Medical malpractice is a negligent act or omission by a professional in the health care field which causes injury or death to the patient.
Statute of Limitations
There is only a limited time during which a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed. Georgia has a 2 year statute of limitations running from the date of injury or death, and a five-year statute of "ultimate repose and abrogation". That law spells out that no action for medical malpractice may be brought more than five years after any wrongful act is alleged to have occurred.
Georgia does not place a cap on the amount of compensatory damages that may be awarded. Punitive damages are capped at $250,000, unless the claimant can successfully demonstrate that the defendant had an intent to harm. Ga. Code Ann. § 51-12-5.1 (1992).
Medical Malpractice Statistics
3,360 medical malpractice payment reports were made against physicians in Georgia 1990-2003 (2003 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
Nationally, 3% of medical malpractice payment reports made against nurses were in Georgia 1990-2003 (2003 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
626 medical malpractice payment reports were made against dentists in Georgia 1990-2003 (2003 Annual Report, National Practitioner Data Bank, US DHHS)
The leading healthcare rating and profiler of Hospitals, Nursing Homes and Physicians to consumers, Healthgrades, recently reported that a yearly average (2000, 2001 & 2002) of 195,000 hospital deaths in the US were due to potentially preventable medical errors.
The Institute of Medicine in 2006 found that medication errors are among the most common medical errors, and that almost 1.5 million people are harmed each year.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice at the hands of a health care worker, please contact a lawyer today, before the statute of limitations runs out.