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Medical Malpractice and the Statute of Limitations

Most of us here in Georgia come into contact with the medical community to some degree. We may have treatment for an illness or a procedure to remedy a condition, and then move on with our lives. We are fine, until a couple years down the road something happens and we suddenly realize that the treatment or procedure that we thought was successful was not. We are devastated, not only about the ramifications of this news for our health, but also about its potential impact on our finances. Many of us assume that because the problem we are experiencing occurred so long after the treatment or procedure that caused it, we cannot pursue any legal action.

But we may be wrong. It is precisely because many injuries from treatments, procedures, or misdiagnosed medications can take years to manifest that there is a "discovery rule" for filing medical malpractice lawsuits. The rule states that until the harm or injury allegedly caused by the medical act complained of is discovered, the statute of limitations is tolled. What this means is that while Georgia imposes a 2 year time period in which to sue for an alleged act of medical malpractice, if a person does not become aware of the harm caused by the medical act until after the 2 year period, then the 2 year time frame does not start running until the person knows or reasonably should have known of the harm. The normal statute of limitations is tolled until the discovery of the injury. However, Georgia law limits the discovery rule by stating that no action can be brought greater than 5 years after the act that caused the alleged harm.

We all hope never to have to pursue a medical malpractice action. But if the treatment we received or should not have received caused us harm, then we need to consider all options for the good of our families and ourselves. Medical malpractice can result in serious personal injuries. If you think you may have a medical malpractice claim, contact the Thomas Law Firm today for a free review of your case.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

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