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Elements of a Georgia Medical Malpractice Case–Causation

In previous articles, we have discussed the General Overview of a Georgia Medical Malpractice Case and the first two elements of this type of case i.e, duty and breach. As discussed in previous posts, duty is satisfied by the existence of the doctor-client relationship and breach is proven when the patient can prove that the doctor provided care that was below the applicable standard of care for the care and treatment provided. The duty is what a reasonable physician would do under like or similar circumstances. This must be established through the ¬†expert testimony of a doctor whose specialty is similar to that of the defendant or whose specialty has “substantial overlap” with that of the defendants. In other words, a doctor who does not share the same sub-specialty as the defendant, but who regularly performs the procedure in question, can provide standard of care testimony in the case. An example of this would be when both an Emergency Room doctor and an internist perform trauma care and tests, care and treatment. In this case, the internist can be hired to opine about standard of care violations of the ER doctor and the ER doctor can opine about standard of care violations of the internist, so long as it pertains to the care and treatment that “substantially overlap” between these two medical sub-specialties.

Today we will discuss the third element of a Georgia Medical Malpractice Case, i.e., causation. In this respect, a Georgia medical malpractice case is no different than any other legal cause of action in Georgia. Simply put, in order for a person to prevail in a medical malpractice lawsuit, they must prove that the malpractice caused the injuries that they are complaining of in the lawsuit. Many times, it is necessary for the plaintiff to hire a medical expert to opine on causation and this issue is often hotly contested.

Often, the best testimony regarding causation is obtained from subsequent treating doctors, as they are in the best position to make such a determination. Most times, the severity of the injury is well-documented in the records, and the subsequent treating physician simply testified from the chart. Other times, it is not so clear cut and an additional expert must be hired to link the injuries complained of in the lawsuit to the malpractice. With that said, we have covered another essential element of a Georgia medical malpractice case, i.e., causation.

If you are considering pursuing a medical malpractice claim in Georgia, you should consult with counsel who understands the nuances of Georgia Medical Malpractice law. Robert J. Fleming is an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Atlanta who has successfully handled many medical malpractice cases and have recovered millions of dollars for his clients by trying cases to verdict in the courtroom before juries or by settling cases prior to trial. Please contact us today so that we can help evaluate your case. If you prefer, you can contact Mr. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 for a free and completely confidential case evaluation.