Alabama Medical Malpractice Attorneys Caring for Injured Victims
For many of us, a trip to see a doctor or spending time in a hospital can be a situation fraught with anxiety, stress, and tension—even when things go well. In some cases, however, a bad situation can be made worse by the actions or negligence of the healthcare provider or medical professional.
Medical malpractice occurs when care received by a patient falls short of what is expected, and this results in injury or—in some cases—the death of a patient. If it can be proven, the victim or family of the victim may be able to pursue the hospital or medical practitioner in question for damages.
How Can I Establish Medical Malpractice?
All medical malpractice cases will be decided in court, and the plaintiff is required to fulfill certain conditions. According to legislation, they must:
- Establish the medical standard of care that was appropriate under the circumstances in which the defendant health care provider treated the plaintiff
- Show exactly how, in treating the plaintiff, the defendant failed to provide care in line with that standard
- Prove that, as a result of the defendant’s provision of sub-standard care, the plaintiff suffered harm that would not otherwise have occurred
These factors are known as the key liability elements and will usually be established through the testimony of a qualified expert medical witness.
For the purposes of the first point, a medical standard of care is defined by law as being:
“the level and type of care that a reasonably competent and skilled healthcare professional, with a similar background and in the same medical community, would have provided under the circumstances that led to the alleged malpractice.”
In short, the critical question is, “would a similarly skilled health care professional have provided me with the same treatment under the same or similar circumstances?”
If you are looking to prove that your healthcare provider or medical practitioner was negligent, there are four main areas which must be present:
- Duty: once the doctor/patient relationship is established, the doctor accepts their responsibility to provide the patient with care during the course of their treatment, following all required guidelines
- Breach: a breach occurred when standard medical guidelines and reasonable care are not taken
- Injury: for the breach to count as malpractice, an injury must be sustained
- Damages: The injury received caused damages to the victim, either economic or non-economic
These must all be proven in order to pursue a negligence case.
What Are Some Examples of Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice can take many forms. Some of the most common include:
- Delayed Diagnosis (or misdiagnosis): this can cause a condition to be diagnosed inaccurately or too late to save the patient’s life
- Errors with Medication: this may include a prescribed medication being missed, or the wrong medication being administered
- Birth Injuries: the mother and/or baby are injured due to negligence or error by a healthcare professional
- Errors in Surgery: an unnecessary surgery may be carried out, or a patient may be injured during a surgical procedure
- Errors with Anesthesia: an anesthesiologist gives an incorrect amount of anesthesia to a patient, resulting in injury or death
- Negligence (aformentioned): this refers to a failure to act with the same amount of care that a reasonable medical professional would have acted with in the same situation
What Happens if I Am Successful?
If you are successful in your case, you will be able to pursue damages and compensation. These can be used to meet a range of requirements, including:
- Loss of Earnings: they can cover losses incurred both at the time of the accident andwith any income loss, either as a result of the injury which left you unable to work or forced to reduce your earning capacity as a result of the injury
- Adaptations: long-term injury and disability may require you to carry out adaptations to your home and car to allow you to maintain a good quality of life
- Medical expenses: again, this can cover both the time of the accident and any future medical care required
Alabama no longer has a cap on the amount of damages that can be awarded in a medical malpractice case.
What is Contributory Negligence?
It is important to note that Alabama is a contributory negligence state; if you are found to be even 1% responsible for your injury, you are prohibited from pursuing damages.
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, we can help you establish whether you have a case. Here at Pharr & Goree Injury Attorneys, we work hard to ensure that victims of medical malpractice and personal injury are awarded the justice and compensation they deserve. Get in touch today by calling us at (256) 487-6080 and see how we can help.