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Possible change in Georgia's medical malpractice law

A medical malpractice lawsuit is available to injured parties in order to help them regain what they have lost. The lawsuit places responsibility on the negligent doctor, provider or agency and may make that entity provide compensation in order to help the injured person move forward. Georgia lawmakers are currently discussing a change within the medical malpractice realm that may greatly effect how injured parties receive compensation.

The proposed change would alter medical malpractice claims by changing the system to an administrative one. The new system has a goal to reduce costs and speed up the process of a medical malpractice claim. A claim of injury would be filed. The administration would then have 10 days to determine if there was a medical injury. If an injury was discovered, the physician would be notified. The physician would have 15 days to respond. If the response contested the injury, 60 days would be dedicated towards an investigation. Finally, a medical panel of physicians would determine if medical malpractice existed.

A constitutional challenge exists to this new system. Many believe that an impartial judge overseeing an impartial jury is a necessary step to the process and should not be avoided. The State Bar of Georgia notes that the constitution guarantees a trial by jury.

As medical malpractice law currently stands in Georgia, an injured party is able to come forward and claim that another party was negligent in their medical injury. Negligence is the failure to uphold a duty owed to the patient that would normally be upheld within the profession. When negligence is demonstrated, injured parties are able to seek damages. These damages may be for their pain and suffering, lost wages from work and past and future medical expenses.

As laws change and adapt it is imperative that injured parties are able to fully understand what their rights are. Experienced professionals in the state of Georgia are able to help these parties protect their rights and assert their claims in a way consistent with current law.

Source: Renal and Urology News, "Georgia Lawmakers Consider Alternative to Malpractice Suits," Ann W. Latner, Oct. 30, 2013

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