The Atlanta Injury News Blog

Medical Malpractice Lawsuits and Georgia's Statute of Limitations

Medical malpractice are two scary words for doctors and those in the medical profession. Doctors have to pay huge amounts just to procure proper malpractice insurance, due to the danger of being sued.

If sued, the costs could be astronomical -- not just for the legal defense, but also for the potential damages for making the plaintiff whole.

What is a medical malpractice lawsuit, and what does Georgia law say about it?

A medical malpractice lawsuit is one where the doctor or other healthcare provider acts in a negligent or reckless manner, causing injury to the patient.

This happens when the medical provider breaches a standard of care. To determine the standard of care, courts look to what behavior is generally accepted in the profession (i.e., would a reasonable and prudent doctor in the same situation have done the same thing?).

In a malpractice lawsuit, damage awards can run high. In addition to lost wages and medical expenses, there can also be damages for pain and suffering.

When suing for malpractice, the first step is to see if your case is within the correct time limit for bringing the lawsuit. This is called the statute of limitations. In Georgia, the statute of limitations for bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit is two years from the date of the injury or death.

Now, here's where it gets tricky. Georgia also has a statute of repose that says that an injured patient cannot file a lawsuit after five years from the act that caused the injury or death.

So if the death or injury happens more than five years after the medical act that led to the injury or death, no lawsuit can be brought.

As for damages in a medical malpractice case, there are no monetary caps in Georgia on the amount of damages that may be awarded.

For more information on medical malpractice law, take a look at the links below.

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