Alabama Medical Malpractice Lawyer

It is estimated that millions of patients are injured each year due to negligence in the hospital, and according to a recent study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, hundreds of thousands of patients are killed each year in hospitals as a result of medical malpractice. If you are among the millions of patients that have been injured due to medical mistakes, or have had a family member die due to medical mistakes or negligence, it is important for you to hire a lawyer or attorney in Alabama who specializes in medical malpractice to defend your case.

Medical malpractice can be defined as negligence committed by a health care professional, resulting in physical and/or economic harm to a patient. A medical malpractice lawyer or attorney will have the ability to determine if you are a victim of medical malpractice by examining several factors that must be present to prove medical malpractice. They will first decide if taking on your case is economical to their practice and to you as the patient. A case that is hard to prove may take years to settle, and can get expensive for both parties. Your case may also not be considered malpractice at all, and the lawyer or attorney may feel that defending you would not be a good choice.

If a lawyer or attorney does decide to pick up your case, there are many steps involved in the process following the initial meeting. The elements of proof include duty of care, breach of duty, injury, and proximate cause. It is also important to know that the burden of proof rests on the victim (plaintiff) in the malpractice lawsuit. Because of this, these lawsuits can be hard to win, and may take years to be resolved.

While the elements of proof are similar for every state, the prescribed standard of medical care varies, as well as the way in which damages are awarded, and the amount of time you have to file your claim. In the state of Alabama, you have two years after the injury has been sustained to file your claim. In addition, Alabama state code dictates that all damages in medical malpractice wrongful death cases are considered to be punitive (damages awarded by a court to punish the defendant rather than to compensate the victim), rather than compensatory (damages awarded to compensate the plaintiff for personal injury caused by the defendant's wrongful act). Each state has varying statutes for wrongful death as well. In Alabama, a wrongful death suit must be filed within two years of the date of death.

Before the trial begins, and during the trial itself, an attorney may call upon expert witnesses (medical professionals who are separate from the case itself) to deliver expert facts or opinion on the case to the judge or jury. In Alabama, expert witnesses must be licensed to practice in the same specialty as the defendant, and must have practiced within their field of medicine within the past year.

Medical malpractice attorneys will typically focus on several areas of medical malpractice. These may include some or all of the following: anesthesia negligence, nursing home injuries or negligence, pharmaceutical negligence, birth injury, emergency room errors, surgery errors, and brain damage. Medical malpractice law is a highly specialized field, so it is in yours and your family's best interest to consult an attorney or law firm whose main focus is medical malpractice or personal injury law.


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