When seeking medical attention for a serious injury or illness, patients should be able to trust that the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals treating them have the knowledge, training, experience, and good judgment necessary to provide competent care. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Research shows that the United States has a significant medical malpractice problem. In fact, it is the country’s third leading cause of death, killing as many as 250,000 people each year, according to a 2016 analysis of medical data conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and published in The BMJ medical journal.
If you were seriously injured—or lost a loved one—as a result of a medical provider’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation. However, Georgia medical malpractice laws are complex and a monetary award is never guaranteed—even in seemingly open-and-shut cases.
Hiring a knowledgeable and experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney to handle your case may help increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Key Medical Malpractice Characteristics
When treatments do not go as planned, the outcome can be heartbreaking for patients and their families. However, not all bad outcomes are considered medical negligence. To meet the legal definition of medical malpractice, cases must contain the following elements:
- The medical professional in question was treating the patient and, thus, owed the patient a “duty of care.”
- The medical professional breached the duty of care by providing substandard care or making a negligence-related mistake that a similarly trained doctor would not have made under the same circumstances.
- The medical professional’s negligence injured the patient.
The injury caused the patient to sustain significant economic and non-economic damages.