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Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Douglasville Medical Malpractice Attorney

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    For those of us living in Douglasville, Georgia and the nearby western suburbs of Atlanta, we are privileged to have access to good medical care. Most doctors and hospital staff are hardworking people who dedicate their lives to helping others.

    Unfortunately, there are those healthcare providers who cut corners and take shortcuts, gambling with people’s lives. Some medical professionals may become overconfident or callous to the outcomes or consequences of their behavior. Some medical professionals make careless mistakes due to stress or overwork.

    Regardless of the reason, when medical providers make negligent medical mistakes, it can lead to preventable injuries and deaths. When medical malpractice harms a patient, the victim should not be left to bear the burden of the error without just compensation.

    At Sherrod & Bernard, P.C., we aim to help people understand what has happened to them, so they can get closure and the treatment and recovery they require. We take a compassionate and shrewd approach to holding healthcare professionals accountable for their negligence.

    Never suffer alone. Let our team help put the pieces back together. Contact us now for a free and confidential review of your potential medical malpractice claim.

    Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases We Handle

    There are a lot of ways that medical professionals can make negligent mistakes that harm patients. Our firm handles all types of medical malpractice claims, including the following examples:

    • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
    • Insufficient staffing
    • Untrained or improperly trained healthcare staff
    • Nursing negligence
    • Surgical errors
    • Hospital-acquired infections
    • Falls and other facility-acquired injuries
    • Assaults and sexual abuse in a healthcare facility
    • Improper medical equipment or devices
    • Failure to test
    • Wrong operation site
    • Incorrect amputations
    • Medication errors
    • Inaccurate diagnostics
    • Cross infections and exposure to diseases

    Our attorneys have decades of experience with complex medical error cases. The best way to find out your rights and understand your injuries is to call Sherrod & Bernard, P.C., to speak with a medical malpractice attorney today.

    How Do Medical Malpractice Claims Work in Georgia?

    How your medical malpractice case will proceed largely depends on the type of case and your attorney’s strategy. Sometimes, especially in very obvious cases of negligence, a healthcare provider’s insurance carrier will enter early settlement discussions. While this can be a relief for families struggling to make ends meet, rarely do healthcare providers voluntarily agree to pay large sums of money, even when malpractice is clear. Instead, most cases will be resolved through litigation. Here are the basic steps you should know:
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    Step 1 – Review and investigation.

    Your attorney will gather relevant evidence and medical records. This often includes talking to witnesses and having medical records reviewed by qualified medical experts who can provide an opinion as to what happened and what went wrong with your care. If your attorney and the experts agree that the case qualifies as medical malpractice, you and your attorney may decide that filing a lawsuit is appropriate.

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    Step 2 – Filing the lawsuit.

    To file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Georgia, your attorney will draft a legal document called a complaint. Your attorney will also have to file something known as an “expert affidavit.” This is a rule that requires a plaintiff to provide a written affidavit from a medical expert, stating that there is merit to the case. Obtaining and thoroughly reviewing complex medical records can take time, which is why it’s so important to speak to an attorney early.

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    Step 3 – Defendants must respond.

    First, you must have all named defendants served with the complaint. Then the defendants will have time to answer your complaint, file various legal documents with the court, motions, and participate in discovery.

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    Step 4 – Discovery.

    Hands down, discovery is the longest but one of the most important parts of the litigation process. It is during this lengthy period, the parties can exchange questions and disclose evidence, issue subpoenas, obtain records, interview experts, and take depositions. This process is designed to draw out the facts and evidence so that the parties can engage in meaningful settlement negotiations if possible.

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    Step 5 – Trial.

    If, even after all of discovery is completed, the parties cannot reach an agreement to settle the case, the matter will be set for trial. Only a very small percentage of all medical malpractice cases ever make it to trial. Those that do often last days or even weeks and involve numerous experts.

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    How Our Attorneys Can Help With Your Medical Malpractice Claim

    Given the complexity of bringing a case from initial investigation through trial, it is rare for a person to succeed in obtaining compensation for medical errors without an attorney. When you hire Sherrod & Bernard, P.C., you show the defendant and the insurance company that you are serious. You show them that your case is one that could become public and go to trial.

    Our firm can help by providing:

    What Do You Need to Prove in a Medical Malpractice Case?

    Medical malpractice is different from regular personal injury law. While the basics are the same, there are some unique issues to understand. For instance, healthcare providers owe a duty to you as a patient. This is known as the “standard of care,” and it controls just about everything in a medical malpractice case.

    To prove your case and obtain compensation, you need to show:

    • The applicable standard of care – This will vary in each case. A nurse working in a hospital may have a different standard of care from a doctor. A doctor in a private practice may have a different standard of care from one in a hospital emergency room. Therefore, the way to establish the standard is through the use of highly skilled expert witnesses. These are medical specialists who testify about what the appropriate medical standard is and how that standard was not met.
    • Violation of the standard – In a medical negligence case, you need to show that the healthcare professional failed to exercise a reasonable degree of care and skill. In other words, the question is whether similarly educated, trained, and experienced medical professionals would consider the defendant’s conduct reasonable under the circumstances and whether the actions or failure to act are within the standards of practice for that profession.
    • Causation – As with all personal injury claims, you have to show that the defendant directly caused your injuries. If a person would have developed a particular medical condition regardless of the doctor’s negligence, then it will likely fail to be a successful case. You have to be able to show that the healthcare professional’s action or inaction was the reason for your injury.
    • Extent of your damages – Finally, as with all personal injury cases, you must show the extent to which you were injured. Did you lose your ability to work? Did you incur medical expenses trying to get cured? Have you lost income or become permanently disabled or disfigured? These are the types of issues that you would need to prove to be compensated.

    As attorneys who help clients suffering through medical negligence injuries, Sherrod & Bernard, P.C., is prepared to carefully work with you and a team of highly trained medical experts to prove each element of your case. If we can obtain a settlement, we help our clients resolve their cases through negotiations. If not, and a jury trial is the only way to hold a healthcare provider accountable, we are never afraid to take on large healthcare corporations and their insurance carriers.

    Compensation in a Medical Malpractice Claim

    Much like other injury cases, you have a number of options for compensation when filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Georgia.

    You can claim these and other types of compensation:

    • Pain and suffering caused by the malpractice
    • Emotional distress
    • Medical expenses
    • Future medical costs
    • Lost wages
    • Lost ability to earn income
    • Permanent disabilities or disfigurement
    • Loss of a normal life

    How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Georgia?

    Georgia law gives medical malpractice survivors just two years from the date of the negligent care to bring a lawsuit. This may sound like a long time, but keep in mind that most people spend months trying to get repeated procedures or follow-up care to fix the problem. They may be in denial, or their doctors keep telling them it will get better. Eventually, it could be a year or longer before the person finally goes to an attorney. It can take several months to obtain all of the necessary treatment records followed by several more months of careful attorney review and consultations with skilled experts.

    As you can see, the longer you wait, the harder it may be to successfully get your case before a court at all. If you miss the deadline, you will forever lose your right to take action.

    Also, keep in mind that if you received care in a state, county, or federal facility, or from a physician or other healthcare provider affiliated with the government, the statute of limitations could be much shorter.

    There are some situations where the statute of limitations may be considerably longer. Three such situations are:

    • Child injuries – Generally, the court will extend the deadline for filing in cases involving minors.
    • Mental disabilities – In some cases, the court will extend the deadline for filing a lawsuit for people living with severe cognitive deficits, such as dementia or those who are in a coma.
    • Delayed diagnosis/Items left in a patient – Georgia law allows patients up to a year after discovering that an item was left inside them during a surgery, regardless of when the surgery took place. The law also provides some extensions for misdiagnosis cases, but these are limited and not always available in all cases.

    What to Do if You Suspect Medical Malpractice

    If you suspect that you have suffered an injury due to medical malpractice, you need to contact an attorney as soon as you can. Do not wait until the last minute to talk to an attorney. It takes time to develop a medical malpractice case and prepare for litigation. Plus, the sooner you get an attorney involved, the sooner you can get a thorough medical and legal review of your records and treatment history. Even if you end up not having a case, sometimes this helps people find closure and better understand how their injuries happened.

    Likewise, if you’ve lost a loved one due to a medical error, you need to act fast. You may need to establish a probate estate in order to obtain legal authority to file a lawsuit. This too can take time.

    Call Sherrod & Bernard, P.C., Today

    With over 25 years spent serving the community, Sherrod & Bernard, P.C., continues to provide caring and empathetic legal representation to those living with catastrophic injuries and those who are still grieving the loss of loved ones who died due to malpractice.

    If you need help, call us today. We are ready to provide you with a free and confidential claim review and advice about your best legal options.

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