Patients literally trust medical professionals with their lives.
When we are injured or in need of medical attention, we rely on doctors and other medical professionals to treat us.
Unfortunately, however, the fact remains that even doctors make mistakes and fall short of standards.
When this happens, patients are the ones that suffer the consequences.
If you or a loved one has suffered damages due to the malpractice of a medical professional, you may have a claim for relief.
What is Medical Malpractice?
You’ve likely seen advertisements and commercials for medical malpractice lawyers in Birmingham, Alabama.
But what exactly constitutes medical malpractice?
It is important to have a basic understanding of medical malpractice cases to help determine whether you may have a valid claim.
Read on for some valuable information about malpractice claims in Alabama and what steps you can take to recover.
How is Medical Malpractice Defined in Alabama?
A medical malpractice action in Alabama arises when a health care provider breaches a standard of care owed to the patient that results in harm.
Specifically, under Alabama law, a party must be able to prove that the health care professional “failed to exercise such reasonable care, skill, and diligence as other similarly situated health care providers in the general line of practice ordinarily have and exercise in a like case.”
This standard of care is what is known as a legal “duty.”
Medical malpractice is a type of negligence claim.
In a negligence action, you must be able to prove four elements:
- Causation, and
Essentially, you must be able to prove that the medical professional owed you a legal duty to act in a reasonable manner and that their breach of that duty caused you harm.
If you believe that a medical professional has breached their duty of care, causing harm to you or a loved one, you may have a valid claim for medical malpractice.
Why Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim Can Be Difficult
Proving a medical malpractice claim can be an uphill battle.
This is often because proving a breach of the duty of reasonable care is very difficult.
The plaintiff in an Alabama medical malpractice case has the burden of proving a breach of the duty of care.
They must prove that the health care provider failed to exercise the skill, care, and diligence that another “similarly situated health care provider” in the same line of practice would have under like circumstances.
Proving this requires costly expert witnesses who are also medical doctors.
So what constitutes a “similarly situated health care provider”? Alabama Civil Code section 6-5-548 helps to define this.
In general, the “similarly situated health care provider” to compare to the professional in question to must meet the following qualifications:
- Is licensed by an appropriate regulatory board or agency of Alabama or another state;
- Has training and experience in the same discipline, school of practice, or specialty;
- Has practiced in the same discipline, school of practice, or specialty in the year prior to the date on which the alleged breach of care occurred; and
- Is certified by an appropriate American board in the same specialty, if the medical professional in question holds him or herself out as a specialist.
Just because a procedure or treatment did not go as planned does not mean that the professional breached their duty.
If the defendant in your case can find another similarly situated practitioner to testify that they would have treated you the same way, this can weaken your case.
Thus, it is imperative that you have an experienced attorney in your corner.
The Alabama medical malpractice attorneys at the Fob James Law Firm have the knowledge and experience necessary to fight for your rights to work toward getting you the compensation you need to recover.
What Are Typical Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case?
Damages in a medical malpractice case are a crucial part of your recovery.
Legal “damages” are the monetary compensation the law imposes on an at-fault party in a medical malpractice case.
These damages are what will provide you with the means to begin working toward your recovery.
Thus, it is extremely important that you understand what damages exist and what you may be entitled to recover.
In an Alabama medical malpractice case, you may be entitled to recover damages for:
- Surgery costs,
- Lost wages and future earning capacity,
- Past and future medical expenses,
- Pain and suffering,
- Disfigurement, and
- Mental anguish.
If you have suffered any of the above due to the malpractice of a medical professional, you may have a legal claim for damages.
It is also important to note that the state of Alabama does not impose a limit on damages for medical malpractice claims.
Thus, make sure to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can help you fight to maximize your recovery.
How Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Alabama Can Help
People often wonder if it is even worth reaching out to medical malpractice lawyers in Birmingham, Alabama, to discuss your case.
In fact, this is a step we would strongly encourage you to take as soon as practicable.
An Alabama medical malpractice attorney can help you evaluate your case, assess your damages, negotiate with opposing parties, and ultimately fight for your rights to get the compensation you deserve.
Get a Free Consultation with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Near Me in Birmingham
If you have questions about medical malpractice in general or want to discuss your case, contact our team today.
We offer free case reviews and are standing by and ready to discuss your case with you.
The Fob James Law Firm’s medical malpractice lawyers in Birmingham, Alabama have extensive experience helping malpractice victims, and we hope we can help you too.
Give us a call at 205-407-6009, or contact us on our website, to discuss your case and see what we can do for you.