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Medical Malpractice in the Peach State: Your Guide to Claims in GA

Have you or a loved one been the victim of medical malpractice in Georgia? If a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider made a mistake that caused you harm, you may have a claim. Medical mistakes happen more often than you’d think, even with the most caring and competent providers. But when negligence does occur, you deserve justice. This guide will walk you through the basics of medical malpractice claims in Georgia. You and your family have been through enough already, so it is important that you choose the right attorney to get the outcome you deserve. 

Understanding Medical Malpractice in Georgia

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

In Georgia, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to meet the accepted “standard of care”, resulting in harm to a patient. This could be a mistake, negligent act, or failure to act by a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other healthcare provider. Some examples include:

  • Misdiagnosing or delaying diagnosis of a medical condition
  • Failing to properly monitor a patient during surgery or recovery
  • Prescribing the wrong medication or dosage

Time Limits to File a Claim

In Georgia, you have two years from the date of the malpractice to file a lawsuit. There may be some exceptions to the general rule, but it’s always advisable to speak to an attorney sooner than later who can advise you. They can review relevant medical records, obtain expert opinions, and ensure your claim is protected.

Damages You Can Recover

If your claim is successful, you may recover both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include lost wages, medical bills, and rehabilitation costs. Non-economic damages compensate for pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the provider for reckless behavior. Your attorney can help determine an appropriate settlement amount based on the details of your case.

With the statute of limitations and complex legal issues involved, pursuing a med mal claim in Georgia is difficult without an attorney. But for patients who have truly suffered due to negligence, it may be the only way to obtain justice. Speaking with a medical malpractice lawyer is the first step.

Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim in GA

To have a valid medical malpractice claim in Georgia, there are four elements you’ll need to prove:

  1. You need to establish that there is a doctor-patient relationship. This generally is an issue that is not hotly contested.
  2. You must show that your doctor failed to meet or breached the accepted standard of care. This means your medical professional did something or failed to do something that a reasonably prudent doctor would do in the same or similar circumstances.
  3. Your doctor’s negligence directly caused you harm or injury. If the negligence didn’t actually cause the injury or worsen your condition, you don’t have a case.
  4. Legal damages. Simply put, you must have suffered real damages or losses as a result of the negligence. This could include physical pain, additional medical bills, lost work, or other financial losses.

Establishing the “Standard of Care”

The most hotly-debated issue in medical malpractice litigation is the “standard of care” and whether your medical provider fell below that standard. Establishing the standard of care typically requires testimony from expert witnesses, like other doctors. They can evaluate whether appropriate testing, diagnosis, and treatment were provided based on your symptoms and medical history. If the expert finds that the care you received deviated from accepted practices, you’ll have satisfied this element. Importantly, in Georgia, you must have an affidavit from a medical professional that says the defendant (or defendants) conduct fell below the standard of care. If you do not attach this affidavit to your lawsuit, you risk having it dismissed by a judge during the very early stages of the lawsuit.

Please be aware that there are certain rules that your attorney must be aware of when deciding which expert to provide the affidavit. Not every medical professional is qualified to provide an affidavit in every case.


Unfortunately, medical mistakes happen. We’re all human. But when a doctor’s negligence causes serious harm, you deserve justice. Talk to an experienced Georgia malpractice attorney who can help you determine whether you have a claim. 

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