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Georgia And Florida Personal Injury, Workers’ Comp, And Long-Term Disability Blog

What is a Wrongful Death Claim?

Though heart disease, cancer, and other serious medical conditions get their share of media attention, many people are surprised to learn that accidents are one of the top causes of death in the US. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranked unintentional injury at Number 3 for 2017, and these incidents fall within the Top 5 causes of death almost every year. Surviving family members suffer tremendously when a loved one passes under such unexpected, tragic circumstances.

Fortunately, Georgia law does provide you with rights when a loved one dies. An Atlanta wrongful death lawyer can provide the details, but you may find it helpful to review some background information about these claims.

Overview of Wrongful Death Claims in Georgia: Though the CDC refers to these incidents as “unintentional injury,” accidental fatalities typically occur because of negligence. In this way, these cases are similar to a personal injury claim. You must prove that your loved one died as a direct result of someone’s failure to exercise reasonable care. Examples of cases based upon negligence include:

  • Car, truck, motorcycle, and other motor vehicle collisions;
  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents;
  • Slip and fall incidents on property;
  • Medical malpractice;
  • Defective products; and,
  • Many more.

Under Georgia’s statute on wrongful death claims, the victim’s surviving spouse has standing to bring a suit against the responsible party. A personal representative acting for the decedent’s estate may also file a claim if there aren’t other close relatives.

Monetary Damages for Surviving Family Members: There are two types of compensation you can seek through a wrongful death claim:

  1. One category involves damages related to the value of the deceased person’s life, such as lost wages and financial support. There are also lost the contributions of care, comfort, support, education, guidance, and consortium.
  2. Damages based upon financial losses incurred for medical expenses, burial, funeral, and related costs.

Potential Limitations on Wrongful Death Claims: You should note that there are some restrictions that may affect your rights. First, Georgia’s statute of limitations is two years, you must file a lawsuit in civil court within this time frame. The clock starts to run on the date of the accident or other event that caused the death of the victim. If you don’t initiate litigation before the statute expires, you’re forever barred from recovering compensation.

In addition, Georgia follows the rule of comparative fault that focuses on the victim’s actions. If the decedent was at fault in the fatal accident, the amount of compensation may be reduced by the percentage of blame attributable to the victim.

Talk to an Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney About Your Rights

If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover compensation for the losses you suffer. Wrongful death claims involve complex areas of Georgia law, however, so it’s wise to seek legal help from an experienced attorney. For more information, please contact the Law Offices of Julie A. Rice to set up a no-cost consultation at our Atlanta, GA offices.

 

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What Types of Negligence Can Result in a Wrongful Death Case?

Losing a loved one is devastating in any context, but an accidental, unexpected death can be even more tragic in many ways. Unfortunately, these incidents are quite common according to statistics compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2017, unintentional injuries claimed the lives of 169,936 individuals; this number represents a significant increase over the average from the previous five years.

As a surviving family member, your losses can be considerable, affecting you financially and emotionally. Georgia law does provide you with rights through a wrongful death claim, which is akin to a personal injury case. An Atlanta wrongful death attorney can explain your options in more detail, but you can also review the types of negligence that can lead to legal action.

Common Types of Wrongful Death Cases: Almost any accident that results from carelessness or recklessness can result in a wrongful death claim in Georgia. Some examples include:

  • Car, truck, and motorcycle collisions, many of which result from speeding, drunk driving, texting while driving, and other violations of Georgia traffic laws;
  • Pedestrian, bicycle, and scooter accidents;
  • Slip and fall injuries and other incidents that occur due to dangerous conditions on property;
  • Medical malpractice, including medical mistakes and diagnosis errors;
  • Nursing home neglect and abuse;
  • Dangerous, defective products; and,
  • Many others.

Proving a Negligence-Based Case: Georgia’s statute on wrongful death claims allows a surviving spouse or personal representative to recover compensation, but you must be able to prove the factors of negligence. They are:

  1. The responsible party had a duty to exercise reasonable care when acting, so as to avoid causing a risk of harm to others;
  2. That person or entity breached this duty;
  3. The breach of duty was a direct cause of the accident in which your loved one was killed; and,
  4. You and designated family members suffered losses as a result of that person’s death.

Though it’s not an element of a negligence case, you should also be aware of your time restrictions. Georgia’s statute of limitations on wrongful death cases is two years, so you must file a lawsuit within this time to preserve your rights.

Seek Compensation for Your Losses: There are two types of monetary damages you can recover through a wrongful death claim, one of which pertains to your own losses. For instance, your loved one’s passing results in lost income and financial support. You’re also affected by losses of guidance, education, emotional support, and the effects upon your personal relationship. A second type of compensation is available to cover the victim’s medical expenses, burial and funeral, and related costs.

You Can Trust an Atlanta Wrongful Death Lawyer with Your Claim

Though it cannot bring a loved one back, a wrongful death claim may help alleviate some of the financial struggles you experience due to his or her passing. To learn more about the types of negligence that can result in a wrongful death case, please contact the Atlanta, GA Law Offices of Julie A. Rice. We can set up a complimentary consultation to explain your rights and how these cases work.

 

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How Damages are Calculated in a Wrongful Death Case in GA

Your life is turned upside down when a loved one dies in an accident, with long-lasting financial and emotional implications even beyond your initial grief. Though you may know that you can seek compensation under Georgia’s statute on wrongful death claims, the laws and formulas for calculating your damages can be complex. Without skilled legal representation, your rights and your family’s future are at risk.

An Atlanta wrongful death lawyer can provide specific information and help you navigate the claims process. Plus, you can read on for some important information about compensation in these cases.

How Wrongful Death Claims Work in Georgia: A wrongful death case is similar to other types of personal injury claims in that they’re often accidental and caused by someone else’s negligence. To recover damages, you must show that the responsible party didn’t exercise reasonable care and this breach of duty led to the fatal accident. Examples of negligence in a wrongful death case include:

  • Car, truck, and motorcycle crashes;
  • Pedestrian and bicycle accidents;
  • Medical malpractice;
  • Nursing home neglect and abuse; and,
  • Defective products.

Types of Monetary Damages in Wrongful Death Cases: Your potential compensation in a wrongful death claim comes in two forms, the first of which focuses on the losses suffered by survivors. You and your family miss out on the decedent’s financial contributions, including wages, pensions, and other sources of income. Plus, you lose the contributions that are more subjective in nature, such as loss of guidance, love, education, and compassion.

The second type of damages relates to the losses suffered by the decedent and his or her estate. These include costs for medical treatment, funeral, burial, and related expenses. 

Legal Limitations That Affect Calculation of Damages: You should note that there are laws in Georgia that may impact your rights and/or the calculation of damages you can recover. First, the state has a two-year statute of limitations. You must file a lawsuit in court within this time frame to obtain compensation in a wrongful death case, though there may be an extension while the decedent’s estate is moving through the probate process.

Plus, Georgia applies the rule of comparative fault in wrongful death claims. This statute puts the focus on the victim’s actions in a personal injury case, and can potentially reduce your compensation. The key is the extent to which the decedent’s conduct contributed to his or her death, and the percentage of blame attributable to these acts. This percentage is applied to reduce the total amount of compensation. If that percentage is 50 percent or higher, you cannot recover any monetary damages.

An Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney Can Explain Damages in More Detail

If you lost a loved one due to someone else’s careless or reckless acts, it’s important to protect your future by pursuing your rights in a wrongful death claim. Because compensation and damages issues can be complicated, you should rely on an experienced lawyer to represent your interests. To set up a free, no-obligations consultation regarding your circumstances, please contact the Law Offices of Julie A. Rice in Atlanta, GA.

 

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Damages That Follow an Infant and/or Mother Birth Injury

There are certain costs of raising a child that you expect when you’re pregnant and your due date is fast approaching, such as diapers, food, and education. However, these financial considerations will be far from your mind if you’re informed that your baby has suffered a birth injury as a result of medical error. The emotional impact of such news can be considerable, especially as you think about the immediate and long-term damages. According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cost of birth injury hospitalizations to the US health care system averages about $23 billion.

Still, these figures don’t do justice to what you and your family will incur personally, and they don’t cover the long-term damages that inevitably result from birth injuries. When you realize that a medical mistake will become an alarming economic burden, it’s time to discuss your circumstances with an Atlanta, GA birth injuries lawyer

Costs of Immediate Care After a Birth Injury: During or immediately following delivery, health care practitioners may need to provide specialized medical care just to stabilize the infant’s or mother’s medical condition. It may be necessary to perform surgery or other procedures, and your newborn may spend time in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). A March of Dimes publication on Special Care Nursery Admissions reveals that, when infants are admitted to the NICU, the average length of stay is approximately 13 days – totaling more than $76,000 in medical and hospitalization costs.

Long-Term Direct Costs: For babies that suffer serious developmental conditions due to birth injuries, the expenses don’t end when you bring your newborn home. The CDC estimates that the direct costs of raising a child with intellectual or developmental disabilities can be 25 times a healthy child. These expenses may encompass such ongoing medical care as:

  • Physical, behavioral, cognitive, and speech therapies;
  • In-home care or placement at an assisted living center;
  • Corrective surgeries;
  • Wheelchairs, adaptive equipment, and assistive devices;
  • Renovations to your home to allow for adaptive equipment and hospital beds;
  • Vehicle modification and lifts to accommodate adaptive equipment; and,
  • Much more.

Indirect Damages: There are also implications that you don’t anticipate when your baby suffers from a birth injury that has permanent ramifications. Some may be measurable in terms of cost, but others are hard to value in dollar figures. Perhaps the most impactful is for parents who choose to care for the child at home. Many victims of birth injuries will require care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which makes it impractical – and usually impossible – to work full time. Caretakers give up their sources of income, and may even need to forego future professional and business-related opportunities.

There are also indirect damages that affect the child, especially quality of life. Plus, depending on the specifics, there’s the possibility of premature mortality.

Consult with an Atlanta Birth Injury Attorney About Your Claim

You may be entitled to compensation for both direct and indirect costs, in the short and long-term, if you or your child suffered birth injuries due to medical malpractice. For more information on your legal rights, please contact the office of Julie A. Rice in Atlanta, GA. We can provide more information on your legal options after reviewing the details of your case.

 

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Cerebral Palsy and the Other Top Infant Birth Injuries

When you’ve experienced a seemingly normal pregnancy, it can be devastating to hear a health care provider use the words “cerebral palsy” in connection with your baby. However, you may be shocked to learn that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rank cerebral palsy as the most common childhood disability that affects motor skills. Unfortunately, this ailment and many others are caused by medical errors. An Atlanta, GA birth injuries lawyer can advise you on what to do if your baby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy or other top infant birth injuries.

  1. Cerebral Palsy: Damage to the motor control centers of the brain can lead to cerebral palsy, from prenatal stages up to age five. In a fetus or newborn, cerebral palsy is often caused by lack of oxygen to the infant’s brain. The specific effects vary from minor medical issues to complete dependence on others for care. There is no cure, but treatment and therapy can improve function for the affected individual. 
  1. Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL): This type of birth injury is often the result of oxygen deprivation during the delivery process, otherwise known as birth asphyxia. PVL results in softening of brain matter because of the effects upon cerebrospinal fluid. Though most common in premature births, it can affect fetuses of any prenatal stage, including infants at term. Many symptoms of PVL don’t manifest until the baby experiences developmental delays. However, there are some signs that are readily obvious, such as:
  • Motor skills issues;
  • Spasms in leg muscles;
  • Seizures; and,
  • Respiratory distress. 
  1. Erb’s Palsy: The brachial plexus is a series of nerves encompassing the cervical spine and extending into both arms of the fetus. Erb’s palsy is a medical condition that can result when this nerve network is damaged. Symptoms include weakness, loss of function, or complete paralysis of an infant’s arm on the affected side. Brachial plexus injuries usually occur during a complicated delivery, where a doctor exerts too much pressure on the neck and shoulders while guiding the infant down the birth canal. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health also report that improper use of birth assistive devices can lead to Erb’s palsy.
  1. Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): Another effect of insufficient oxygen to the fetus brain during birth, HIE is a form of brain damage that can result from both preventable and naturally occurring factors. Through meticulous monitoring, proper intervention – potentially including a decision regarding a C-section – HIE is an avoidable complication during delivery. Still, even when not preventable, this condition is treatable with quick action after birth. With proper care, it’s possible for delivery room staff to reduce the likelihood or extent of brain damage.

Contact an Atlanta Birth Injury Attorney About Your Rights

If your child sustained any of these birth injuries or was harmed by other medical errors, you’ll need experienced legal representation to protect your interests. To learn more about your options, please contact the office of Julie A. Rice. Our team can schedule a free appointment to discuss your claim at our offices in Atlanta, GA.

 

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Injuries and/or Wrongful Death of the Mother

When you think of birth injuries, it’s common to assume that the infant was the victim. People tend to overlook that there are two individuals involved in the process, since the mother seems less vulnerable that a tiny fetus. However, she is also at risk of birth injury – at times due to medical mistakes by the providers treating her from prenatal stages through to labor, delivery, and aftercare. One of the most common risks for the mother is perineal tears, which affects around 85 percent of women according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Because of the potentially long-term effects and complications of perineal tears, it’s wise to consult with an Atlanta, GA birth injuries lawyer about your rights.

Types of Perineal Tears: Experts at the Mayo Clinic describe four degrees of perineal tears that may occur during delivery:

  • A first degree tear is the least serious the most common form of perineal tear. You may feel some minor pain or stinging, especially during urination. The wound will likely not require stitches, and will heal with at-home care within 2-3 weeks.
  • Second degree perineal tear could extend deeper into the vagina and usually require sutures. Recovery time is slightly longer, at times up to one month.
  • A third degree perineal tear is a deeper and longer wound, extending into the anus. A physician may decide to repair immediately after delivery, in an operating room while you’re under anesthesia. The pain and discomfort can last up to several months.
  • The most severe form of this birth injury is the fourth degree perineal tear that affects much of the anus and extends into the rectum. Again, immediate surgery is usually required to repair the wound. In some cases, more specialized care is necessary.

Complications Following Serious Perineal Tear Injuries: Beyond the obvious physical pain, which can be excruciating with third and fourth degree injuries, there can be short- and long-term complications. Incontinence, leakage, and painful intercourse are common. However, the consequences are much more serious and enduring when the perineal tear was caused by negligence. A health care provider may use excessive force during delivery, fail to properly use forceps or vacuum extractor, or cause injuries through a botched episiotomy.

In addition, an NIH publication notes that there can be psychological trauma from a perineal tear. The healing process can disrupt nursing, inhibiting the mother’s ability to form a bond with the newborn. Because of limitations on sexual activity, this type of injury can also affect her relationship with her partner.

Trust an Atlanta Birth Injury Lawyer to Protect Your Rights

Though it’s understandable that you want to focus on caring for your newborn, it’s also important to realize that your health and rights as a mother are crucial. As such, after you receive proper medical care for a perineal tear, you should consider reaching out to an experienced birth injury attorney. To learn more about your rights and remedies after a birth injury, please contact the Atlanta, GA office of Julie A. Rice to set up a free consultation.

 

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Facts About Erb’s Palsy: A Guide for Georgia Parents

Delivery errors present serious risks for both mother and infant, and one of the most common results of a birth injury is Erb’s palsy. According to the National Institutes of Health, the prevalence rate is around 2 per 1,000 live births, with significant arm weakness in 5 per 10,000 births. Unfortunately, nerve damage occurs from the moment of the injury and, without treatment, Erb’s palsy can become irreversible at age 18-24 months.

Erb’s palsy is almost always the result of trauma during delivery, but there are important questions about whether a medical error is behind a physician’s actions. If your baby suffered such a birth injury, you have rights as a parent. An Atlanta, GA birth injuries lawyer can explain the legal concepts that apply to your case, but some background information may be helpful. 

Medical Overview of Erb’s Palsy: The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons describes Erb’s palsy as a complication that occurs due to an injury to the cervical spine, specifically the brachial plexus. Lying between the C5 and C6 vertebrae, the brachial plexus is a series of nerves that extends into the baby’s arm. When damaged, the victim can develop Erb’s Palsy, which includes weakness, loss of motion, and physical limitations. Serious trauma can lead to complete paralysis from the shoulder down to the fingers on the affected side.

How Birth Errors Cause Erb’s Palsy: A brachial plexus injury is usually preventable, but may occur due to a medical error during delivery. Especially during a complicated delivery, the physician may apply too much pressure while guiding the infant down the birth canal. In some cases, the doctor may implement birth assistive devices. A separate study published by the National Institutes of Health revealed that improper use of a forceps or vacuum may cause brachial plexus injury because of excessive force on the baby’s neck and shoulders.

Nerve Damage from a Brachial Plexus Injury: There are four categories of nerve damage that may result from an injury to the baby’s brachial plexus, including:

  1. Neurapraxia may cause some trauma, but usually there’s no long-term damage. A baby should heal within 3-4 months and not develop Erb’s Palsy.
  2. When a mistake during delivery damages the nerves and leads to scar tissue, Neuroma may develop. This condition puts pressure on healthy nerves and affects range of motion. With physical therapy, most infants will experience full recovery.
  3. Serious trauma to the C5 or C6 may cause a nerve tear, which usually requires nerve graft surgery repair damaged fibers. Positive patient outcomes are less common with this medical procedure on older infants.
  4. The most traumatic nerve injury to the brachial plexus is Avulsion, where the nerve fiber is completely separated from the spinal cord. The injury is permanent and cannot be repaired through medical treatment.

Contact an Atlanta Birth Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Options

For more information on brachial plexus injuries and Erb’s palsy, please contact the Law Offices of Julie A. Rice in Atlanta, GA to schedule a no-cost case assessment. After reviewing your circumstances, we can tell you more about your right to recover compensation for your child’s care and related losses.

 

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Top 5 Neonatal Medical Mistakes That Can Harm Your Baby

Even after you’ve gone through labor and given birth to a healthy infant, there are risks involved with your baby’s care in the first hours, days, or weeks afterwards. Newborns are fragile after the somewhat traumatic experience of birth, so they require particularly close monitoring and proper care for conditions that may develop. Mistakes in the baby’s neonatal medical care can have major adverse consequences, leading to brain injury, developmental disabilities, and even death.

If your infant suffered post-birth injuries, there may be circumstances suggesting neonatal medical malpractice. These cases involve complex legal issues, so it’s wise to consult with an Atlanta, GA birth injuries lawyer regarding your situation. You may also find it helpful to review some of the top neonatal errors that can cause harm to your newborn.

  1. Respiratory and Resuscitation Errors:

    In some cases, a newborn may have difficulty breathing or have an irregular heartbeat. An immediate medical response is absolutely essential to avoid severe oxygen deprivation to the brain. Healthcare providers may make critical errors by:

  • Delaying resuscitation;
  • Improper insertion of a breathing tube;
  • Failure to monitor a breathing assistance machine; and,
  • Not administering proper medications in infants that require them for respiratory function, blood flow, and blood pressure.
  1. Improper Treatment of Brain Bleeds:

    An intracranial hemorrhage, bleeding in the brain, can cause severe brain damage due to lack of oxygen to the brain. Bleeding in the brain bleeds is especially common in infants born through a complicated delivery, especially when the physician used a forceps or vacuum extractor. One of the most serious complications that can result is Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). According to Newborn Infant Nursing Review, up to 60 percent of affected infants die by 2 years of age or have severe, permanent disabilities.

  1. Diagnosis Errors:

    Some babies are born with infections, such as streptococcus, herpes, E. coli, meningitis, and other conditions. Another dangerous complication that can develop during the first few days of life is hypoglycemia, where the infant’s blood sugar falls to dangerous levels. It’s up to health care providers to diagnose and treat these conditions, but mistakes occur far too often.

  1. Mismanagement of Infant Seizures:

    Study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reveals that seizures are a common indicator of neurologic dysfunction in newborns, and they typically occur within the first week after birth. Immediate detection and treatment is essential to prevent brain damage, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, and epilepsy.

  1. Failure to Treat Jaundice:

    According to NIH (NIH) statistics, approximately 60 percent of newborns will develop jaundice – high levels of bilirubin – within the first week of life. In many cases, jaundice is not associated with any other medical condition and will not cause harm to the baby. However, there may be underlying pathological issues that must be identified and treated.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Atlanta Infant Medical Malpractice Lawyer

For more information on your legal remedies after a medical error causes harm to your newborn, please contact the Atlanta, GA Law Offices of Julie A. Rice. We can set up a complimentary case evaluation to review your circumstances and discuss your potential legal remedies.

 

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Georgia Slow to Investigate Nursing Home Abuse Claims

According to a federal watchdog agency, Georgia ranked as one of the worst states for timely investigations into claims of nursing home abuse last year. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Georgia nursing home residents at imminent risk of serious injury or death due to abuse are not able to rely upon the proper state agencies to investigate in a timely manner. Federal law requires that state agencies investigate these types of claims within two days of receiving the complaint, but Georgia took as many as fifteen days before sending an investigator to look into the claims.

The federal agency reported that only Tennessee did worse in response times to claims of nursing home abuse, while almost every other state was able to meet the federally mandated requirements. Georgia and Tennessee accounted for over half of the late responses for investigation nationwide. In 2015, the two states received 912 reports of nursing home residents in immediate danger due to abuse and were late in investigating 654 of those claims. As of early 2017, Georgia had a backlog of 140 abuse and neglect reports it had yet to investigate.

The Georgia state agency has blamed a number of things on its lagging response times, including a high turnover rate, job vacancies, and low pay for the positions needed at the agency that oversees Georgia nursing homes, the Department of Community Health. A spokesperson for the agency claims that the initial backlog in 2017 has been dealt with due to an infusion of state funds. However, the number of claims classified as the most severe – those indicating imminent injury or death – are on the rise in Georgia, seeing a 38 percent increase in the number of those types of complaints between 2011 and 2015. Georgia can face federal sanctions if the agency continues to fail to meet investigation deadlines.

Legal Options for Nursing Home Abuse

Despite reports of lagging investigations by state officials, the victims and families of victims of nursing home abuse have legal options for holding these nursing home facilities accountable for their actions. Civil lawsuits can be filed against the facility and individual caregivers, staff, and administrators for damages. Compensation for nursing home abuse includes economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include payment for current and future medical bills stemming from the injuries caused by the abuse. Noneconomic damages include payment for pain and suffering, emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, and the loss of enjoyment of life up to $350,000. For the most egregious cases of nursing home abuse, the victim may also be awarded punitive damages up to $250,000 as an additional punishment for the wrongdoer and to deter other facilities from committing similar offenses.

Contact a Lawyer Today

Has your loved one been abused at a nursing home facility? They may be entitled to compensation for nursing home abuse, and the office of Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law can help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free review of your claims.

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FAQs About Baby Medical Malpractice and Claims Against Pediatricians

The birth of your child was a joyous occasion, and it’s a relief when he or she has a clean bill of health. However, health care providers must deliver proper medical care for infants well beyond birth, as a range of complications can affect your infant in the first few weeks of life. When they fail or make critical errors, your baby can suffer serious harm. You may have rights as a parent, and an Atlanta, GA baby medical malpractice attorney can explain them in more detail. However, answers to common questions about pediatric medical malpractice may be helpful.

How often do babies suffer injuries because of malpractice?

Fortunately, the incidence of malpractice is relatively low in the medical specialty of pediatrics. The American Medical Association reports that around 34 percent of all physicians have been sued for medical malpractice at some point in their careers; however, only 18 percent of pediatricians face medical malpractice lawsuits.

What are some medical conditions that result from pediatric malpractice?

The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that a delayed diagnosis of meningitis is the most common error committed by pediatric health care providers. This infection can initially cause intense headaches and high fever, but – left undiagnosed and untreated – it can lead to convulsions and even death. In addition, some other complications include:

  • Misdiagnosis of appendicitis, which can cause the appendix to rupture;
  • Prescription errors through ordering the wrong drug, the wrong dosage, or duration for taking medication.

Do I have rights if my baby was hurt because of a medical error?

You may have grounds to file a baby medical malpractice claim against a pediatrician, but these cases are very complex. They’re very different from personal injury actions based upon an accident or negligence, and there are specific elements you must prove.

  • You must show the existence of a medical standard of care, which describes the level of competence and skill that doctors would exercise in providing treatment under the same or similar circumstances;
  • You need to demonstrate the ways that your child’s physician failed in applying this standard of care; and,
  • You must prove that your baby suffered harm because of the deviation from the standard of care.

How long do I have to file a baby medical malpractice claim?

Under Georgia’s statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims, you must file a lawsuit within two years after the date on which wrongful act or mistake occurred. If you don’t sue the responsible parties in court, you’re forever barred from seeking compensation for your losses. However, this time period may be extended under some circumstances, particularly where you didn’t discover your baby’s injuries until later. In such a situation, you have five years from the date that the medical error occurred.

Call Now to Speak with an Experienced Baby Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Though medical errors in pediatrics is less frequent than other specialties, that’s no consolation to parents whose child suffers injuries because of malpractice. To learn more about your rights and legal options as a parent, please contact Attorney Julie A. Rice. We can schedule a no-cost consultation at our Atlanta, Georgia office to review your circumstances and explain how these claims work.

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