What to Expect In an Alabama Medical Malpractice CasePublished: Jul 31, 2020 in Medical Malpractice
Experts don’t fully agree on the magnitude of people injured and killed each year by medical errors, but they know thousands are harmed annually by health care mistakes. Per National Institutes of Health studies, these incidents are a leading cause of death in the United States each year. The injuries from medical malpractice errors can be devastating.
Perhaps you suffered a medical-related injury, or a loved one died from a health care mistake, and you are wondering about the possibility of pursuing damages through an Alabama medical malpractice case. If so, the medical malpractice lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. can help explain your legal options. To schedule a free consultation of your case, contact us today at (205) 933-1500.
Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim
The first thing to keep in mind is that every mistake related to health care is not necessarily malpractice that you will receive compensation for. Once it is determined a medical professional made a mistake, several other requirements must be met to pursue a claim.
Standard of Care
At Belt & Bruner, P.C., our medical malpractice lawyers will help determine if what happened in your case violated what is called a health care professional’s standard of care. In the law, this means the generally accepted manner of treating similar patients who have the same condition. In other words, if you were a 65-year-old woman being treated for breast cancer, your treatment would be compared to others of a similar age receiving treatment for the same condition.
To prevail in a medical malpractice case in Alabama, you must prove the healthcare provider failed to follow the standard of care in your diagnosis or treatment.
Injury or Harm
For your Alabama medical malpractice case to prevail, you must have suffered injury or harm. You will be required to show that the health care mistake injured or otherwise harmed you in some manner.
Statute of Limitations
In Alabama, you generally have two years to bring a medical malpractice case. That means you would have to file suit to pursue your claim within two years of your injury. A wrongful death claim based on medical malpractice must also be filed within two years of the person’s death. But if you were unable to discover the injury, you have an additional six months after this discovery to file a lawsuit.
What About Damages?
Unlike many of other states, Alabama has no cap on damages you could receive if you prove your health care provider committed medical malpractice. You could even receive punitive damages. These are not based on your actual losses; rather, they are an amount of money that is designed to punish the at-fault party.
Keep in mind that in Alabama, the court will determine if pure contributory negligence was a factor in your case. This means that if your physician provides evidence that you failed to follow medical instructions or in some other way contributed to your harm, you will be barred from recovering any compensation.
Do You Have Questions About Your Alabama Medical Malpractice Case?
Medical malpractice in Alabama is a complicated legal concept. If you believe you have a case because of a medical mistake that caused you harm, don’t delay in seeking a consultation with our medical malpractice lawyers. At Belt & Bruner, P.C., we can investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury, and determine if you should pursue a claim. Call us today at (205) 933-1500, or reach out through the online form for a free consultation.