What is Medical Malpractice?
Some people incorrectly believe that “malpractice” connotes conduct that is worse or more serious than simple “negligence,” but that is not normally the case. Medical malpractice is just ordinary negligence by a healthcare provider which causes injury. It is no different in theory than negligence by a motorist who does not pay attention and runs a red light causing an injury.
Georgia has a statute which defines the standard of care as follows:
“A person professing to practice surgery or the administering of medicine for compensation must bring to the exercise of his profession a reasonable degree of care and skill. Any injury resulting from a want of such care and skill shall be a tort for which a recovery may be had.”O.C.G.A. section 51-1-27
In other words, the standard of care may sometimes be described as doing what a reasonable or reasonably prudent doctor would do under the circumstances. In a malpractice trial the judge tells the jury about this definition, and after hearing the evidence of what happened the jury decides what they believe a reasonably prudent similar healthcare provider should have done under the circumstances. This decision by the jury is normally aided by the testimony of expert witnesses from both sides, who explain the medical issues and standards during the trial.
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This site contains only general information and is not intended to constitute specific legal advice or establish an attorney/client relationship. Malpractice laws are constantly changing. If you think you may have a malpractice case you should promptly contact a lawyer experienced in handling malpractice cases.
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