Generally speaking, medical malpractice cases in Georgia are governed by the same basic principles as other negligence cases, with a few added requirements. In fact, while the term, “medical malpractice” is widely used and accepted by lawyers and non-lawyers alike, “medical negligence” is perhaps a better term because it more cogently conveys what this type of case is all about, i.e., negligence on the part of a medical provider that results in injury to the patient.
The basic elements of negligence in Georgia are (1) a legal duty to conform to a standard of conduct; (2) a breach of this duty; (3) a causal connection between the breach of this duty and the resulting injury; and (4) some loss or damages suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the negligence. Strickland v. Vaughn, 221 Ga. App. 636 (1996).
In the following entries, I will examine each area in more detail. In turn, this will uncover the basic elements of a medical malpractice claim and shed some light on why some bad outcomes do not lead to meritorious cases while other most certainly do.