Punitive Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases
Georgia courts may award punitive damages in medical malpractice cases where the actions of the defendant were so outrageous that the court feels the defendant deserves punishment. In other words, punitive damages are imposed against a defendant to deter any future improper conduct. For example, if a surgeon was intoxicated while operating on a patient, and, as a result, botched the procedure and injured the patient, a court might feel punitive damages are warranted. At Katz Wright Fleming & Dodson, LLC, we help medical malpractice victims obtain punitive damages when appropriate. Our attorneys understand when these extra damages may be available, and we are not afraid to go after them when they are.Georgia Medical Malpractice & Punitive Damage Laws
In Georgia, punitive damages are allowed in medical malpractice cases (and other personal injury cases for that matter) only when it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that a defendant’s actions showed willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or conscious indifference to consequences. While there are no caps on compensatory damages (for financial losses) and non-economic damages (for pain and suffering) for medical malpractice in Georgia, there is a cap on punitive damages. Except in cases of intentional harm, or those involving the use of drugs or alcohol, punitive damages are limited to $250,000.
Damages in medical malpractice cases are controversial. In fact, the Georgia legislature tried to cap non-economic damages (like pain and suffering) in 2005, but the Georgia Supreme Court found the law to be unconstitutional. The cap on punitive damages stands at $250,000, generally based on the view that punitive damages have little relation to the extent of the victim’s injury. As advocates for medical malpractice victims, we believe health care professionals who consciously put patients in danger should be punished, regardless of the level of harm they cause, and we will work to win every cent available to victims, cap or no cap, controversial or not.
While the facts of some medical malpractice cases are such that the requirements for punitive damages can be shown, many attorneys who are not familiar with the special rules and laws specific to medical malpractice cases may not be able to properly assert such claims. Accordingly, if you think your medical malpractice situation warrants punitive damages, you do need an exceptionally skilled and experienced Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer. We offer the representation you require at Katz Wright Fleming & Dodson, LLC and are committed to obtaining a just and fair result for each client who trusts us with their case.Talk to an Experienced Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyer about Damages available in Your Case Today
If you or a loved one has been harmed by medical malpractice in the Atlanta area, please schedule a free initial consultation with a member of the KWFDM team by calling 404-460-0101 or 888-426-2100. We will work tirelessly to see you receive maximum compensation for your injuries, including punitive damages when you have been the victim of outrageous, willful, or egregious behavior.