical esthetician?

    Yes, you can sue medical esthetician in Atlanta if you suffered injury or illness because of an action or inaction by the professional. Medical malpractice claims can come from any professional who claims to be licensed to perform services on your body or mind. Cosmetic surgery complications are real and estheticians in Atlanta have a responsibility to perform the treatment offered, similar to any other healthcare professional.

    A medical esthetician can be sued for the following reasons and more.

    • Failure to clean and disinfect instruments
    • Failure to properly perform a procedure
    • Mishandling chemicals
    • Failure to maintain equipment

    Process of Suing a Medical Esthetician

    To sue a medical esthetician, you will need evidence that you received treatment from that person and documentation of the treatment received. Your prior medical records can come in handy to show that you did not have any prior injuries before the esthetician treated you.

    The esthetician will likely be asked to provide his or her license for performing the treatment you requested. Failure to provide certification or to license in their procedure could be used as evidence of negligence and willful endangerment on the behalf of the medical esthetician.

    When you are seeking treatment from a medical esthetician make sure she or he is fully licensed and certified to perform the services you request. Check that the office is clean, and all tools used come from new packages or sterilization devices. Also, check out their reviews on professional review sites like Google and Yelp to see if there are complaints about service or professionalism.

    Hold an Esthetician Responsible for His or Her Actions

    Even though we think of esthetician treatments as an optional, cosmetic procedure, this does not mean that you ‘asked’ for it and did not deserve to be compensated when a professional does not deliver on the service offered. If you were injured during a visit to a medical esthetician, you would have a right to pursue a lawsuit. The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. offers free consultations to review your case and determine your best course of action. Call us today at 404-474-0804 to discuss your legal options.

  • Can I file a medical malpractice claim against a psychiatrist?

    Yes, it is possible to file a psychiatrist medical malpractice claim in Atlanta. As with any other type of malpractice case, a claimant must prove certain elements.

    Elements to File a Psychiatrist Malpractice Claim

    The first element is showing the existence of a doctor/patient relationship. This is important because there is an expected duty of care if receiving treatment from a psychiatrist.

    A second element is that the psychiatrist breached the duty of care owed to the patient. This stems from medical negligence, which means acting in an unreasonable manner. To determine whether a doctor's actions aren't reasonable, they are compared to what another psychiatrist under similar circumstances would have done.

    Psychiatrist negligence could include a variety of actions; for instance, not adequately assessing a patient's risk of suicide. Another is prescribing a drug without considering other medications the patient is taking. It could also be a failure to properly monitor the patient while on potent medications.

    The third element is that the breach in duty of care resulted in significant emotional and/or physical injury. Making a mistake doesn't automatically give a patient (or the family of a patient) the right to pursue legal action. Evidence of harm is needed. Talk to a med mal lawyer about obtaining important charts and documents from the doctor.

    For example, a psychiatrist prescribed a medication that interacted with another the patient was taking, and the interaction resulted in physical harm. Sometimes this is challenging, such as with suicide.

    Finally, the claimant must prove that he or she suffered damages as a result of the negligence and resultant injuries.

    Damages might include:

    • medical costs for treatment;
    • pain and suffering; and
    • loss of consortium (in the case of a suicide).

    Because of the many complex issues that can arise in these types of cases, it's best to seek legal advice.

    Importance of Securing Legal Representation

    In addition to the complexity involved in a malpractice case, there are various laws that apply such as time limits in filing a psychiatrist medical malpractice claim. It also requires a great deal of evidence and paperwork. To learn if you have a case, contact Jason R. Schultz in the Atlanta area. Call us at (404) 474-0804.

  • Can I file a malpractice claim against a psychologist?

    If a psychologist has caused harm to a patient, it could lead to filing a malpractice claim. However, any harm must have arisen out of negligence or intent.

    Establishing Liability against a Psychologist in a Malpractice Claim

    Although psychologists don't prescribe medication or perform procedures, they still owe a duty of care to patients. If they breach this duty during the course of treatment, evidence must show that it was negligent and caused physical and/or emotional injury.

    Improper evaluation of a patient is one example. Let's say there is a clear demonstration of suicidal behaviors and yet the psychologist does not report him or her. Failing to seek necessary outside help – such as law enforcement when there's an immediate threat – could show negligence.

    Developing a sexual relationship with the patient is another example of professional misconduct. If the psychologist assaults the patient, physically or sexually, it may lead to a malpractice claim.

    Another example is when a psychologist intentionally inflicts emotional distress on the patient or if there is a breach in trust, such as sharing personal information online.

    Establishing Damages against a Psychologist in a Malpractice Claim

    These are just some ways to show a breach in the duty of care owed. But there also has to be evidence that it resulted in damages. Unlike most other types of malpractice cases, it may or may not include medical bills. If the harm necessitates additional psychological care, then it might.

    Many times damages address the emotional impact the patient suffered. This could lead to compensation for mental anguish and more.

    The laws surrounding malpractice cases are oftentimes complicated. When they involve psychologists, they present other challenges. To learn about one's right to pursue compensation, talk with legal counsel. An attorney can determine the viability of a claim and help assemble evidence. Also, he or she can establish the types of damages to include in the claim.

    Call Jason R. Schultz at 404-474-0804 to set up a consultation about your case.

  • When suing for medical malpractice, should I sue the individual doctor or the hospital where he or she works?

    It will take some investigative work to tell if an injured patient should sue the individual doctor or the hospital. Because liability issues in these types of cases can be complicated, they usually necessitate help from an attorney.

    Determining Liability between a Doctor and Hospital

    Doctors can be sued if they breach the duty of care owed to a patient and it results in serious or fatal harm. This can occur in a number of ways, such as a delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis, medication mistakes and improper prenatal care.

    When it occurs in a hospital setting, it could lead to a claim against the facility, if the doctor was employed by them. That’s because hospitals are liable for the negligent actions of their employees.

    However, if it’s determined the doctor wasn’t employed by a hospital and worked as an independent contractor, it would be difficult to find the hospital responsible when suing for medical malpractice. At the same time, if the hospital doesn’t make it clear to the patient (such as during admissions) that the doctor isn’t an employee, it may still allow for the hospital to be accountable.

    ER doctors who work independently are many times an exception to the rule. Generally, the hospital still will be liable for medical negligence on behalf of an ER doctor because the patient sought treatment at the hospital's facility, not necessarily with a particular doctor.

    Another scenario in which hospitals pose challenges when suing for medical malpractice is when the injuries are caused by a healthcare provider working under a doctor’s supervision. Let’s say a nurse on a surgical team accidentally leaves one of the gauzelike sponges used to soak up blood inside a patient, and the surgeon sews him or her back up unknowingly. The doctor (or surgeon) responsible for supervising the nurse might be liable, but the hospital isn't necessarily liable.

    Determining liability when suing for medical malpractice under these circumstances sometimes can be tricky. There are different factors to consider, which is why it’s a good idea to consult legal counsel because medical malpractice can span stroke deaths to emergency room errors. You can call and ask Jason R. Schultz questions at an initial consultation (404) 474-0804.

  • Can a dentist be liable for malpractice?

    A dentist can be liable for malpractice if there is proof of deviation from a reasonable standard of care and that it caused someone to suffer damages. Both are important elements in this type of case. 

    What constitutes dental malpractice?

    Just a standard trip to the dentist can raise fears for some people. These can stem from a previous bad experience or the unpleasant side effects of a particular procedure.

    Dentists owe a duty of care to their patients, meaning they must provide services that meet a certain reasonable standard. When there is a departure from this standard of care and it ends up causing harm, the dentist could be liable for resultant damages.

    For instance, certain side effects are expected with some procedures. But if a dentist incorrectly performed a procedure, it is a deviation from a reasonable standard of care. If it results in permanent nerve damage, the dentist might be liable for any damages that result. Another example would be a dentist who fails to get a patient’s complete medical history before providing care.

    Some health conditions may impact the dental treatment the dentist provides, such as:

    • diabetes;
    • cardiovascular disease;
    • hypertension; and
    • asthma.

    If there is a severe adverse reaction because of a failure to obtain this information or provide care accordingly, a dentist could be liable.

    What types of damages would warrant filing a claim?

    As noted, the validity of a claim is based on the patient suffering damages or losses. Serious injuries, such as permanent nerve damage or disfigurement from a procedure are examples of injuries that warrant legal action.

    Some of the types of damages that claimants may seek in a dental malpractice claim include:

    • medical costs;
    • lost wages;
    • pain and suffering; and
    • mental anguish.

    Contact attorney Jason Schultz to learn more about damages specific to your case.

  • Can I file for medical malpractice claim compensation if my health insurance covered the treatment costs?

    Yes, an individual can recover medical malpractice claim compensation even if health insurance covered the treatment costs. However, in this context it is worth mentioning that the health insurance company that has incurred the expenses of medical treatment is entitled to recover its costs if the plaintiff receives a settlement.

    Subrogation in a Medical Malpractice Claim

    Generally, the insurance companies include a clause in the policy contract specified as “subrogation,” which allows them to recover compensation for their costs from the plaintiff’s settlement recovery. However, per Georgia Code §33-24-56.1, the health insurance may only recover its costs if the injury victim has been made whole.

    This means that the victim’s own expenses (economic and noneconomic damages) must be accounted for in the personal injury claim before the health insurance company can recover its costs from the settlement. If the recovery does not make the victim whole again, then the health insurance company may not recover compensation from the settlement for its own expenses.

    Legal Help for Medical Malpractice Victims in Atlanta

    While the Georgia law protects victims of medical malpractice and other personal injuries from insurance companies recovering too much from a settlement, victims should still seek consultation with an attorney.

    Not only can a lawyer ensure the insurance company does not overstep limits in its ability to recover from the settlement, an attorney can be instrumental in reaching a fair settlement for the victim. Evidence collection, expert witness testimony, and case organization may be a major factors in presenting a strong case for compensation. Considering that most medical malpractice claims take almost two years to solve (four years from the event in question) according to a New York Times article written by Dr. Pauline W. Chen, most victims simply do not have the resources to handle it alone.

    The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. provides legal assistance to victims seeking compensation for medical malpractice. Call us today to schedule your consultation with a lawyer: (404) 474-0804.

  • Can I file a medical malpractice suit against specialists like urologists or physical therapists?

    Yes, you can file a medical malpractice suit against a doctor who is a specialist, such as an urologist or physical therapist. Any professional who provides negligent medical care or treatment that causes serious injuries could potentially be held liable by a Peachtree City malpractice lawyer in a Georgia medical negligence case.

    Standard of Care for Medical Specialists

    There is an expected standard of care that all medical professionals are held to when providing care or treatment. The standard of care means that the doctor should address a medical condition, perform a procedure, or make rational decisions in a manner expected of other reasonable professionals. Anytime a healthcare provider is careless or reckless in his or her treatment, it could result in a patient filing a medical malpractice suit against the doctor.

    When the Standard of Care Is Violated

    If the standard of care is violated, it can be considered medical negligence, and could be the basis for filing a lawsuit. An example would be a specialist who fails to warn a patient of potential serious side effects of a surgery that requires the patient’s informed consent.

    Had the patient been informed of serious side effects, he or she might have elected to not undergo the surgery. A doctor may not be required to inform of every single risk, but if other reasonable doctors would have disclosed of the risk or the disclosure would have led a reasonable patient to make a different decision, it may be considered negligent not to have disclosed a particular risk.

    Another example is a physical therapist who uses improper techniques during a therapy session. If this causes a patient’s injury or the condition to become worse, such as resulting in permanent disability, this might be considered a violation of the standard of care.

    Violations of the standard of care that may be considered medical negligence can also include misdiagnosis, overdose of medicine, misreading test results, and a host of other careless or reckless mistakes.

    Consult a Peachtree City Malpractice Lawyer for Help with a Georgia Case

    The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz might be able to assist with determining the validity of a claim. A Peachtree City malpractice lawyer can help Georgia clients evaluate the circumstances surrounding the act of negligence and explain the legal options that could be available to file a medical malpractice suit against the doctor.

  • Is a birth injury considered medical malpractice?

    A birth injury can be considered a form of medical malpractice if it was caused by negligence. Proving can be very complex in many cases and may require legal assistance and representation from a personal injury attorney in Peachtree City. You and your lawyer will need to build a case that demonstrates the medical professional’s negligence.

    When a Birth Injury Stems from Medical Negligence

    Some injuries arise out of unforeseen complications. The OB/GYN might have done everything possible to reduce the risk and acted in a competent manner. If that’s the case, you aren’t likely to be successful in filing a claim for injuries.

    However, some injuries are the result of negligent actions. For instance, using a medical device (such as vacuum extraction or forceps) incorrectly or delaying action or treatment in an emergency situation are all examples of negligent (in)action.

    What you will need to prove that is that an acceptable and reasonable standard of care was not provided. Additionally, you must show that as a result, your child suffered a serious birth injury.

    If the injury is minor and is expected to heal in a week, it likely isn’t worth pursuing. But a birth injury resulting from negligence that is disabling or life-threatening may require filing a claim to be compensated for the medical expenses and other damages you will be facing.

    Jason Schultz: Personal Injury Attorney in Peachtree City

    Medical malpractice can apply to any type of healthcare provider, including those involved in labor and delivery. To learn if you should proceed with your claim, contact the Law Offices of Jason Schultz at 404-474-0804 to discuss your child’s birth injury and other case details.

  • How can I find out if my doctor has had medical malpractice lawsuits filed against him or her?

    Newnan medical malpractice lawyer Jason R. Schultz, P.C., wants to help you seek compensation for the injuries you have suffered if a doctor injured you. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complicated, but you can take advantage of a free consultation to learn if it will be worth it. 

    Some state medical licensing boards do have records of doctors that have been named in medical malpractice lawsuits. But not all boards will release that information to the public. 

    The Georgia Composite Medical Board does not disclose investigations or complaints against doctors. State statutes prohibit this information from being shared with the public. However, information related to medical malpractice lawsuits sometimes can be found on the doctor’s profile. 

    The state medical board in Georgia provides an online form that can be filled out if you wish to look up a licensed provider, users can input: 

    • the doctor’s last name;
    • license number;
    • city; and
    • type of provider. 

     

    At least one of these must be entered. 

    Contacting a Newnan Medical Malpractice Lawyer 

    Although it can be helpful to learn if your doctor previously has been involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit, it doesn’t necessarily answer your personal questions. Your unique situation will require help from a Newnan medical malpractice lawyer who handles these types of claims. 

    You also should take advantage of our free injury guide, which can help explain your legal rights. Then you should consult the Law Offices of Jason R. Schultz PC. Call today to schedule your no-cost consultation – 404-474-0804.

  • Can there be multiple parties accountable in a medical malpractice case in Fayette County, Georgia?

    Yes, in some circumstances there may be multiple parties, such as a doctor, nurse, or other medical staff, accountable in a medical malpractice case. The best way to learn who can be held liable for your injuries in Georgia is to consult with a medical malpractice attorney in Fayette County. 

    When an illness or injury is caused by medical negligence, it can leave a victim to wonder if anyone will be held responsible. You have the right to pursue a claim when it can be established that a medical professional deviated from a reasonable and acceptable standard of care. 

    Depending on your case, there may be more than one party liable. For instance, if you were injured after undergoing surgery, it could have been the result of negligence on behalf of the surgeon and assisting nurses. On the other hand, you may be able to hold a doctor accountable for injuries caused by negligence, along with the hospital that employs them. 

    When several parties are involved with a medical mistake that has lead to the patient suffering serious consequences, it can be hard to pinpoint which party or parties are at fault. A large amount of evidence and investigation is often needed to determine who is accountable and considering this, it’s wise to seek an attorney who is experienced with these types of cases and can help you sort through the complex issues that can surround this type of case. 

    Contacting a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Fayette County 

    A malpractice claim can be a very complicated type of case to pursue considering the multiple parties that may surround your health care and the evidence that needs to be collected. While this can make the process even more challenging to navigate, it can also result in a higher settlement. 

    To learn what your legal options are and how you can best protect your rights, seek legal counsel immediately. Contact the Law Offices of Jason Schultz to schedule a FREE consultation on your case – 404-474-0804.