Huntsville Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America. We handle cases involving medical errors, also referred to as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice means the failure of a healthcare provider to meet the “standard of care” which causes harm to the patient. Here’s what you need to know about these cases:
The Laws are Tough
We are one of the few firms in north Alabama that litigate medical malpractice cases. Most personal injury lawyers shy away from these types of cases because they are very hard to win. Alabama has the Alabama Medical Liability Act, a set of laws that give special legal protections to health care providers.
Due to these laws, only 9% of people who file medical malpractice lawsuits win their case. Here’s a few reasons why medical malpractice cases are so hard to win:
How We Handle Medical Malpractice Cases
We evaluate all of the evidence available, including the relevant medical records. We then consult with an expert witness to see if what occurred was indeed medical malpractice.
Alabama law requires us to find a “similarly situated” expert witness to review the evidence and be willing to testify that the “standard of care” was not met. A similarly situated expert means a healthcare provider that is just like the healthcare provider who caused the harm.
For example, if we believe a cardiologist was negligent, then we have to find a cardiologist who is willing to testify against the at-fault cardiologist. If we locate an expert witness cardiologist who reviews the evidence and believes the standard of care was not met, then we move forward with taking legal action.
These cases are indeed tough to win, but our personal injury lawyers are willing to take medical malpractice cases the distance.
What to Expect After the Lawsuit is Filed
Rarely is there is a quick settlement. Most insurance companies defend these cases all the way to trial.
After a lawsuit is filed, then the parties engage in the “discovery” process where each side exchanges information. Then the parties will take depositions, which is simply question and answers sessions of relevant witnesses under oath. The parties then exchange expert witness information and expert witness depositions are taken.
After all of the depositions, usually the healthcare provider files a motion for summary judgment, which essentially requests that the judge dismiss the case. If the judge rules in our favor, sometimes there is an opportunity to reach a settlement. If not, the case proceeds to trial.
This entire process can take years. It moves slowly and can be frustrating for the injured person. However, it’s the only way to obtain justice for those harmed by preventable medical errors.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
The most common malpractice case we handle involves failures of nursing homes. Residents are not provided adequate nutrition and hydration. Many times they develop bedsores because they are not properly rotated in their beds. Elderly residents fall and suffer broken bones or brain injuries.
Other common medical malpractice cases we handle involve medication errors. Medication errors occur more often than you would think. When someone goes without the correct medication or takes the incorrect medication, serious health complications and even wrongful death can occur.
We have also handled malpractice cases against hospitals, physical therapy providers, ambulance services, and pharmacies. All of these entities are “healthcare providers” that have the protections of the Alabama Medical Liability Act.
How Are Medical Malpractice Lawyers Paid?
Malpractice lawyers are paid on a contingency fee, which simply means the lawyer gets paid a percentage of the settlement or verdict. If the lawyer loses the case, then the client does not have to pay the lawyer.
Contingency fees in medical malpractice cases are high. Since these cases are difficult, expensive, and time-consuming, lawyers charge a 40%, 45%, or even a 50% contingency fee in some cases.
Let Us Help
If you believe you have been a victim of medical malpractice, please reach out for a free case evaluation.