WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN ALABAMA?
Medical Malpractice is among the most misunderstood areas of law. That is because very specific legal requirements must be met for there to be a valid medical malpractice claim. With that said, a healthcare professional (such as a Doctor, Nurse or Hospital) must have made a mistake and you must have been harmed as a result of that mistake. But what qualifies as a mistake?
First, you need to understand a concept known as the standard of care. The standard of care is defined as the generally accepted manner of treating similar patients in the same geographic area with the same condition.
For example, the standard of care for treating a 20-year-old man with type 2 diabetes in Birmingham might be different than the standard of care for treating an 80-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes in California.
To have a valid medical malpractice case, you must prove:
- that the doctor did not follow the standard of care for diagnosing or treating your medical condition.
- that you (or your loved one) were injured as a result of the mistake.
If you and your medical malpractice lawyer can show both that the healthcare professional breeched the standard of care and that you were harmed, you may have a valid medical malpractice case.
ARE THERE TIME RESTRICTIONS FOR HOW LONG I HAVE TO FILE A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE IN ALABAMA?
Yes. In Alabama, there is a two-year statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case. That means you have two years from the date of the mistake to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in the state of Alabama.
If you could not have reasonably known about the doctor’s mistake within two years, then you have six months following the discovery to file a lawsuit.
If a loved one died as a result of a healthcare provider’s medical negligence, then you may have a Wrongful Death Claim that must be filed within two years of the person’s death.
WHAT DAMAGES ARE AVAILABLE IN AN ALABAMA MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE?
If you are successful with your medical malpractice case, you will be entitled to what are known as damages. Damages by definition would be money paid to compensate (Compensatory Damages) you for your injuries. You may also receive what are known as punitive damages, which are designed to punish (Punitive Damages)the medical professional(s) for their mistakes.
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