Augusta Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When we place our lives in the hands of a medical professional, we have a certain standard of care. A medical mistake can change multiple lives forever. What can you do when you or a loved one suffers injury or death because of a mistake made by a doctor, nurse, or other health care provider? If their failure to diagnose or make a mistake results in an injury or death, they could very well be held liable for damages. A Augusta medical malpractice lawyer knows what you’re going through and will do everything in their power to pursue your medical malpractice claim and get you compensated. Contact the Hawk Firm to receive your consultation if you have experienced medical malpractice.
Healthcare workers can make mistakes, but they have a duty to provide adequate medical care. If their failure in that duty caused you harm, you could have the grounds to pursue a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.
At The Hawk Firm, we can help you find your voice. We offer full transparency to our clients, explaining cases clearly and never hiding behind legalese. What’s more, we’re tough on injustice.
Our Augusta medical malpractice attorneys can hold healthcare providers accountable for their actions, never shying away from a fight. Contact our office and get information today that can empower you to speak up about your experience.
Table of Contents
What is Considered Medical Negligence?
By the time a physician is allowed to start working with patients, they have had many years of education and training and should have mastered what it takes to meet the proper standard of care. That standard of care is essentially what any other reasonable doctor in the same situation would do. If a doctor or healthcare provider fails to do that, and an injury or death is the result, negligence has taken place. Not every mistake a physician makes will be considered negligence, but a medical malpractice lawyer knows these situations well and can determine if someone in charge of your care should be held responsible.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Every state has a pretty strict deadline for when you can file medical malpractice claims. If you don’t meet this deadline, you won’t be approved. Your case will be dismissed immediately. In most states, the statute of limitations for a negligence claim that stems from a medical mistake is two years from the date of the injury. Of course, injuries can take time to show, so there are scenarios where victims of medical malpractice don’t realize something has gone wrong, so the statute of limitations may not begin until the injury is found. A misdiagnosis could lead to months of going untreated. If there’s a chance you’re the victim of medical malpractice, it’s pivotal that you speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney right away.
What Evidence is Required in Medical Malpractice Cases?
Because every case is different and the results are mainly based on how other similarly healthcare workers would act in such a situation, the most important evidence in a medical malpractice case is often first-hand testimony from other physicians. A medical expert can examine exactly the events surrounding the accident and give their knowledgeable opinion on whether the doctor you’re filing a claim against met the expected standard of care or not. In addition, a medical expert can testify that the negligence did, in fact, lead to your injury. You’ll also want to keep any records of medical examinations, therapy, bills, and lost work. This settlement can and should include additional medical costs, lost wages, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and more.
Through it all, we always provide:
- Compassion. We take the time to listen to how this affected you.
- Affordability. We offer free consultations and don’t get paid unless you do.
- Straight talk. We make sure you always understand what’s going on.
- Running interference. We talk to adjusters, doctors, and other lawyers for you.
- Detective work. We conduct our own research and analysis of your injury.
- Case estimation. We determine your case’s value and then fight for it.
- Court prep. We remain ready to battle your case in court if necessary.
Medical malpractice cases can get bogged down by technical jargon, often deliberately employed by the opposition to cloud a case. We cut through all of that to get to the heart of what happened.
What Do You Need to Prove a Medical Malpractice Case?
Like other personal injury cases, malpractice cases require demonstrating that someone violated a duty of care and caused you harm. On the other hand, a doctor could have made a mistake and not caused a patient harm. While irresponsible, such scenarios would not offer grounds for a malpractice case.
So, we need to link a provider’s action (or inaction) to your injury or illness.
Establishing that link can involve evidence like:
- Diagnostic information, including scans, bloodwork, and doctor notes
- Treatment plans including medication, therapies, and advice
- Documentation from doctors, nurses, techs, or staff
- Testimony that details your experience or choices made by healthcare staff
- Timelines showing the cause and effect of your case
- Photographic and video evidence of your illness or injury
- Second opinions from doctors, researchers, specialists, or other experts
Part of the challenge for medical malpractice attorneys lies in identifying and proving a case’s highly technical or nuanced aspects. Your Augusta doctor may have performed a specialized procedure that proves hard to explain. Your poor reaction to a drug may have been due to a complex chemical reaction. By consulting other medical experts, our lawyers can present a case explaining how your doctor failed to uphold the necessary standard of care.
Compensation Available to Augusta Medical Malpractice Victims
Part of recovering from this incident involves recovering appropriate damages. Your damages can help cover the cost of important bills and compensate you for your personal losses.
Medical malpractice damages typically provide for:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
Restoring Your Health Following Malpractice
You could get compensation for any medical care you need to correct the error and injury, including:
- New diagnostic testing, like blood testing and imaging
- Surgery, including corrective surgery
- Prescription medication and medical equipment
- Rehabilitative care, like physical therapy
- Mental health support, like counseling or medication
- Hospitalizations or care facility stays
These damages can also account for the treatment you still require for the original health condition, which may now be more serious. For instance, your compensation can cover your treatment if you were misdiagnosed and require more aggressive medication or extensive surgery.
Your compensation could also consider the long-term costs of malpractice. For instance, cerebral palsy (CP) can occur due to errors during childbirth, but will affect a child long after that time.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate the lifetime costs could amount to almost $1 million, and children with CP generally face higher medical costs. So, whatever your long-term struggle after malpractice, we can include it in our investigation of your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Recovering Income Lost During Your Recuperation
If an Augusta healthcare worker’s mistake caused you to miss work, our medical malpractice attorneys could work to include your lost income in your damages. As a result, you can recover income from hourly and salaried positions.
In addition, we can catalog other revenue streams disrupted by your malpractice injuries. For instance, if you drove for Uber on weekends before the injury or illness, we can pursue the income you lost while not driving. Losing income from freelance jobs—side gigs or full-time work—also constitutes damages.
The aftermath may also affect your ability to work long-term. If your injury has diminished your earning capacity, we can also pursue damages for that consequence.
Reclaiming Your Peace of Mind After Trauma
Suffering an injury or illness when you entrusted your health to your providers can feel uniquely traumatizing. Pain and suffering damages—including emotional distress, reduced quality of life, and negative effects on your relationships—provide compensation for the emotional and personal fallout of the injury.
If An Augusta Doctor’s Malpractice Proved Fatal
Johns Hopkins Medicine estimates that medical errors cause 10 percent of all U.S. deaths. Therefore, if an avoidable error caused your loved one to have a fatal health condition, you could file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit.
In addition to the damages available in other malpractice cases, you could also receive compensation to cover the unique costs of an unexpected loss, such as:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial or cremation
- Lost income from the deceased
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of spousal support
- Loss of companionship
Who Can File After a Wrongful Death?
According to Georgia law, surviving spouses or children of the deceased can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. The parents can file suit if the victim was a child. Absent any of those people, a representative for the deceased’s estate can file.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Augusta?
Malpractice happens when a physician or other healthcare staff member behaves in a way that another reasonable person would not have, causing injury or illness.
Failure to provide minimally competent care can involve errors related to:
- Medical history
- Treatment plan
A doctor who doesn’t detect your illness or injury, despite you presenting with symptoms or seeking care, can bear liability for failure to diagnose. This can include ignoring some symptoms, failing to run proper tests, or not considering your medical history.
Similarly, a delayed diagnosis can make grounds for a case. This means you had a condition that a healthcare worker failed to notice, prompting you to need more aggressive treatment or even leaving you with fewer options to fight an illness. You would not have faced more severe consequences if the doctor had diagnosed you sooner.
Misdiagnosis can also come with serious consequences. Not only can this mean you didn’t receive the treatment you need, but you received treatment you didn’t need. That treatment could have been worthless at best and detrimental at worst.
This form of malpractice can range from minor to catastrophic.
- Failing to sterilize instruments
- Infections or other unnecessary complications
- Using the wrong instruments or techniques
- Leaving foreign objects in the body
- Cutting another organ or injuring nerves
- Unnecessary surgery
- Operating on the wrong limb or area of the body
- Failing to monitor the patient’s condition
The cause of these mistakes can stem from poor planning, inadequate training, or operating while impaired. Liable parties can extend beyond the surgeon to include nurses, techs, and even staff in charge of the paperwork.
Our Augusta malpractice attorneys can investigate your surgery to track down the negligent action or actions that caused you unnecessary pain. Surgery is already a scary ordeal; you should not have faced additional complications.
Surgery malpractice can include anesthesia or medication errors. This could include using something you were allergic to—either from a dosage too high or too low—or failing to monitor you while under anesthesia. Anesthesia errors can have catastrophic consequences, from nerve and brain damage to loss of life, so The Hawk Firm takes these cases seriously.
Other medication errors can form the basis of a medical malpractice claim or suit. Dosage errors and allergies can play a role here as well. Prescribing physicians and pharmacists should also remain aware of potential drug interactions. Similarly, failure to warn patients about side effects can provide another reason for a malpractice case.
Pregnancy, labor, and childbirth can prove inherently traumatic, but some traumas would not have happened had you or a loved one received proper medical care.
Our team can help you pursue a case if your healthcare team:
- Delayed or failed to perform a C-section
- Failed to monitor mother or fetus during delivery
- Improperly used forceps or vacuum extractors
- Prescribed medications dangerous to the pregnancy
- Failed to detect or act based on fetal distress
- Didn’t test or screen for certain conditions
- Neglected proper post-delivery care to mother or infant
- Failed to diagnose an infection or other condition
Mothers can also suffer unnecessary injuries due to a lack of reasonable precautions or actions. Our medical injury attorneys look at the experience of both mother and child, ensuring both receive attention for their ordeal.
Medical History Errors
Healthcare providers must take a medical history to ensure they know your pre-existing conditions, health risks, and allergies. Failure to do so could constitute negligence if it caused you harm in some way. If a doctor failed to review or ignored your medical history, our team can take on the case.
Other Treatment Mistakes
You could also have a case if you suffered from any of the following:
- Hospital-acquired infections
- Failing to treat a condition
- Nursing home neglect or abuse
- Failing to inform patients of risks
Even if the above list does not capture your situation, don’t hesitate to reach out for more information. We offer free consultations, and we can use that time to review your case and determine if you could take legal action
When Can You File for Medical Malpractice?
Under Georgia law, you typically have two years to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice. During those two years, our medical malpractice attorneys can work to negotiate and settle your case. In fact, even if we file a lawsuit, we may never have to go to court. However, we must still meet this two-year deadline to seek compensation—whether your case goes to trial or not. Therefore, don’t wait to get help.
Some medical conditions or injuries become apparent after time passes. If you face this situation, you may still have the option to pursue legal action, even if more than two years passed. Our team can tell you more about your legal options if you missed the statute of limitations deadline.
What Is an Expert Affidavit?
Your Augusta malpractice case also requires filing an affidavit from an expert along with your lawsuit, per Georgia law. A qualified doctor must offer testimony to provide an opinion on your case. Their testimony should state that they believe you have sufficient evidence to support a negligence claim.
You must file this affidavit along with your lawsuit filing. The Hawk Firm can keep track of this and other forms of paperwork, and we can file them on time. We can also find an appropriate, qualified medical professional to examine your case and provide the affidavit.
The Role of a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Augusta
In a country where medical errors are the third leading cause of death, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, our lawyers expose medical negligence to help make healthcare safer.
You hire us, so let us know what we can do to help you. We can take over the logistics of filing paperwork, sending emails, making calls, and representing you in interactions. For some clients, that’s all they need—someone to handle the minutia and mitigate the annoyances. Others need someone to fight for them, tackling opponents who minimize injuries and responsibility.
Are Medical Malpractice Lawyers Expensive?
You shouldn’t have to pay anything, including medical bills or lawyer fees if you’ve been harmed because a doctor or hospital was negligent. They should be held fully accountable. Medical malpractice attorneys understand that, which is why most work on a contingency fee basis. They’re paid a small percentage of whatever they are able to get you. This means you don’t pay a dollar for a personal injury lawyer to get started, and they only get paid when you do.
We Work to Empower Augusta Medical Malpractice Victims
The Hawk Firm offers caring, compassionate representation for injury victims. If you were left sick or hurt due to a healthcare worker’s actions in Augusta, our medical malpractice attorneys could start explaining your options with your first free consultation. Contact us now at (706) 724-8537. We are available 24/7.
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