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According to ABPLA, medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient. Medical malpractice can happen during the diagnosis, during the treatment, or advice for treatment after an illness. 

Medical malpractice claims are more common than you may think. You may be entitled to a claim and will need the help of an attorney. This blog article will walk through some key things you need to know about medical malpractice.

You have to prove medical malpractice to place a claim

Medical malpractice claims have requirements that need to be covered before they can be placed. 

  1. You must show that there was a doctor-patient relationship with the doctor you plan to sue. In simple terms, you hired the doctor and the doctor agreed to be hired by you. 

  2. The doctor’s negligence caused the injury. To prove that your doctor was negligent in their practice or diagnosis, you must be able to prove that your doctor caused you harm where another doctor would not have. The patient needs to outline where the doctor deviated from the medical standard of care.

  3. Your injury led to specific harm or damage. A specific injury must be caused by the doctor’s negligence. These injuries can include physical pain, additional medical bills or lost work.

There are different types of medical malpractice

There are a few different types of medical malpractice that can be viable for a claim. The most common are listed below, but you may be entitled to your claim in other circumstances. Barfoot & Schoettker can help you determine if you have a viable case for medical malpractice.

  • Failure to diagnose/misdiagnosis

  • Improper treatment

  • Birth injuries

  • Prescription drug errors

  • Failure to treat

Medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

According to the Medical Malpractice Center, there are 80,000 to 100,000 deaths in the U.S. each year due to medical malpractice or error in diagnosis. The majority of malpractice cases are from misdiagnosis of an illness. From these many occurrences of malpractice, there are only 15,000 to 19,000 suits filed annually in the U.S. 

Medical malpractice can occur during the diagnosis, during the treatment, or advice for treatment after an illness. In order to avoid medical malpractice, the patient should research their diagnosis and try to best understand it. Always speak up if you think something is wrong and document your symptoms.

You have two years to file your claim

In the state of Alabama, you have a time limit of two years to file your claim for medical malpractice. This time restraint means from the date the mistake occurred. Each state has its own rules so you will have to do your research to find the statute of limitations in your state. Malpractice lawsuits may take a longer period of time to resolve than the two years following. 

Compensation vs. punitive damages

In any medical malpractice lawsuit, there can be compensatory damages or punitive damages for the patient in the case that they win. A patient may receive compensatory damages which are intended to compensate you for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages are a second form of compensation in which the health care provider is punished for the malpractice. If the plaintiff chooses to give extra punishment to the provider, the sum will not be used to compensate the patient but rather to deter the health care provider from committing similar misdeeds in the future.

Hire Barfoot & Schoettker

Have you suffered from medical malpractice? Your first step should be to contact an attorney in order to review the details and determine whether your case is actionable. The lawyers at Barfoot & Schoettker will be able to work with you to gather the evidence and file within the statute of limitations.

It is important to have an experienced lawyer, like the ones at Barfoot & Schoettker, by your side in the case of medical malpractice to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Contact the lawyers at Barfoot & Schoettker today if you believe you have been unjustly served and have a possible medical malpractice case. Call (334) 834-3444 or submit a free case evaluation form electronically.


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