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Skilled Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Birmingham, Alabama - Standing for Victims and Their Families.
Hurt By a Negligent Doctor or Medical Professional? Call Wettermark Keith Law Firm for a Free Consultation.
We put a lot of faith in our doctors. We trust them with our health and the safety of our children, follow the courses of medication they prescribe, and assume they act in our best interests. The vast majority of the time, this faith is warranted - physicians swear an oath to “do no harm” and undergo 10-14 years of intense training. Unfortunately, one sleepless night or moment of inattention can undo the bond of trust between doctor and patient - and ruin a life in the process.
Medical negligence and malpractice can take many forms. Let’s say your 8-month-old is bitten by a tick carrying Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. When she develops a fever and a rash, you bring her to the ER, informing medical examiners of what happened. They dismiss the bite, assuming a viral infection, and release you with Tylenol instead of antibiotics. They’re used to new parents overreacting to every sniffle. Due to this misdiagnosis, your child suffers severe, lifelong brain damage.
Or, say you take off work to treat a persistent cough. You’re ushered from a packed waiting room to a quiet, sterile office, where you sit for half an hour. When the doctor finally strides in, he’s short with his answers and attitude. It’s only noon, but you’re the 36th sick person he’s seen today. While examining your chest x-ray, he glances right over the small tumor in your right lung. He dismisses you with an inhaler and an asthma diagnosis. Your breathing difficulties continue. Your next x-ray, eight months down the line, indicates terminal lung cancer.
Staff shortages, overwhelmed hospitals, and long hours have led to countless stories like these. Alabama doctors are human, not perfect, and make the same mistakes as the rest of us. Unfortunately, the consequences of leaving your wallet in your car or your tea in the microwave do not approach the consequences of leaving a scalpel inside someone's body. The medical field doesn’t allow for mistakes. Doctors have been known to operate on the wrong leg - or on the wrong person. Families have been destroyed by an incorrect dosage or diagnosis. When a moment of negligence can cause death or irreparable injury, physicians have a responsibility to uphold a high standard of care. Birmingham courts require medical professionals to “exercise such reasonable care, skill, and diligence as other similarly situated healthcare providers in the same general line of practice ordinarily have and exercise.”
If your healthcare provider has violated this standard of care, they must be held accountable. Remember, you are not alone. Medical malpractice kills 250,000 Americans per year - second only to heart disease and cancer as a leading cause of deaths. It leaves countless more with chronic pain, ongoing symptoms, and long-term complications. If you have suffered due to negligence, you deserve legal compensation for your financial struggles and physical or emotional pain. Contact us for a free consultation - we’re ready to fight for the justice you deserve.
WE CAN HELP TELL YOUR STORY.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the accepted standard of their profession through negligence or omission when treating a patient, resulting in the injury or death of that individual.
In Birmingham, AL, the most common medical malpractice incidents include misdiagnoses, administering the wrong type or amount of medication, or leaving foreign objects in a patient’s body after surgery. While medical malpractice cases can take many forms, the plaintiff must prove breach of care, causation, and damages. First, legal testimony is required to prove a healthcare provider was negligent and breached their duty of care to the plaintiff. A witness with medical expertise may then need to attest that the plaintiff's injuries were caused by this negligence. Finally, the plaintiff is required to provide proof of damages, which can be economic (lost wages, medical bills) or non-economic (pain and suffering). The burden of proof is high in order to protect Birmingham doctors against individuals whose treatment did not lead to a desired outcome.
Medical malpractice is difficult to prove, but not impossible with the right legal representation. According to Alabama law, there is no cap on medical malpractice damages. Awarded damages tend to fall in two general categories:
- Compensatory Damages - these are awarded to restore the victim to the position they were in before their injury occurred. Compensatory damages include subcategories of General Damages and Special Damages.
- General Damages provide compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering, lowered quality of life, disfigurement, and impairment.
- Special Damages are awarded to cover any financial losses, including lost present and future wages, the cost of surgery, and past and future medical expenses.
- Punitive Damages - these are awarded to punish negligent medical professionals with consciously malicious intentions. These damages punish the defendant and deter future harmful behavior.
If you or a loved one have been harmed by what was assumed to be a quality medical practice, you may be entitled to the above damages. Because Alabama law is written to benefit healthcare professionals, legal knowledge is crucial to a malpractice lawsuit - if you think you may have a claim, contact Wettermark Keith to set up a free consultation. If we take your case, our attorneys will ensure your just compensation.
how do I know I have a MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE?
Not every medical error is malpractice. In order to prove that an incident is malpractice, patients must be able to show that their healthcare provider acted with negligence, and that this negligence resulted in an injury or death. Below are the most common indicators of legitimate malpractice:
You’re suffering complications from a treatment.
If you're suffering from disruptive, unexpected complications after undergoing a treatment, you may be a victim of malpractice - these sudden issues may be a sign that your healthcare provider made a mistake while administering treatment. Complications can present as a large variety of symptoms, including fever, excessive bleeding, urinary retention, and infection.
There was a lack of informed consent.
Your Birmingham healthcare provider is required to fully explain any risks or outcomes involved with a procedure. Therefore, if your physician performed a procedure on you that you did not agree to, or failed to explain a risk of a treatment that would have made you otherwise decline the treatment, it may be possible to take legal action against them for malpractice.
The treatment and severity of your injury do not match up.
Misdiagnosis can lead healthcare professional to perform unnecessary or overly invasive surgeries, procedures or treatments on patients. Alternatively, they may not take an illness seriously enough, carrying out a lesser, ineffective treatment. If you feel uncomfortable with a treatment in relation to the severity of your condition, our Birmingham medical malpractice attorneys may be able to help prove your physician's failure to administer proper treatment.
You have developed new symptoms after treatment.
Proper post-treatment care is vital to recovery. Failure in this area can be disastrous - if patients are poorly monitored or given little guidance after a treatment, they may develop a deadly infection or suffer an adverse reaction to a prescribed medication, If you have developed new symptoms after your treatment plan that your Birmingham healthcare provider failed to warn you about, you may have a medical malpractice case.
If you’ve experienced any of the above scenarios, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Our attorneys can answer any questions you might have concerning a potential case. It is important to note that you must have a medical relationship with the person you’re filing against for medical malpractice. In other words, you cannot ask a lawyer to bring a case against a friend - who happens to be a healthcare provider - who has informally spoken to you about your health conditions.
If you believe you have a case, don't hesitate. Hiring a Wettermark Keith medical malpractice lawyer may be the key to your recovery and the success of your case. Our Birmingham attorneys have seen it all, and are glad to help you. Call us at our (877) 715-9300 number to schedule a complimentary professional evaluation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare professionals breach their duty of care to their patients through negligence or omission, and this failure results in injury or death. Unfortunately this is a common occurrence in Birmingham, AL hospitals struggling with staffing shortages. If you think you might have a case, contact us today.
how does INFORMED CONSENT APPLy TO MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS?
If you were injured in a procedure - but your Birmingham healthcare provider claims that you signed off on the potential for injury - you may need to claim a lack of informed consent. Before a treatment or operation, doctors are required to obtain a written document stating that you understand the benefits and dangers you're undertaking by agreeing to a certain course of medical treatment.
With informed consent, your healthcare professional gives you a choice as to whether or not to pursue the recommended course of health care. It is your right to decline a procedure if you are not comfortable with the risks. Therefore, if you were not previously informed of the details of a treatment, you were not able to make the decision to accept care with full knowledge of the benefits and drawbacks of the method of treatment. If you do not believe you were properly informed by your medical provider before agreeing to a treatment, you may have a case. Contact us today for a free consultation.
you deserve a Full recovery - contact our expert attorneys for representation and peace of mind
We trust Birmingham healthcare professionals to keep us safe. When that duty of care is breached, heavy consequences are necessary to support and protect both current and future victims. Our experienced attorneys understand the ins and outs of medical malpractice law, and are determined to obtain justice for you or your loved one.
In Birmingham, most medical malpractice cases are ruled in favor of healthcare professionals. Because Alabama law sets an extremely high burden of proof, medical malpractice cases are likely to fail without proper legal representation. On top of this, acquiring evidence for a medical malpractice case can be time consuming and expensive. At Wettermark Keith, we understand the difficulties of pursuing a legal actions against a powerful organization immediately after an injury. Our attorneys want to save your strength and peace of mind while they secure your recovery.
At Wettermark Keith, our attorneys build strong relationships with their clients, based on constant communication and an unwavering dedication to truth and trust. While you focus on your recovery, Your Alabama medical malpractice attorney will keep you in the loop and out of the trenches. Our attorneys will gather all necessary evidence and witnesses, file any required paperwork, and negotiate with other parties and insurance professionals to ensure your voice is heard and that you receive the compensation you deserve. Our purpose is to practice with care and compassion - to tell our clients’ stories and make their voices heard.
no fee guarantee
Our attorneys have years of experience serving injured clients, and have won countless settlements for victims who seek out our law firm to obtain justice. We know that between hospital visits, forced time off work, and high medical bills, you may struggle to bear the cost of your healthcare professional's negligence. We intend to ease your financial worries. Wettermark Keith represents clients on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay no upfront costs, and your initial consultation is always free. The goal of our law firm is for you to have the most successful recovery possible - let us take care of the rest.
don't hesitate - call WETTERMARK KEITH law firm today for a free evaluation
When you're ready to start filing your claim, click on our online form or call us at (877) 715-9300 to speak to a professional on our intake team. We will listen to your story and see what we can do for you. If we take your case, our law firm will assign one of our seasoned attorneys to pursue your medical malpractice case to its conclusion.
Partner With a Reliable Personal Injury Lawyer
Hiring the right personal injury attorney in Birmingham can make or break your case. You deserve to receive compensation for your injuries.
Wettermark Keith Law Firm is here to help. Contact us today for more info and to see why we're the best personal injury lawyers serving Birmingham.