Alabama Medical Malpractice: Laws, Claims and Damages
UPDATED: August 7, 2012
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ALABAMA MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
If an Alabama doctor or other health care provider injures a patient because they have failed to follow the governing standard of care in their area of medicine, the patient can bring an action against the doctor for medical malpractice. A doctor found to be medically negligent will be liable to the patient for damages caused by their negligence. If you believe that a medically negligent health care provider has injured you, you should contact an Alabama medical malpractice attorney. The following are some examples of negligence on the part of health care professionals:
- Failure to provide correct treatment
- Misdiagnosis/failure to diagnose
- Birth injuries
- Delay in treating a diagnosed illness
Who Can Be Sued in an Alabama Medical Malpractice Case?
In Alabama, all types of health care providers can be held liable for medical negligence. Health care providers include, but are not limited to, doctors, nurses, counselors, psychologists, hospitals, and any other medical group or organization. If you believe that you have been the victim of medical negligence, an Alabama attorney can assist you in determining if the negligent person or entity is considered a health care provider and thus subject to a suit for medical negligence.
Alabama Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
If you believe that you have been injured as a result of medical negligence, you should contact an Alabama attorney right away. Claims for medical malpractice must be filed within a certain period of time after the date of the injury, a time period known as the statute of limitations. Failure to file a medical malpractice action within the statute of limitations will result in your claim being barred. The statutes of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim in Alabama are as follows:
- If the action is on behalf of a minor over four years of age, a claim must be filed within four years of the injury;
- If the action is on behalf of a minor under four years of age, the claim must be filed before the minor’s eighth birthday;
- If the action is being filed by, or on behalf of, an adult, the claim must be filed within two years of the injury; or
- If the injury was not immediately discovered, the claim must be filed within six months of the date the injury should have been, or was, discovered.
Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims in Alabama
Recoverable damages are not limited to any maximum caps in Alabama courts. An Alabama attorney will help you determine the value of your case.
Filing an Alabama Medical Malpractice Claim
Because medical malpractice is a complex area of law, you should consult an Alabama medical malpractice attorney immediately if you believe that a health care provider has injured you. An attorney will first help you identify all of the potential defendants in a medical malpractice case. These may include the medically negligent health care provider, any entity they work for, and the manufacturer of any medical equipment that injured you. Medical malpractice claims can also involve hiring expert witnesses, taking depositions, and dealing with numerous insurance lawyers who have been hired to defend the health care provider. For these reasons, it’s important to hire an Alabama attorney specializing in medical malpractice claims. Failure to do so could affect your chances of a successful monetary recovery.
Alabama Medical Malpractice Laws
1. Medical Liability Actions: Definitions. Section 6-5-481.
2. Medical Liability Actions: Limitation on time for commencement of action. Section 6-5-482.
3. Medical Liability Actions: Degree of care owed to patient. Section 6-5-484.
4. Medical Liability Actions: Settlement of disputes by arbitration. Section 6-5-485.
5. Medical Liability Actions: Optional method of payment of judgments in excess of $100,000. Section 6-5-486.
6. Medical Liability Actions: Advance payments by defendant or insurer not admission of liability; advance payments in excess of award not repayable. Section 6-5-487.
7. Medical Liability Actions: Rules of evidence and procedures in civil actions preserved. Section 6-5-488.