Injured by Medical Malpractice in Georgia? Jump through Hoops

A patient goes to a doctor for a medical procedure. Unfortunately, sometimes the outcome of that procedure is less than ideal. In an even smaller number of cases, the doctor may be guilty of medical malpractice, and failing to deliver the standard of care of a professional medical doctor. Patients may find themselves permanently injured and many decide to file a claim against the doctor.

In Georgia, the CEO of a Georgia medical services company, in an opinion piece in the newspaper, suggest those already injured should have to jump through one more hoop. It is a hoop that benefits the medical profession and insurance companies, not the injured. Instead of allowing victims of medical malpractice in Georgia their Constitutional right to a trial by jury, this author suggest that victims should have to appear before a “screening panel” comprised of members of the medical and insurance industries. Reminder- those are the same industries trying to avoid compensating injured patients.

Time for a dose of reality – only a fraction of those individuals injured by medical mishap ever see a trial. First, many people do not want to be involved in litigation. Secondly, the injury must be tremendous in order to find a lawyer willing to take your case. There is another special hoop in Georgia, the patient must find a medical professional willing to publicly criticize their colleague. That person must be credentialed and willing to sign a document swearing to the malpractice. Then there is another hoop – a judge must screen the case as well.

Our Founding Fathers believed in the right to a trial by jury, and that does not mean a four-step process, designed to exhaust and frustrate those already injured until they give up in disgust. In Maine, the screening panels have been criticized by the Supreme Court of that state as being harmful to the people of Maine. Why should the medically injured have to hop through these hoops? Clearly they shouldn’t. This suggestion is by someone trying to protect his investment is designed to deny justice to those who have been injured.

Only one in eight people injured by medical negligence ever file suit and with five percent of doctors committing the majority of medical malpractice, according to Public Citizen, there is an epidemic of medical negligence, not lawsuits.

Source report: