Atlanta Lack of Informed Consent Lawyers
Before undergoing any medical procedure, a physician has an ethical and statutory duty to explain to the patient the risks, benefits, and alternatives to the procedure being performed. This is called getting the patient’s informed consent. Unfortunately, too many doctors skip this process altogether, and simply direct the patient to sign or initial a form, resulting in patients never being aware—until it is too late—of what could go wrong during or after the procedure. If this has happened to you, you’ve come to the right place. We can help.
Like all medical negligence cases, those involving informed consent are generally complex in nature and replete with opportunities for negligent parties to avoid taking responsibility. We diligently discover the important facts, retain world-class expert witnesses, and methodically prepare lack of informed consent cases for trial in a way that maximizes the opportunity for a verdict that provides justice for our client.
What exactly is informed consent?
According to the American Medical Association, “Informed consent is more than simply getting a patient to sign a written consent form. It is a process of communication between a patient and physician that results in the patient’s authorization or agreement to undergo a specific medical intervention. In the communications process, you, as the physician providing or performing the treatment and/or procedure (not a delegated representative), should disclose and discuss with your patient:
- the patient’s diagnosis, if known;
- the nature and purpose of a proposed treatment or procedure;
- the risks and benefits of a proposed treatment or procedure;
- alternatives (regardless of their cost or the extent to which the treatment options are covered by health insurance);
- the risks and benefits of the alternative treatment or procedure; and
- the risks and benefits of not receiving or undergoing a treatment or procedure.
In turn, your patient should have an opportunity to ask questions to elicit a better understanding of the treatment or procedure, so that he or she can make an informed decision to proceed or to refuse a particular course of medical intervention.”
All too frequently patients are handed a stack of paperwork to sign by hospital staff before a medical procedure (including informed consent documents, which identify risks related to the procedure). However, as the AMA’s published guidelines make clear, a physician is obligated to clearly communicate with a patient—not just get the patient’s signature on a form—regarding risks, benefits, and alternatives to the care being contemplated. This failure to communicate with the patient becomes a serious issue when a patient experiences a complication never discussed prior to the procedure (and which would have kept the patient from choosing to have the procedure in the first place).
If you, your child or a loved one have suffered from a complication of a medical procedure that was never discussed with you by a physician prior to the procedure, we can obtain the necessary medical records and have an expert physician review the file free of charge to determine whether a doctor or other healthcare provider was negligent.
What is the statute of limitation for a lack of informed consent case?
Generally, the statute of limitation for lack of informed consent malpractice in Georgia is two years from the date of the negligent care. For children, the statute of limitation is typically tolled (or paused) until the child’s 5th birthday, which means that the statute runs (or expires) on the child’s 7th birthday.
However, certain circumstances can extend the statute of limitation (for example, when a doctor conceals negligent care that’s later discovered). Other scenarios can involve shorter time periods within which a case must be pursued (for example, when the negligent provider is employed by a government entity, which can trigger claim notification deadlines as short as six months from the date of the negligent care). Further, some specific types of malpractice, such as when a foreign object is left inside a patient after a surgery, have unique statutes of limitation (for foreign objects, it’s one year from the date the object is discovered).
And to make matters more confusing, medical malpractice cases, including lack of informed consent negligence, are also subject to a five-year statute of repose. This is intended to be a “final deadline,” beyond which a medical malpractice claim cannot be filed for any reason. But it doesn’t always work that way; their are some exceptions.
So, the best answer: it depends. And our best guidance: don’t try to determine the statute of limitation on your own; contact us and we’ll be more than happy to collect and analyze the facts needed to provide you with the correct answer.
Our medical malpractice lawyers are informed consent experts.
Tens of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements validate our commitment to doing medical malpractice litigation—and doing it better than any other law firm. We are immersed in medical negligence litigation every day, quickly spotting trends in the area of informed consent as they develop, pioneering new legal strategies and tactics to combat the ever-changing insurance defense industry, and constantly discussing our clients’ cases with leading medical experts around the country. We are always honing our skills as informed consent malpractice attorneys. Nobody does it better.
Our reputation for handling informed consent malpractice cases adds value to your case.
Insurance company lawyers who defend informed consent cases know us. In fact, most all of the major players in the insurance defense industry in Georgia know who we are, and what we’re capable of doing in a courtroom. They know about our results, because they have seen us in action. And they know that when we pursue a case, we will never settle for anything less than fair treatment for our client in the form of full financial compensation. Choosing Davis Adams means leveraging our years of experience, and our reputation for excellence, to help maximize your recovery.
Having an experienced informed consent malpractice lawyer matters.
Jess Davis and Chad Adams cut their teeth handling the most complex, high-stakes medical malpractice cases, typically regarded as among the most complicated of all personal injury matters. Routinely getting extraordinary results for their clients in cases other medical malpractice lawyers were turning down, they quickly became the “go-to” attorneys to whom other Georgia lawyers refer tough cases.
How does this tangibly help our clients? We have the unique ability to quickly read and digest volumes of medical records, to pick up the telephone and speak confidently to our clients’ treating physicians about their diagnoses and prognoses, and to instantly reach the top experts at the best hospitals and universities in the world to consult on our clients’ cases. This rare expertise is a game changer for our lack of informed consent malpractice clients, and sets us apart from other personal injury firms who merely dabble in medical negligence cases without really knowing what they’re doing.
We can handle your informed consent case wherever you live.
Davis Adams is headquartered in metro Atlanta, but our reach is statewide. We routinely represent Georgia medical malpractice victims, including those harmed by informed consent malpractice, in all parts of Georgia, including Macon, Savannah, Columbus, and Albany. Indeed, our geographic reach is evidenced by the fact that our firm’s largest settlement ($17,000,000) came in Fulton County, while our largest verdict ($10,000,000) came in rural Jefferson County. So, wherever you reside in Georgia, selecting the best lawyer is more important than hiring the closest lawyer. As a client, you have just one opportunity to obtain justice, and we are always honored when that chance it entrusted to us, wherever you happen to be located.
How much is my informed consent malpractice case worth?
Most people who contact our firm do so reluctantly. They aren’t excited about the possibility of having to sue a physician for malpractice, and they understand that money won’t solve all of their problems—and certainly can’t heal their injury. But financial compensation is the only remedy available through the civil justice system; it’s the only form of justice the law allows under these circumstances. We can only provide our clients with guidance as to the fair value of their cases after the case has been fully investigated. The factors we will consider include:
Economic damages, including:
- past medical bills;
- future/projected medical expenses, including life-care plans;
- past lost income; and
- future lost income.
Non-economic damages, including:
- physical pain and suffering;
- mental or emotional pain and suffering;
- loss of consortium (companionship); and
- the full value of a life (in wrongful death cases).
Often lack of informed consent cases in Georgia are settled at mediation, which allows our clients to avoid the risk and emotional toll associated with trial, and to end their case with certainty. Other times, mediation is unsuccessful, and we proceed to trial and ask a jury to determine our client’s compensation. A significant percentage of our $75 million in recovered funds for our clients is the result of trial verdicts, meaning that the attorneys hired to defend negligent parties know we are fully prepared to meet them in a courtroom if the case cannot otherwise be resolved to our clients’ satisfaction.
Fewer cases, more personal attention, better results.
Davis Adams declines to accept the vast majority of cases presented to our firm. The fit has to be just right: the right client with the right type of case, where we feel like our firm can have the maximum positive impact. And while it may seem counterintuitive to turn down revenue-generating business, we are committed to doing outstanding, hands-on work for a limited number of catastrophically injured clients instead of employing a team of less experienced associate attorneys to churn through a high-volume workload.
We simply refuse to become one of those law firms at which the experienced trial lawyers only get involved in the later stages of the case, if at all. From day one, our clients have the collective time, attention, energy, and experience of the seasoned medical malpractice attorneys who will be handling their case at trial, which translates to better representation, and better financial recoveries.
Other lawyers often ask, “Wouldn’t it just be easier to hire some young associate attorneys to handle the unimportant parts of your cases?” That question represents a fundamental misunderstanding of how medical malpractice cases are won or lost, and emphasizes the importance of hiring an experienced medical negligence attorney. There are no unimportant tasks in the cases we handle; victory is always in the details and is never achieved at the maximum level without bringing to bear the full weight of our firm’s substantial experience, dogged determination and blatant refusal to settle for less than our clients deserve.
We do not accept any payment for our work on your informed consent malpractice case unless you win.
Davis Adams only represents lack of informed consent victims on a contingency basis, which means that if we do not recover money for our clients, we refuse to accept payment for our services, or even reimbursement for the money we’ve spent. Additionally, our contingency fee, while reflective of our firm’s quality and success, is nonetheless lower than the fee charged by some firms.