Can I pursue a medical malpractice claim for injury that did not heal properly?
Here’s another recent question that landed on my desk. Too often we hear from folks after their time limits have expired.
Q. I was injured on the job back in 2003 my ankle was broken in several places. The company doctor performed surgery, he placed industrial screws in my ankle which has not healed properly. As a result of this my ankle began to swell due to lack of physical therapy which I have been denied by the company and the state department of workers compensation. Please help if you can.
A. Georgia has a pretty strict two year statute of limitation in medical malpractice cases. It runs from whenever you had symptoms that could have led you to discover that there was a violation of the standard of care. Denial of PT by the workers comp carrier would not be malpractice on the part of the surgeon. In short, I would not take the case on a contingent fee and advance the $30,000 to $60,000 expenses that would be required to properly prepare it for trial. Someone else might have another opinion. I hope you have a good lawyer on the workers comp case, though the recovery there is inadequate at best.
Ken Shigley is a trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia who has been listed as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale), and is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy,. Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in trucking and bus accidents, products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is Secretary of the 40,000 member State Bar of Georgia, of which he will become Treasurer in June.