Of all the various grounds that could justify a personal injury lawsuit, medical malpractice often makes for the most procedurally complex litigation. There are numerous additional requirements that people injured by a doctor’s negligence must fulfill in order to have a valid claim. Even the cases that end in settlements can take years to resolve, let alone those that proceed to litigation in civil court.
With help from a Zebulon medical malpractice lawyer, you could have a much better chance of positively resolving your case. A trustworthy personal injury attorney with experience handling this unique type of claim could help you comply with all applicable regulations under state law, and construct the most compelling case for compensation.
Deadlines for Medical Negligence Claims in Cherokee County
Different sections of state law define the statutory filing deadlines applicable to medical malpractice as compared to other personal injury claims. However, the effective deadline for both types of cases is the same. According to Official Code of Georgia § 9-3-71, a person who sustains injuries due to medical malpractice has a maximum of two years after discovering their injuries to file suit. Additionally, this section of state law establishes a “statute of repose” that restricts prospective plaintiffs from filing a malpractice claim more than five years after the negligent act in question actually occurred, regardless of when the negligence was discovered.
There is one important exception to this rule codified in O.C.G.A. § 9-3-72. If a patient’s injuries involve a surgical instrument or other foreign object being erroneously left in their body following a surgical procedure, the filing deadline is just one year after discovery of the injury. A Zebulon medical negligence attorney could provide crucial assistance in building and submitting a comprehensive claim within the deadlines set by the statute of limitations.
Getting an Affidavit of Merit for a Malpractice Case
Another potential obstacle to recovery is the affidavit of merit requirement established under O.C.G.A. § 9-11-9.1. As per this statute, a person cannot file suit against a doctor, nurse, technician, or other healthcare provider or institution without first confirming with a qualified medical expert that their case is based on valid grounds.
More specifically, prospective plaintiffs must reach out to a medical professional with comparable experience and expertise in the same field(s) as the defendant(s). That professional must prepare and sign off on an affidavit affirming their opinion that the defendant(s) violated the standard of care that another doctor with the same skills would have adhered to under the same circumstances. The plaintiff must then file this affidavit alongside their initial complaint, or up to a maximum of 45 days after the statute of limitations expires. This is another area of medical malpractice litigation in Zebulon where support from a skilled lawyer might be essential to a case’s success.
Retain the Services of a Zebulon Medical Malpractice Attorney
A successful medical malpractice claim could allow an individual injured by a healthcare professional’s mistake to recover for additional medical expenses, lost professional and personal opportunities, physical and emotional trauma, and more. However, without guidance from experienced legal counsel, you may have slim odds of achieving a positive outcome with this challenging and complicated type of claim.
Retaining a Zebulon medical malpractice lawyer should be a high priority if you suspect negligence by a doctor, nurse, or technician led to you suffering unreasonable harm following medical treatment. Call today for a private consultation.