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Medical Malpractice Laws in Georgia and the Standard of Care

Posted By Bryan Baer
Medical Malpractice Laws in Georgia and the Standard of Care

We mostly stand in awe of doctors. Doctors spend years going to medical school, then more years learning their specialties. During the Coronavirus pandemic, Doctors, Nurses and other health care workers risk their lives to save others day after day in emergency rooms and intensive care units (ICU’s) across our great nation.  They deserve more than a nightly round of applause.  They are heroes.  We are immensely grateful for the lives saved.

But doctors are people, too. Doctors sometimes make mistakes. And these mistakes sometimes injure their patients. Not all injuries caused by doctors amount to malpractice. But when a doctor is careless, the patient should consult an attorney. Bryan Baer, founder of The Baer Law Firm, is an experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney who can help you evaluate whether your doctor committed malpractice.

What is Medical Malpractice?

By statute, Georgia law authorizes lawsuits against physicians who injure their patients “from a want of such care and skill . . . for which a recovery may be had.” The Georgia Supreme Court has fleshed out what constitutes medical malpractice. Essentially, doctors must meet the “standard of care” when they treat patients, which means that they must provide medical advice and treatment in accordance with the skill and care another prudent, licensed physician would have under the same circumstances. If a doctor fails to meet this standard, then the doctor has committed medical malpractice.

In short, although we would like our doctors to be perfect, the law does not require perfection because no one is perfect. What the law does require is that the doctor not be careless by failing to do what other doctors would do when confronted with like medical conditions and circumstances.

Examples of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can occur both inside and outside the hospital, and inside and outside the operating room or delivery room.

Non-Surgical Mistakes

A physician commits medical malpractice if the physician fails to diagnose a disease or condition that an ordinary, prudent doctor would have diagnosed. Also, the doctor can harm the patient by making the wrong diagnosis or by treating the patient for the wrong disease or condition.

Another type of malpractice occurs when a physician prescribes an incorrect medication, prescribes the correct medication in inappropriate doses or prescribes a medication that interacts with another medication the patient is already taking. Any of these mistakes can harm the patient.

Surgical Malpractice

Medical malpractice can occur in the operating room if the surgeon performs the wrong procedure, removes a healthy organ rather than a diseased one, makes incisions that are not acceptable, leaves a sponge or other object inside the patient or fails to use the correct instrument or one that has been properly cleaned.

The anesthesiologist might make a mistake, too. As with medication errors, an anesthesiologist might overdose the patient with anesthesia drugs, fail to properly monitor a patient under anesthesia, cause an allergic reaction or fail to take drug interactions into account.

Delivery Room Malpractice

Doctors sometimes commit medical malpractice in the delivery room. This typically happens when there is a complication or an emergency occurs but the doctor does not react to it using the best medical practices. The infant can suffer brain damage leading to cerebral palsy. Or a shoulder dystocia could interrupt the delivery.

Cerebral palsy is a condition that causes a child to have difficulty controlling the child’s muscles. It results from brain damage. In the delivery room, a failure to make sure that the baby has adequate oxygen in its bloodstream can result in damage to the brain. It is critical that the baby have sufficient oxygen during delivery to avoid becoming afflicted with cerebral palsy during delivery.

Shoulder dystocia means that one or both of the baby’s shoulders gets stuck inside the mother’s pelvis while the mother is trying to deliver the child. If not properly handled, shoulder dystocia can cause the baby to suffer a broken arm or collarbone. The mother can be put at risk, too, by heavy bleeding, tearing of the tissue between the vagina and the rectum or a tear to the uterus, too.

Expert Evaluation of Medical Malpractice

If you or a loved one believes that a doctor has harmed you by committing medical malpractice, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to begin evaluating your situation for potential recovery of compensatory damages.

Contact an Atlanta, Georgia Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Mr. Baer began practicing law in 2003 for a defense firm but then began representing injured people in 2011. As of 2020, Mr. Baer has founded his own firm The Baer Law Firm focusing on medical malpractice and personal injury claims in Georgia.. Mr. Baer has won the admiration of his peers as shown by his recognition as one Georgia's Super Lawyers®, first as a Rising Star℠ and then as a full member of the group. The Million Dollar Advocates Forum has selected Mr. Baer for inclusion because he has obtained settlements  of $1,000,000 or more. Mr. Baer also enjoys a 10.0 “Superb” rating on Avvo®, a rating service for attorneys.

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About the Author:

Bryan Baer

Attorney Bryan Baer has been selected to Super Lawyers every year since 2015 and is a member of the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Mr. Baer has dedicated his career to achieving justice for the wrongfully injured. Bryan leverages his former experience defending insurance companies to his clients' advantage. His firm takes on catastrophic injury matters that resulted in lifetime medical attention, severe hospitalization, pain and suffering, or death. He has handled all matters involving motor vehicle collisions, slip & falls, dog bites, surgical mistakes, and nursing home abuse cases. Call now and speak to Bryan Baer personally to discuss your matter and get your questions answered.... View full business profile here: Bryan Baer