DeKalb County Medical Malpractice Case Process

If someone believes that they have the grounds to file a medical malpractice case, they should immediately contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. The average length of a DeKalb County medical malpractice case process is two years. Some situations and complex cases with multiple defendants might take longer.

Once the initial determination is made, the lawyer does a thorough investigation, requests documents, records, medical bills, and all the pieces of the case needed to file suit and they file a lawsuit. Therefore, contact an attorney as soon as you discover you have a case.

Defining Unique Factors of a Malpractice Claim

The number of parties involved in the DeKalb County medical malpractice case process could impact the duration or outcome of the claim. When there are multiple defendants, there are multiple defense lawyers to deal with. When there are more lawyers and doctors, it becomes harder to schedule things and could influence which court has the case. Some courts in the DeKalb County area are busier than others. Some courts may not have an opening to try the case for six or seven months.

There are few common trends regarding cases specifically in DeKalb County. One trend is that the cases are being defended more often. Car wrecks and slip and fall cases are often settled before a lawsuit. With medical malpractice cases, the trend is to not settle them and push them as close to trial until the defense is willing to pay the type of compensation the injured patient deserves.

What is the Medical Malpractice Investigation Process?

The lawyer does the interview, gets all the medical records, and reviews them. If necessary, the attorney researches the medical issues. Some law firms have a doctor on staff who can do the medical review in-house. If the investigation meets the threshold, the case goes to an expert who starts to draft up the affidavit that is filed with the lawsuit.

In the majority of medical malpractice cases in Georgia, one would have to file a lawsuit to receive fair and just compensation. The cases just do not settle pre-suit. Sometimes, once somebody files the lawsuit and takes the initial depositions, they can settle out of court or go to a mediation and avoid trial. However, they rarely settle before a lawsuit.

Common Causes of Medical Errors

One unique thing about DeKalb County is that an individual needs an affidavit from a doctor or nurse who practices with the same type of patients or in the same type of setting or the lawsuit is dismissed. Research and university hospitals employ many younger doctors who are in the early stages of their career and do not have a lot of experience and have not seen as many things as an older doctor.

When they are involved in an individual’s care, more senior doctors are supervising them. When the supervision is not thorough, and the supervising doctors do not check on the younger doctors, that creates a situation ripe for medical errors or misdiagnosis. The first person that might talk to the patient is a first-year resident and the next is a second-year resident. The patient might not even see the attending doctor who is reading reports and signing off on them.

Understanding the Urgency of Seeking Legal Help

Calling a personal injury attorney should be done in the beginning of the DeKalb County medical malpractice case process so that medical records might be tampered with or altered. The sooner one gets the records, the greater the chance that medical records are intact. It does take time to investigate these things. After a request for medical records from providers, they have 30 days to respond by law. It takes a month for the lawyer to obtain the records and have a chance to review them.

Once the lawyer reviews the medical records, they are turned over to the experts. The investigative process takes some time, so an individual wants to give their attorney as much time as possible to get through the process. The lawyer might order medical records from one provider and see in those records that there are other providers the lawyer did not know about. They may order medical records from the new provider and another 30 days goes by.