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What is my recourse against the first surgeon who has caused permanet damages?

Lawrenceville, GA |

Meniscus surgery in 11/11 was found to have not been performed complete which has led to additional fraying and tearing of the remaining 50% of the meniscus. Since the original surgeon had MRI in 5/12 showing this he said there was nothing wrong and he did not know why I continued to hurt. Finally after several Dr.s I was sent for an MRI in 01/2013 which reveled the same as 5/12 MRI. The surgeon said the first surgeon didn't trim the meniscus throughly enough and the only choice is a partial knee replacement. Also there is permanent neuromuscular damage that I am seeing another specialist for which is due to the blood supply being cut off from the quad during the first surgery. What are my recourses against the first surgeon for these permanent damages?

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Attorney answers 5


A local malpractice lawyer in your Lawrenceville can order your medical records and send them to an expert to review to ascertain whether there was a breach of the standard of care.


It is difficult from the snippet you have posted to determine whether you have a viable medical malpractice claim under Georgia law or not, but if your new surgeon is criticizing the first surgeon, it certainly appears there may have been negligence. You should definitely have an experienced Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney review the medical records from the original surgery as well as from your new surgeon. Surgery cases are among the most difficult to prosecute because nobody saw inside your knee but the first surgeon. If sued, he would likely have excuses as to why he did what he did, then those excuses would be evaluated against the standard of care for surgeons in his position.

There are nuances to handling medical malpractice cases that are very different from a typical personal injury lawsuit. Doctors have very little incentive to settle cases because if their insurance company pays any settlement over $10,000 they have to report it to the state licensing board. This makes litigation very long and costly, unlike the typical car accident case. It also requires an attorney to look long and hard at the case itself, since most attorneys take the case on a contingency basis, we have to be smart and honest about a case (with you and ourselves) before we put a lot of money into hiring experts unless we know we can win the case at trial.

Most attorneys are not skilled enough to review surgical reports and determine whether or not you have a claim right off the bat. It takes some investigation. Some of us have nurses who review records for us, or we can send records out to an expert surgeon for review to help determine the viability of your claim. There are many fine Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorneys on Avvo, many of whom will likely respond to this question. We all offer free consultations. Interview them regarding their experience and how they plan on approaching and assessing your case. If they don't have significant medical malpractice experience, keep looking.

The good thing is that you are not out of time. In Georgia you have 2 years from the date of injury (with some exceptions) to bring a claim. Don’t wait much longer though, because it takes some time to have your medical records reviewed and affidavits prepared in the event you are interested in filing suit.

Good luck with your healing, and regardless of what happens with the legal side of this, I hope you heal as well as possible

For more information, contact us at or (770) 984-5380. The initial consultation is always free. This post is intended to provide general guidance, and should not be construed as legal advice. While I am an attorney, unless we sign a retainer agreement, I am not your attorney, and any information shared on Avvo does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please mark this answer as "Helpful" or "Best Answer" if you like it.


On its face, this appears to be a claim worth further investigation. The fact that your current surgeon is pointing the finger at your first surgeon is encouraging. As the other lawyers have already said, you'll need to find a good med mal attorney to thoroughly analyze your case. Just because your treating doctor blames your prior doctor is not enough. Your claim must be evaluated on several different levels, and this can only be done by a qualified med mal attorney. The sooner you hire an attorney to help you, the sooner you'll know if you have a viable case. Good luck!


Medical Malpractice claims are difficult claims, particularly because insurance companies fight even those claims where liability is clear. In other words, the insurance company makes it very expensive for a claim to be brought. Thus, there needs to be sufficient damages before an attorney is willing to take a medical malpractice claim on.

That said, no two cases are alike. You need to gather your records and speak to a Georgia medical malpractice attorney.


Based upon the information provided, it appears you may have a malpractice claim. However, understand that malpractice claims are very difficult and complex matters and as such you should speak with an experienced malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Be sure to take all medical records and reports with you when you meet.

Any and all responses are for general informational purposes only and in NO way constitutes legal advice NOR does this response create an attorney-client relationship with Shane Bartlett or his firm. As there are different statutory deadlines for each case, the recipient of this information is strongly encouraged to contact an attorney of their choosing to advise the recipient as to their legal rights and further address their particular question.

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