ATLANTA, Georgia. Unlike most personal injury claims, medical malpractice lawsuits in Georgia, require patients to submit an affidavit completed by an expert, confirming that a doctor in a claim deviated from the standard of care. According to University of Georgia Law, this requirement is one of the most “notorious” procedural statutes on the books. It requires victims to seek out experts to confirm their injuries and it can make personal injury claims take longer due to the additional requirements. The out of pocket costs of getting an independent medical evaluation or finding a doctor willing to write an affidavit can also cause delays or difficulties with legitimate medical malpractice lawsuits. The additional procedures make it difficult for individuals to seek justice for their injuries without the assistance of medical malpractice lawyers, like the Finnell Firm in Atlanta Georgia.
A recent NPR report also suggests that finding a doctor willing to provide an affidavit can be challenging. In some cases doctors have even lied to protect colleagues. NPR reported on one doctor who lied in court, serving as a witness to a colleague whose practices he knew were dangerous. The doctor was called to testify for a colleague in a claim where a patient allegedly suffered a stroke and permanent disability after an operation. While testimony may carry varied weight with a jury, the doctor in question wasn’t found guilty of medical malpractice. Doctors’ testimony and affidavits can sway juries and influence the outcome of a case. Some doctors claim that doctors should not be considered reliable witnesses in cases because of the possible conflicts of interest. Of course, a qualified lawyer should look into witnesses and experts being called by the opposition to see if there may be any conflicts.
It isn’t clear how often doctors may lie, but recent investigations into medical malpractice find that doctors don’t always tell patients when errors are made. Doctors and other health care workers may not always be comfortable speaking up when mistakes happen. Patients may suffer from injuries or even death due to a doctor’s error, and in some cases, families may simply not know that a mistake worsened a patient’s condition.
So, how can patients protect themselves? First of all, patients should always double check prescriptions against possible interactions and make sure the proper dosage has been administered. Patients should also do their own homework about their condition and about any possible complications treatment can cause. Some complications are expected, but some complications can arise due to medical error or medical malpractice. If you or a loved one experiences complications or faces a longer than expected recovery, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Finally, if you suspect that medical malpractice may have led to injury or death, it is important to get help as soon as possible. Visit http://www.finnelllawfirm.net/ to learn more about your rights if you or a loved one has been hurt due to a doctor’s negligence or neglect.