When we visit a medical professional, we expect them to provide quality care and skill. Doctors have a creed that says, “First, do no harm.” They don’t always honor this creed. In cases where medical professionals cause harm, malpractice occurs.
Duluth medical malpractice lawyer Charles Scholle serves victims of physician malpractice. Scholle Law has experience handling malpractice cases like yours.
What is medical malpractice?
In our state, victims who have been harmed due to a mistake made by a physician can use the legal system to recover monetary damages. Those damages include their injury as well as their pain and suffering. Damages for pain and suffering are uncapped in the state of Georgia.
Physician malpractice is determined in a very specific way. The physician’s standard of care is central to your case. When a doctor provides any type of care, their work must meet the standard of care for all medical professionals.
Physician malpractice injuries can result in lifelong medical issues. They can even be fatal. Malpractice cases are complex and require a specific type of expertise. Scholle Law has decades of relevant experience.
The law requires you to file your case within a certain timeframe. These timeframes are called statutes of limitations. Allow our team to start your case today.
Contact a Duluth Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
Scholle Law treats our clients with personal care and concern. We do not accept a high volume of cases to ensure high-quality care for each client.
Many law firms claim to provide personal attention to their clients. Many fail to follow through. Scholle Law is different. As our client, you will experience the Scholle Law standard of care. We serve you through the resolution of your case, whether by settlement or trial. Our legal team will communicate with you throughout the legal process.
Meet Georgia personal injury lawyer Charles Scholle
What are examples of medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice can include:
- Wrongful death: A medical practitioner’s negligent act can cause death. Surviving family members may bring a wrongful death lawsuit in response.
- Improper medication: Prescribing a dangerous medication or dispensing the wrong medication can be negligence. So can failing to monitor a patient’s reaction to medication.
- Performing a procedure without proper licensing: A doctor can be liable for practicing without a license. A medical facility can also be liable.
- Failure to diagnose an illness or injury: Doctors, dentists, and surgeons have a duty to diagnose conditions properly. If they miss a diagnosis despite apparent symptoms, they may be negligent.
- Failure to monitor a condition: Doctors should monitor patients with known conditions. If they don’t, they put the patient at risk. This can be negligent behavior.
- Failure to order necessary tests for diagnosis: If a clinician fails to order any test when there’s a clinical need to do so, they may allow an illness to worsen.
- Failure to fully inform a patient about risks of surgery, medication, or treatment: An under informed patient may not be able to give informed consent. They cannot fully understand the risks of certain treatments.
- Excessive radiation exposure during x-ray: While all X-rays involve some degree of radiation exposure, undue exposure can cause injury to a patient.
- Paralysis due to nerve damage: A patient’s nerve damage or paralysis may meet the standard for a medical malpractice claim.
- Birth injuries: This category includes damage to mother and child, including blood clots, excessive pain and suffering, and brain damage.
Our firm can explain whether your case qualifies for a malpractice claim.
Why Scholle Law?
Scholle Law has pursued numerous malpractice lawsuits, particularly against ophthalmologists, optometrists and professionals involved in LASIK eye surgery.
In 2018, we secured a $200,000 verdict in a LASIK malpractice in which the doctor entered incorrect data in the LASIK machine, resulting in an improper LASIK tissue ablation. The patient suffered from permanent irregular astigmatism as a result.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims
The Duluth medical malpractice lawyers at Scholle Law have handled a variety of medical malpractice claims. The most common types of malpractice claims we see are:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Wrongful death
- Surgical errors
- Prescription drug errors
- Childbirth injuries
Each medical malpractice claim requires a skilled legal approach. This ensures that patients receive the maximum compensation they’re entitled to.
Common Issues Caused by Medical Malpractice
You may file a medical malpractice lawsuit because of:
- Short-term injuries
- Lasting disabilities
- Brain damage and disability caused by birth injuries
- Illness caused by prescription errors
- Long-term financial losses
An attorney can advise you what losses entitle you to compensation.
You may sue for a birth-related injury to you or your child. These injuries may include:
- Maternal infection
- Organ damage
- Oxygen deprivation
- Stroke or heart attack
- Blood clots
A child’s birth injury may cause Cerebral Palsy, Erb’s Palsy, and brachial plexus injuries.
Cerebral Palsy is a disorder affecting movement, speech, and coordination. It’s a permanent disability that affects the quality of life (for both child and parent). While it can develop before birth, it can also be caused by birthing errors.
A Duluth medical malpractice lawyer from Scholle Law will review your case. They’ll lead a claim for cerebral palsy caused by medical malpractice.
Erb’s Palsy manifests as arm weakness and a loss of motion. It can occur in babies if the shoulder joint is damaged during birth. Erb’s Palsy can cause permanent nerve damage, weakness, and discomfort.
If your child is diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy, contact an attorney to file a medical malpractice claim.
Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves running through the neck and shoulder. A brachial plexus injury can occur if the baby is pulled to one side during delivery. It can also happen if the nerves are overstretched or compressed. It could cause permanent harm.
Brachial plexus injuries can be difficult to prove. A skilled attorney will assess your claim and its prospects of success.
Careless & Negligent Errors
Doctors and other healthcare professionals sometimes fall short of their professional standards. They sometimes fall grossly below these standards. When this happens, they cause life-changing injuries or death.
Negligent medical errors include:
- Leaving foreign objects inside a patient
- Performing the wrong operation
- Missing important symptoms
- Prescribing the wrong drugs
Not all careless acts amount to medical malpractice. A Duluth medical malpractice lawyer will examine evidence from your case. They’ll help you pursue any awards that you deserve.
Anesthesia is required for certain surgical procedures. Anesthesia-related errors can occur before, during, or even after an operation. These errors can be life-threatening.
Medical professionals must properly assess the patient’s medical history before providing anesthesia. If not, they expose the patient to possible complications. A patient could be seriously injured if they don’t receive enough anesthesia. Similar risks arise if they are sedated too long.
We can generally divide anesthesia errors into the following three categories.
A general anesthesia puts you “under,” so you’re completely unconscious. General anesthesia errors include:
- Failing to recognize potential problems as they arise
- Failing to monitor a patient’s vital signs during the procedure
- Carelessly inserting the breathing tube, causing injury or even brain damage
General anesthesia errors can cause severe distress and life-altering injuries.
Regional anesthesia numbs a broad part of the body like your spine. Regional anesthesia errors can cause:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage
- Blood clots
Local anesthesia works on a specific area like a tooth. You’re fully conscious during the procedure. Local anesthesia errors can cause:
- Nerve damage
- Excessive pain during the procedure
- Allergic reactions
Contact Scholle Law if you suffered harm from an anesthesia error.
Emergency Room Errors
In the ER, physicians and other medical professionals must make quick decisions under very intense pressure. Examples of emergency room errors that may amount to medical negligence include:
- Failing to prioritize a seriously ill patient
- Medication errors
- Failing to diagnose or triage a patient properly
- Using unsanitary or otherwise unsafe equipment
The stakes are high in the ER. The consequences of a medical error can be severe.
Hospitals must honor their obligation to keep patients as safe as possible. Failure to do so could warrant a medical malpractice claim.
Hospital malpractice includes:
- Failing to supervise staff members
- Employing unqualified staff
- Failing to provide sanitary conditions
- Ignoring unsafe equipment
Scholle Law can help with your hospital malpractice claim.
Medical Device Errors
Medical practitioners sometimes use medical devices to diagnose or treat patients. Such devices include:
- X-ray machines
If the device malfunctions in such a way that it harms the patient, there could be a case for medical malpractice. These claims can be highly complex and difficult to prove.
Contact a Duluth medical malpractice lawyer to review your case. Our team can explain the evidence you will need to prove your case.
Misdiagnosis & Delayed Diagnosis
If a health care provider’s improper diagnose can cause injury. It can result in disease progression and death.
Diagnostic errors can include:
- Misinterpreting test results
- Prescribing the wrong antibiotics
- Missing a vital symptom
- Failing to run the right tests
- Failing to check a patient’s medical history before treating them
These errors can amount to medical malpractice. Our team will represent you after a diagnostic error.
Medical staff must monitor you closely after a surgical procedure. This minimizes the risk of complications like:
- Internal bleeding
- Wound infections
- Organ damage
A medical staff’s failure to monitor puts you at great risk of harm. Depending on the circumstances, this negligence can amount to a medical malpractice claim. To find out if you have a claim, contact the experienced Georgia medical malpractice lawyers at Scholle Law for a free consultation.
“Malpractice” is the legal term used to describe when members of certain professions do their jobs so badly that the work fails to live up to basic standards for that profession. This is not about ordinary bad outcomes; malpractice describes clearly unprofessional work, such as leaving surgical sponges inside a person’s body after surgery or missing an important legal deadline. When professional malpractice leads to serious injury, property damage or financial harm, you can hold the professionals involved responsible by filing a malpractice lawsuit.
What medical malpractice damages can be recovered?
Plaintiffs can claim both general damages and special damages.
A plaintiff can recover general damages for their past and future pain and suffering. They can also claim for reduced work capacity from an injury,
It’s hard to assign a monetary value to pain and suffering. A skilled attorney can give you a broad idea of what you might be able to claim based on your case facts. In Georgia, there is no cap on the damages a court can award you for pain and suffering.
Special damages cover certain expenses, including lost income. These damages are generally easier to quantify because plaintiffs can often prove them with evidence. Medical bills and proof of time off are two types of documentation for these losses. The damages you may be able to claim in this category include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost profits
- Reduction in future earnings
There is no cap on the amount of special damages you may receive for a medical malpractice claim.
Clear evidence of fraud, malice, indifference, or deliberate intent to cause harm may entitle you to punitive damages. The defendant must act intentionally or recklessly towards the plaintiff in some way for you to receive punitive damages.
Punitive damages “punish” the person responsible for your injuries rather than compensating you for harm done. In Georgia, punitive damages in these circumstances are capped at $250,000.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a medical malpractice injury?
You generally have two years from the date of the injury to make a claim for medical malpractice. However, it sometimes takes longer than this for an injury to manifest. It may also take a while for you to understand the full extent of your injury. Under O.C.G.A. 9-3-71, you may have up to five years from the date of injury to raise a lawsuit. There may be exceptions to these deadlines.
You should contact the team at Scholle Law if you suspect you have a case. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complicated. We would like to assign a Duluth medical malpractice lawyer to your case as soon as possible.
How is medical malpractice proven?
Medical malpractice is not easy to prove. To prove a medical malpractice claim in Georgia, you must prove four things:
- The existence of a doctor-patient relationship
- The health care practitioner acted negligently towards you
- That you sustained an injury because of negligence
- You suffered harm as a result
First, you must show that the individual owed you a duty of care. All doctors owe their patients this duty. The professional relationship can extend to nurses, dentists, medical technicians, and pharmacists.
You must next show that the person’s actions fell below the accepted standards of care. This means establishing that a reasonable health care professional would have treated you differently.
Proving negligence is typically the hardest part of medical malpractice claims. Every case has unique considerations to weigh. Scholle Law will shoulder this responsibility for you.
You must show that a negligent act directly caused your injury. In other words, you’re showing that you wouldn’t be injured if it wasn’t for the defendant’s negligent acts.
As with negligence, this part of the claim may be difficult to prove. Pre-existing conditions and other factors could increase the level of difficulty. At Scholle Law, we have the resources to review your medical records and any relevant medical tests. We will establish a direct causal link between your injury and the negligent act.
Losses, pain, and suffering
Finally, you must prove that you sustained a loss of some kind due to the health care provider’s negligence. It’s not enough to prove negligent treatment. You must show that harm of some kind has occurred. Qualifying losses may include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Rehabilitation expenses
The experienced lawyers at Scholle Law will provide a free initial consultation. We will see if your injury qualifies you for a medical malpractice claim.
Medical Malpractice Questions and Answers
Medical malpractice is a highly complex area of the law. It is expected for you to have questions about what to expect from your claim. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions we receive about medical malpractice claims in Georgia. Call our team if you have any other questions. We are happy to answer them for you.
You will need someone in your corner working against those who hurt you. Charles Scholle and the Duluth personal injury lawyers at our firm handle complex personal injury cases with skill and compassion.
We have significant experience dealing with complex medical issues. We are well-respected as Georgia medical malpractice lawyers. When we bring a case against a medical professional, the defendant knows we will build a strong case and hire the right experts. They know we will go to trial if necessary.
Clients rely on us to handle the most painful experiences of their lives. We seek justice and help them recover. This is our commitment to you and your family. We will work diligently to get you the recovery you should deserve.
We cannot recommend any particular plan of action for your case without having all of the facts. Generally speaking, you may allow medical insurance to cover eligible losses. You may be reimbursed if you show later that you were injured through medical negligence. A medical malpractice claim may provide greater compensation than insurance does.
If you don't have any health insurance, it might be easier to get medical treatment on a lien basis. Call us to learn what this means and how we can help.
Call our team immediately if you've already received an insurance compensation offer. Medical malpractice injuries can be highly complex. Your offer may not be the fairest settlement available to you. We can help you make an informed decision before accepting a settlement.
The police play a vital role in keeping communities and individuals safe from harm. However, medical malpractice is normally a civil matter, not a criminal one. Your local police force is not best placed to assist you with your claim.
Contact a Duluth medical malpractice attorney instead. We can help you navigate the entire claims process. We'll ensure that your claim has the best possible chance of success.
Medical malpractice is a form of medical negligence.
Medical negligence describes a medical practitioner's failure to uphold their duty of care to their patient. They fall short of the professional standards. Their carelessness causes harm which leads to injury.
Negligence occurred if your healthcare provider failed to treat you with the same standard of care that their peers would. It also occurred if they fell grossly short of the professional standards expected of them. You may be able to start a medical malpractice claim against them.
Medical malpractice claims stem from a medical practitioner's negligence. At Scholle Law, our attorneys have the experience and expertise to identify potential medical malpractice claims. Contact us right away if you think you have a claim.
Your individual circumstances dictate who is liable for your injuries. You may sue the following parties.
From surgeons to anesthesiologists, you might be able to sue your medical care provider for medical malpractice. We prove their negligence by showing:
- The medical practitioner owed you a duty of care
- They deviated from the accepted standard for the healthcare profession
- Breached their duty of care towards you, causing you harm
- This harm you suffered led to injury
More than one practitioner may be liable.
A hospital may be directly responsible for a medical injury if it failed to protect a patient from harm. It may also be liable if it failed to research a medical practitioner's education, training, licensing, and suitability.
Sometimes, a hospital can be held "vicariously" liable for the actions of its employees. This occurs if the negligent person was acting within the scope of their employment at the time of the incident. Vicarious liability can be helpful to injured parties. It helps to ensure they are properly compensated following a case of medical malpractice.
A hospital cannot be held vicariously liable if the medical practitioner was acting as an independent contractor at the time. Your attorney can give you more advice on who you may sue in your claim.
Count on Scholle Law for compassion and expertise in malpractice claims
For more than 20 years, Charles Scholle and the Scholle Law team have helped people in Gwinnett County and throughout the state of Georgia recover the financial payments they need to support themselves, heal and move on from a serious injury caused by someone else’s negligence. If you’re thinking about filing a malpractice lawsuit in Georgia, but you want to know more about your options and rights, then don’t hesitate to contact us for your free, no-obligation consultation.
Contact us to speak with a lawyer about your accident.We’re available 24/7 and your first consultation is free.
Call 866-972-5287 or send us a message online