Medical Malpractice Frequently Asked Questions
- Page 3
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.
What surgical guidelines should a medical team take to prevent a patient mix-up before surgery?
Through proper surgical guidelines from the universal protocol, risk of harmful patient mix-ups may be reduced. Mixing up patients is one of the most preventable types of surgical errors that can happen. If there is a lack of patient safety in surgery and a mix-up occurs, victims may talk to a Peachtree City medical malpractice attorney to go over his or her legal options for recovery of damages by filing a medical malpractice claim.
Who should follow the universal protocol?
Whenever moderate sedation or anesthesia is required for an invasive procedure, the universal protocol should be followed. The protocol consists of three steps, all of which are focused on patient verification.
However, if a patient is undergoing an invasive procedure where moderate sedation or anesthesia isn’t necessary, then only one step in the universal protocol must be followed. The required step in this case is the last step, time-out (final verification).
What are the steps in the universal protocol?
The first surgical guideline is pre-operative or pre-procedure verification. This is when all medical documents are reviewed and any information that is missing or has a discrepancy is taken care of before the patient undergoes the procedure.
The first step in the universal protocol requires verifying the:
- Identity of the patient at least two ways (such as with name and date-of-birth);
- medical records (physical and history); and
- signed consent, including the type of procedure being performed.
The second step is marking the site, preferably with the patient awake to see the site being marked. The mark (with a clear 'YES') should be done by the person who will actually be performing the surgery.
The last step is a time out, or final verification. This is when the surgeon and medical team stops and verifies yet again the correct patient, procedure, consent, site, side, patient position and availability of any necessary equipment.
However, these steps are not required in an emergency situation. Regardless, it is still the responsibility of the medical staff to ensure patient safety in surgery and that the correct surgery is being performed on the correct patient.
How a Peachtree City Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
At the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, a Peachtree City medical malpractice attorney can help victims of poor patient safety in surgery file a claim against the responsible party who did not follow proper surgical guidelines.
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.
What are the costs of hiring a Peachtree City medical malpractice lawyer?
The costs of hiring a Peachtree City medical malpractice lawyer will depend. Generally lawyers will provide a free consultation in which they evaluate your case to determine if they're willing to take it on.
If your Peachtree City medical malpractice lawyer believes you have a valid case, then in most circumstances it'll be taken on a contingency fee basis, which means that you'll likely have no upfront expenses. You don't pay unless you win.
It also means that ahead of time you'll both agree to a percentage that goes to the lawyer if you win. This typically averages between 30 and 40%; however, not all lawyers will take cases on a contingency fee basis, so you'll need to find out the specifics from your Peachtree City medical malpractice lawyer.
The most important thing is that you have good legal representation for your case. Having a Peachtree City medical malpractice lawyer on your side far outweighs the cost of hiring one. Your lawyer will have the resources necessary to thoroughly investigate your case.
Your lawyer will have access to medical experts and other professionals who can help build a substantial case. They'll have resources that you cannot possibly obtain on your own.
When you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical malpractice, then you have every right to seek compensation for injuries. Spending too much time worrying about the cost of hiring a Peachtree City medical malpractice lawyer isn't worth it. What's more important is that you fight for the damages you are entitled to.
Speak with a Peachtree City medical malpractice lawyer to determine what options are available and how you can best protect your legal rights.
Contacting a Peachtree City Medical Malpractice Lawyer
As the victim of medical malpractice in Peachtree City, you have rights that the insurance companies cannot ignore. While they have a team of lawyers working on their side, shouldn't you have experienced legal representation fighting for your best interests? Before accepting any settlement offer, contact the Law Offices of Jason Schultz to schedule a FREE consultation on your case - 1-404-474-0804.
What is failure to diagnose as it relates to a Georgia medical malpractice claim?
The failure to diagnose is a form of medical malpractice in which a doctor or physician fails to diagnose a patient's disease or condition. When there is a failure to diagnose a medical condition, the condition may progress to stages that are untreatable, require more invasive treatments, or create new or worsened medical conditions. For instance, if a doctor fails to diagnose a patient's case of prostate cancer, and as a result the cancer spreads to other parts of the patient's body, then the doctor may be guilty of a failure to diagnose.
If a Georgia physician has failed to diagnose your condition or disease, and you've experienced further injury as a result, you may be eligible for compensation in a Georgia medical malpractice claim. In a Georgia medical malpractice claim, you may be compensated for your physical, emotional, and financial hardships that have occurred. To learn more about filing a Georgia medical malpractice claim, you can get the professional help of a Fulton County medical malpractice attorney.
In a Georgia medical malpractice claim related to a failure to diagnose, you may claim damages for:
- medical expenses that you incurred as a result of the failure;
- future medical expenses related to your injuries;
- any pain you have suffered;
- any wages you have lost because of an inability to work; and
- the loss of earning capacity.
The failure to diagnose a condition or disease can have devastating consequences. As the victim of medical malpractice in Georgia, you have rights that the insurance companies cannot ignore. While they have a team of lawyers working on their side, shouldn't you have experienced legal representation fighting for your best interests? Before accepting any settlement offer, contact the Law Offices of Jason Schultz to schedule a FREE consultation on your case - 404-474-0804
What should I do if a family member dies and suspect that a hospital, doctor or nurse was negligent or committed medical malpractice in causing the wrongful death?
You must immediately request an autopsy so that the cause of death can be established. If an autopsy is not performed at or near the time of death, valuable evidence of the cause or causes of death could be lost and it will make it very difficult to overcome the alleged cause of death which is placed on the death certificate.