Georgia Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

Dressie Law Firm: Skillfully Handling Medical Malpractice Claims Within Georgia’s Legal Timeframes

Don’t let the clock run out on your Georgia medical malpractice claim. Learn about the Georgia medical malpractice statute of limitations and how the Dressie Law Firm can help you.

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Understanding Georgia’s Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations

Understanding the medical malpractice statute of limitations is vital for individuals with legal claims. Statutes of limitations set strict timeframes for filing lawsuits. Missing the deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can result in losing the right to pursue legal action, leaving victims without recourse for seeking compensation or justice. This critical lapse may hinder their ability to hold negligent parties accountable for the harm caused.

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims in Georgia is generally two years. However, there are exceptions that you must be aware of, as they may apply to your case. Age, mental state, and some specific cases of medical negligence can affect this two-year statute. Read on for all the details.

If you’ve been a victim of medical malpractice, time is of the essence. Get personalized guidance tailored to your situation from our Atlanta medical malpractice attorney at Dressie Law Firm—your partner in the pursuit of timely and just legal remedies.

    Basic Time Limitation: The Two-Year Statute

    The statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice case in Georgia is two years. This means that individuals who have been injured due to medical malpractice must initiate legal proceedings within two years from the date the injury or wrongful death occurred.

    While the two-year statute typically governs medical malpractice cases in Georgia, the “discovery rule” is a crucial exception. This rule allows for circumstances where the injured party may not immediately become aware of the malpractice injury. In such cases, the two-year period begins from the date the patient discovers or reasonably should have discovered the injury rather than the date of the actual occurrence.

    For example, suppose you underwent surgery more than a year ago and sustained a brain injury. In such cases, awareness of the injury might only arise when symptoms begin to show. The clock for your case’s statute of limitations starts ticking not from the surgery date but from the moment it becomes evident that an injury has occurred.

    Bear in mind, however, that the statute of repose limits all types of medical malpractice claims to five years, no matter the circumstances. Therefore, you cannot file a medical malpractice lawsuit if you discovered the injury five years after the incident.

    Special Rules for Minors and the Mentally Incapacitated

    A distinct Georgia medical malpractice statute of limitations applies to children, providing them with additional time to initiate a lawsuit in case of injury. Under OCGA §9-3-73, the time limit for medical malpractice claims involving children under five doesn’t expire until their 7th birthday. This means that if a child suffers an injury before turning 5, they retain the right to file a lawsuit until the age of 7, even if more than two years have elapsed.

    The five-year statute of repose also applies to children. Whether the injury happened before or after the child’s fifth birthday, no actions can be brought on their behalf after five years have elapsed from the incident.

    Similarly, exceptions to the statute of limitations in Georgia exist for individuals who are legally incompetent due to intellectual disability or mental illness, extending the time limit to no more than five years from the date of the negligent or wrongful act.

    This provision accounts for the distinct challenges faced by those who may not be immediately aware of their injuries due to mental incapacitation, allowing them a fair opportunity to seek legal recourse when their capacity to do so is restored.

    Medical Device Left in Body Cases

    A healthcare provider may inadvertently leave items such as sponges or clamps inside a patient following surgery. In such instances, Georgia law reduces the statute of limitations to one year. However, the clock begins from the date of discovering the foreign object, not from the initial surgery date.

    Consider consulting an experienced medical malpractice attorney familiar with Georgia’s laws regarding medical malpractice cases to ensure the accurate and timely filing of your claim.

    How to file a medical malpractice claim within the statute of limitations

    Pursuing a medical malpractice action within the statute of limitations is crucial for a successful case. To ensure timely filing, follow these steps:

    1. Consult an attorney as soon as possible: Seek legal representation from an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. They will assess the details of your case and provide crucial advice on the viability of your claim, your options, and possible outcomes.
    2. Identify the date of the injury or discovery: Pinpoint the date of the alleged medical malpractice incident or when you discovered the malpractice. This date is vital in determining the timeframe within which you must file your claim.
    3. Determine the statute of limitations that applies to your case: The exception discussed above may apply to your case. Your attorney will help you identify the appropriate statute of limitations for your case.
    4. Prepare the required documentation to file an insurance claim: Work with your attorney to gather all necessary medical records and documents to support your claim against the healthcare provider’s insurance company.
    5. Promptly file a lawsuit if negotiations are not working: If negotiations with the insurance company are not yielding satisfactory results, be prepared to file a lawsuit promptly. Your lawyer will walk you through the legal process and explain your options.

    Why Choose Dressie Law Firm

    At Dressie Law Firm, our commitment to excellence is reflected in our proven track record of successfully handling many cases, including the most common types of medical malpractice lawsuits. We have consistently obtained favorable outcomes for our clients, earning their trust and establishing ourselves as a reliable legal partner in their pursuit of justice.

    We have established a stellar reputation across Georgia for maximizing case value and obtaining the best possible awards for our clients. We do everything possible to ensure you are well cared for financially after the unlawful harm you suffered.

    Our attorneys understand how dealing with medical malpractice can be emotionally challenging for the victims. We approach each case with empathy, as we have witnessed the physical and emotional toll of similar cases on our clients. We communicate with compassion and keep the client informed and supported throughout the legal process.

    Dressie Law Firm Is Here for You

    Proving medical malpractice is not easy. You need the help of an experienced and diligent attorney to help you build a solid case. However, you must ensure your case is filed within the Georgia Medical malpractice statute of limitations for your hard work to pay off.

    Whether your case involved a negligent medical professional or a hospital, we are ready to assist you in seeking justice. If the medical malpractice caused the death of your loved one, rely on us to file and see through your wrongful death claim.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!