When you seek medical care, you trust your service providers to have your best interests in mind, run the proper tests, and decide upon a practical course of treatment. However, that’s not always how it works out. Doctors, nurses, and other care providers are often overworked, understaffed, and pushed to extreme limits by administration. In this environment, mistakes are inevitable.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a Birmingham medical care provider, we want to help.
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Birmingham is home to a number of medical facilities and hospitals. Some of the city’s largest hospitals include St. Vincent’s Birmingham, Grandview Medical Center, Princeton Baptist Medical Center, UAB Hospital, UAB Highlands, St. Vincent’s East, Cooper Green Hospital, Shelby Baptist Medical Center, and Birmingham VA Hospital. Facilities associated with universities include University of Alabama Hospital, University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, and University of Alabama at Birmingham Highlands.
Every facility and care provider is at risk of committing serious errors that put patients’ lives at risk. If you fear that you have been the victim of malpractice, you need to reach out to a medical malpractice attorney for assistance.
There are numerous ways that a facility can engage in medical malpractice. Medicine is a broad, diverse field, which is why you need a medical negligence attorney who understands the complexities of this field and knows the standards within each specialty.
The standard of care that doctors must maintain is outlined by the Alabama Medical Liability Act of 1987. Providers must utilize reasonable care, skill, and diligence when treating patients. The level of care, skill, and diligence expected of them is what would be expected of other physicians with similar experience and education.
There are several components in an Alabama medical malpractice case. For your case to succeed, you must be able to prove:
It can be difficult to prove medical malpractice. Insurance companies and doctors may try to cover their mistakes and deny responsibility.
The Birmingham medical malpractice lawyers of Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C. can help. We frequently work with expert witnesses and health care providers to get second opinions. We will thoroughly investigate your situation and help develop your case.
For example, if a doctor fails to properly diagnose you, they may claim that you didn’t give them all of your symptoms. However, we will comb through medical records and show that they should have had enough information about your condition to make a diagnosis or refer you to a specialist.
What you are able to recover depends largely on several factors:
It is absolutely crucial that you work with an experienced Birmingham medical malpractice attorney. Large facilities, such as the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, Princeton Baptist Medical Center, and St. Vincent’s Birmingham Hospital, often have large dedicated legal teams to fight malpractice claims. To have a fighting chance, you need a medical malpractice lawyer who is able to go up against these teams without flinching.
If you have a viable medical malpractice claim, you may be able to recover compensation for:
In some cases, Birmingham victims can seek punitive damages. Punitive damages are not awarded when a claim is settled out of court, and even if a case goes to court, punitive damages are extremely rare. Alabama courts only award punitive damages if the plaintiff can prove that the defendant displayed reckless disregard for their safety, engaged in fraud, or acted maliciously.
Medical malpractice and wrongful death due to medical negligence can be divided into several types of errors. When most people think of medical malpractice, they think of obvious errors, like a surgeon cutting off the wrong limb or performing surgery on the wrong patient. However, many errors are much more subtle than that. Common types of malpractice in Birmingham include:
A substantial amount of malpractice cases are caused by misdiagnosis or missed diagnoses. A misdiagnosis may cause a patient to undergo unnecessary surgeries or other treatments, putting them at risk of infection or unnecessary side effects. A missed diagnosis may prevent patents from receiving proper treatment. By the time their issues is properly diagnosed, they may need more aggressive treatment or have a worse prognosis.
Surgery poses enormous risks to patients. When doctors fail to observe safety standards or are not equipped to perform surgery, patients suffer. Malpractice covers a huge range of surgical errors, from performing surgery on the wrong patient or performing the wrong procedure to ignoring safety protocols and leaving a surgical glove inside a patient. Anesthesia errors are also common surgical errors.
Birth is a time of high risk for serious injuries to mothers and babies. Alabama has a long way to go in this area; Alabama deaths related to childbirth and pregnancy hit the highest number in recorded history in 2017. Failure to diagnose an issue in pregnancy can leave mothers with preeclamptic seizures or infertility, and failing to act in a timely manner during labor can leave babies with lifelong brain damage and other birth injuries.
It is crucial that medical professionals accurately prescribe and utilize medications. Medical malpractice may occur when medical professionals miss a medication interaction, prescribe the wrong dosage, or give medication to the wrong person. These types of medication errors can lead to serious injury.
No matter how highly ranked a hospital is, errors can happen. Hospitals and their administrators must follow strict guidelines related to patient privacy, documentation, and safety. A hospital may be liable for negligence if charts are mislabeled, leading to patients receiving unnecessary care or patients not receiving prescribed care. Hospitals can also be held responsible when they do not maintain proper staff-to-patient ratios, leading to patients receiving substandard care.
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If you or a loved one are injured by negligent health care from a medical professional, you should reach out to a medical malpractice lawyer right away. We can also help with other needs.
State boards that oversee medical practitioners include:
A second opinion may help you understand the care you’ve received and determine whether or not you have been the victim of medical malpractice. If you work with Belt, Bruner, & Barnett P.C., we can help you find a medical professional who can offer a second opinion. You may also find recommendations through Alabama Public Health’s directory of care providers.
If a health care provider’s negligence has left you feeling helpless, without recourse, and alone, we are here to help you find a way forward. Our team of Birmingham personal injury lawyers is ready to investigate your case and hold care providers accountable. Set up your free case evaluation now by contacting us online or calling us at (205) 933-1500.