Our firm has extensive experience representing patients who have been injured or have died as a result of the negligence of a doctor, a nurse or other health care practitioner. Medical malpractice is negligence on the part of a doctor (or other healthcare provider). When a doctor departs from the generally accepted medical standard of care, and injury or death occurs a result from that departure, the doctor (or other healthcare provider) can be held liable for their actions. Under such circumstances, the patient is entitled to recover for past and future pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss of earnings. A spouse (or if a minor is injured, the parents) may also recover for loss of services. In the event of a death, the next of kin can recover for their loss.
Our firm has worked with some of the nation’s preeminent physicians to prepare and prove medical malpractice cases around the country. Specifically, we have litigated cases involving:
Failure to diagnose cancer
Delay to treat or failure to diagnose a medical condition
Emergency room errors
Surgical errors and complications
We begin our investigation shortly after you retain our firm. We almost immediately request relevant documents, which are generally the patient’s medical records. Our initial work includes reviewing the medical records and creating concise chronologies to use throughout the life of the case.
Not many lawyers do medical malpractice, and it is because of the complexity of these matters. After we review the medical records and create chronologies, we typically identify the most authoritative textbook in the medical practice area and become “experts” ourselves. For instance, when we deal with cases involving internal medicine, we are sure to review Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. After our review of the records and the relevant literature, we begin speaking to experts in the field (i.e. doctors currently practicing in the relevant practice area) to obtain their opinions on the case.
If our expert(s) believe the defendant(s) committed malpractice, we will generally prepare and send to the defendant(s) a settlement demand. In this document, we provide a broad summary of our case and include a settlement offer. Ultimately, the Defendant(s) will decide whether they will settle the case or force us to initiate formal litigation.
In the event we are unable to reach an agreeable settlement in the pre-litigation stage, we will then file a lawsuit. Medical Malpractice cases in Georgia are different from ordinary negligence cases, because they require the plaintiff to attach an Affidavit stating that the defendant committed medical malpractice. See O.C.G.A. § 9-11-9.1. If a plaintiff fails to attach the required Affidavit, the lawsuit is bound to be dismissed.
After we file the lawsuit, the parties will engage in discovery. This is the phase of litigation where the parties will request and produce additional information (i.e. documents, videos, statements), as well as take depositions. The parties will also typically file motions during, or at the close of discovery, in an effort to resolve the case short of trial (i.e. motion for summary judgment).
The parties may also elect to engage in alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, in an effort to get the case resolved.
After discovery ends, all motions are resolved, and the parties still do not have a resolution, the case will then move to trial.