Proving Negligence in Atlanta Outpatient Surgery Cases

Negligence is the most important part of any medical malpractice case. If you do not demonstrate that the other party breached the standard of care, you cannot receive compensation for your damages.

When proving negligence in Atlanta outpatient surgery cases, it is crucial to work with a skilled malpractice attorney. A dedicated legal professional could help you understand the legal system and guide you through the claims process.

The Responsibilities of Outpatient Medical Centers in Atlanta

Outpatient medical centers have a duty to protect their patients and operate within the standard of care. These facilities must be appropriately staffed with qualified medical professionals. All surgeons working in outpatient centers should have the proper credentials to practice in the state.

Surgical centers also need to have adequate resources to perform surgeries and give emergency care if something goes wrong. Additionally, outpatient centers must have relationships with nearby hospitals so they can transport patients quickly should they need a higher level of care. If a day surgery facility fails to adhere to the standard of care, it can be considered negligent in a malpractice case.

What Are the Common Forms of Negligence in Ambulatory Surgery Facilities?

One of the most common forms of negligence that the attorneys at Warshauer Woodward Atkins see in outpatient surgery cases is the failure to determine whether outpatient surgery is right for a particular patient. Certain patients may face an unnecessary amount of risk if they have a procedure done in an ambulatory facility, so it is vital to screen all candidates for surgery thoroughly. Other common forms of malpractice include:

Any patient who has sustained severe injuries due to a medical center’s reckless actions should speak with an attorney right away.

Proving the Outpatient Medical Center is At Fault

To prove an ambulatory surgery center is responsible for a patient’s injuries, the filing party must establish the four elements of legal negligence. The injured person must demonstrate the following:

  • The facility or medical provider owed the patient a duty of care,
  • The outpatient center breached that duty,
  • The breach caused the patient’s injuries, and
  • The patient suffered compensable damages.

Given the legal responsibilities of outpatient surgery centers, the existence of a duty of care is generally not contested. However, proving the medical provider or facility breached the standard of care can be challenging, as it involves collecting a considerable amount of evidence.

The injured party must gather and review all evidence in the case, including relevant medical records and witness testimonies. Most importantly, Georgia law asserts that all medical malpractice cases must be filed with an expert witness affidavit.

The expert witness must explain the standard of care, how the medical provider violated that standard, and how that negligent act caused the patient’s injuries. A seasoned attorney could connect patients to qualified medical experts to prove negligence in an outpatient surgery case.

How Does the Court Typically Determine Liability?

In a malpractice case, the jury ultimately determines the percentage of liability each party bears for the patient’s injuries. For example, the jury might give a verdict stating that the surgeon and the outpatient center each have a certain percentage of fault. If the case is settled before trial, the parties involved assign liability during their negotiations.

Can the Jury Assign Fault to the Injured Party?

The court may also rule that the injured party bears some liability. According to the legal concept of contributory negligence, if the patient is found to be 50 percent or more responsible for his or her injuries, he or she is barred from recovering compensation. However, if the patient is 49 percent or less responsible, then his or her award is reduced by that percentage of fault.

For example, if a jury awarded a patient $100,000 in damages but found that he or she was 25 percent responsible, his or her damages would be reduced by $25,000. The patient would only recover $75,000.

Talk to a Lawyer About Proving Negligence in Atlanta Outpatient Surgery Cases

Proving negligence in Atlanta outpatient surgery cases is difficult. If you are unable to gather evidence or find an expert witness, your chances of recovering compensation could be hindered. Working with an attorney could be the best decision you make in your case. Get the legal help you need by contacting our office to schedule a free consultation.