Suffering a medical malpractice injury can be devastating for many different reasons and can be among the most difficult types of injury cases to prove. You have to be able to show that the malpractice caused you harm, and showing that often involves the use of one or more expert witnesses willing to testify that your health provider did something wrong.
Of all of the types of personal injury cases and causes of serious injuries to those who live within Alabama, an act of medical malpractice may be the most shocking. Indeed, medical malpractice is so appalling because it is the exact opposite of what a patient expects when they are seeking medical care. A patient expects to be treated with a high level of care, and reasonably expects to end up better off than they were when they began their care.
Unfortunately, medical malpractice is a leading cause of patient injury across the United States, with medical errors now the third leading cause of death in the country. If you have been harmed by your doctor or other healthcare professional, our experienced Alabama medical malpractice attorneys at the law office of Taylor Martino, P.C. want to meet with you to discuss your claim today.
What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?
There is a big difference between a medical error and an act of medical malpractice. There is also a huge difference between a medical professional taking all of the necessary steps to ensure the best outcome for a patient, yet a patient still suffers harm and a medical professional failing to take all of the necessary steps to ensure the best outcome for a patient. Indeed, it is this–the failure to adhere to the medical standard of care–that constitutes malpractice.
The medical standard of care is considered to be the “reasonable care, skill, and diligence as other similarly situated health care providers in the same general line of practice ordinarily have and exercise in a like case.” This means that in determining whether or not a healthcare provider breached the standard of care owed to a patient, a dermatologist would be compared to a dermatologist treating a patient with a similar condition, a heart surgeon to a heart surgeon, etc.
Types of Medical Malpractice in Alabama
The types of medical malpractice that may lead to patient harm are far and vast. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include:
Surgical errors, including leaving an object inside a patient, failing to sterilize surgical equipment, operating on the wrong body part, and even operating on the wrong patient;
Medication/drug errors, including prescribing the wrong medication or wrong dosage, improper administration of the medication, mixing up medications, etc.;
Failure to refer errors, which occur when one doctor, typically a general practitioner, fails to refer a patient to a specialist for follow up care;
Failure to diagnose, which is when a doctor fails to properly diagnose a patient’s medical condition, perhaps as a result of failing to order proper tests, correctly interpret lab results, garner enough information from the patient, etc.; and
Treatment errors, which occur when the healthcare provider treats the patient in a way that is misaligned with the medical standard of care.
You Deserve to Be Compensated When Medical Malpractice Causes You Harm
If you believe that your harm, injuries, or degradation of a medical condition would not have occurred but for the actions of your healthcare practitioner, you need to meet with an Alabama medical malpractice attorney to discuss your right to damages today. If you can prove that the healthcare professional in question did indeed breach the medical standard of care owed to you and that this breach was the direct cause of your injuries, you can seek compensation for your economic losses, such as additional medical expenses and lost wages, and non-economic losses, such as the value of your pain and suffering.
Not only is seeking damages important for ensuring that you recover the compensation that you need to build your life and a better future for yourself, but filing a claim may also help to ensure that the medical professional is held liable for their conduct, and perhaps will have fewer opportunities to cause harm to other patients in the future as such.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Claims in Alabama
If you think that you may have a medical malpractice claim, you should meet with an attorney to discuss your claim and learn more about the statute of limitations.
The standard deadline for filing a medical malpractice claim in Alabama is two years from the date that the malpractice occurred. For example, if you underwent surgery on January 1, 2017 and the surgeon operated on the wrong limb, you would have until January 1, 2019 to file your claim.
However, the two-year deadline is not always fixed, as there are many instances where a patient may not learn of their harm until after the two-year deadline has passed. For example, if a patient undergoes surgery on January 1, 2017 and the surgeon leaves an object inside the patient, the patient may not be aware of that object until complications develop 25 months later, in February 2019. When this is the case, the discovery rule applies, which holds that a plaintiff may commence their lawsuit within six months of the date of discovery.
There are also some exceptions for young minor children who are the victims of medical malpractice. In any case, seeking counsel from a knowledgeable Alabama medical malpractice attorney is advised.
Medical Malpractice Cases Can Be Complicated
Even if you are sure that your doctor violated the standard of care owed to you, medical malpractice cases can be complicated. You will need to hire medical experts to prove that the doctor in question did indeed act outside of the medical standard of care, and that this deviation was the direct cause of your injury. You will also need to prove that you have suffered damages as a direct result.
At the law offices of Taylor Martino, P.C., we know how shocking it can be to be the victim of medical malpractice. We promise to work hard for you as you bring forth your claim, protecting your confidentiality and defending your rights along the way. We can handle all aspects of your claim, including hiring medical and financial experts.
We know what you are experiencing, and know that you deserve justice. To learn more about how to seek compensation for the harm you have suffered, please contact the aggressive and compassionate Alabama medical malpractices attorneys at Taylor Martino, P.C. today. You can reach our law firm directly at 251-433-3131.