If you are visiting this page, you or someone you care about may have been the victim of poor medical care that has caused injury or death. Many people make claims against healthcare providers, such as hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacies, nursing homes and others.
These cases start with the question of whether the health care provider provided care that is less than what one would expect in the national medical community. If a doctor or hospital failed to meet minimum safety requirements in their treatment, they can be financially responsible for the harm that they cause.
A medical malpractice case requires experts to testify that the healthcare professional provided substandard care that caused harm. We have been successful in pursuing cases against doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and nursing homes. We can help you get your questions answered; just call us.
If you believe that you or a loved one suffered an injury or had a medical issue exacerbated due to inadequate medical care, you might have a medical malpractice case. The medical malpractice lawyers in Birmingham from Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP want to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us at (205) 324-1212 to discuss your case with an attorney today.
Why Do I Need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
A medical malpractice action is difficult to file anywhere in the country, Alabama is no different. Most people lack the expertise and resources insurers defending medical negligence cases possess.
You do not have to face these legal challenges by yourself. Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can work to help you obtain the compensation you are entitled to.
You are likely facing a number of financial concerns that might cause you to think that you cannot afford legal representation. Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP handles medical malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay us a fee if you receive a monetary award.
Why Choose Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP?
Mr. Farris and Mr. Riley have secured several multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements. The medical malpractice lawyers of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP have over 100 years of combined legal experience.
Kirby Farris and Ken Riley are active members of the Alabama Bar Association, Birmingham Bar Association, and American Bar Association. They hold admissions to practice law in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, and United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, in addition to the Alabama Supreme Court.
We closely collaborate with all our clients to ensure we consistently update you on the status of your case. Our firm will actively pursue a fair settlement but won’t hesitate to litigate if the insurer doesn’t provide equitable compensation.
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP handles many different kinds of medical malpractice cases. If you have suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed because of medical malpractice in Birmingham or a surrounding area of Jefferson County, contact our team at (205) 324-1212 to have our medical malpractice lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free consultation.
Cases We Handle
Alabama law defines medical liability as a finding by a judge, jury, or arbitration panel that a healthcare provider, like a physician or dentist, did not meet the expected standard of care, directly causing harm to the patient. Regarding this standard, Alabama Code § 6-5-548 mandates the plaintiff to prove with substantial evidence that the provider did not exercise the reasonable care and skill expected in their field, similar to others in the same practice area under similar circumstances.
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP has experience handling a wide variety of medical malpractice claims, including but not limited to:
- Misdiagnosis or Failure to Diagnose — A misdiagnosis involves an incorrect diagnosis, a missed diagnosis, or a delayed diagnosis. A doctor could diagnose one condition correctly but misdiagnose or completely miss another. Failure to diagnose claims results from physicians violating the standard of care by not diagnosing or misdiagnosing a condition.
- Failure to Warn – Doctors have a duty to obtain informed consent from their patients before embarking on a treatment plan. If the doctor fails to advise you about the potential risks of a procedure or medication, including how new prescription drugs might interact with drugs you’re already taking, and you develop side effects or a new condition arises from the treatment that you weren’t warned about, your doctor could be held liable.
- Improper Treatment – Sometimes doctors are fallible. If your physician prescribed outdated or improper treatment for your condition, you may have experienced medical complications as a consequence.
- Surgical Errors — In certain instances, even skilled professionals make critical surgical errors leading to numerous complications for patients. In other cases, people may undergo unnecessary surgeries.
- Drug Prescription or Administration Errors — Administering the wrong medication doses or types can lead to severe or fatal harm.
- Birth Injuries — Injuries to children sustained during childbirth are one of the most common kinds of medical malpractice actions. Such claims are usually based on one or more forms of negligence committed during the mother’s pregnancy or delivery.
- Anesthesia Errors — Numerous complications can arise during the administration of anesthesia, including the dispensation of too much or too little anesthesia, delayed delivery of anesthesia, or the administration of the wrong kind of anesthesia.
- Premature Discharge — Premature hospital discharge of individuals with serious conditions can lead to complications that necessitate emergency readmissions. Premature discharge cases often involve infants.
- Misreading or Ignoring Test Results — Physicians are usually provided with a wealth of medical information, including X-rays, MRIs, and computed tomography (both CT and CAT) scans, among many others. Not accurately interpreting or disregarding signs in such reports can form the basis for a medical malpractice claim.
Any one of a number of parties could be liable in a medical malpractice action.
Proving Medical Malpractice
In order for us to win compensation a medical malpractice case, we must prove three distinct points:
The Medical Professionals Failed to Maintain Their Legal Duty to Their Patient
In many situations, individuals may not owe a duty to others, but healthcare providers generally have a duty to their patients. All professional healthcare providers who have a relationship with a patient have a duty to that patient.
The patient/healthcare provider relationship often begins when the doctor, nurse, etc., starts treating the patient. This is usually the easiest element to satisfy in a medical malpractice case.
The health care provider has a duty to use established standards of care when treating a patient. Other providers with similar education and in a comparable situation hold a healthcare provider to a standard.
The Breach of Duty Caused the Injury
Going back to the previous example, if the lack of treatment leads to complications, you may have a claim. In order to have a successful claim, though, you will need to prove that the complications you or a loved one suffered were caused by the doctor’s inadequate care or could have been prevented had the doctor acted within the standard of care.
In some instances, this can be challenging as a doctor’s mistake may not directly cause your complications. There are even cases where a surgeon and the staff do everything according to proper medical procedures during an operation and postoperative care, yet a patient still develops an infection or suffers another complication, which is why this is one of the more difficult steps in proving a medical malpractice claim.
Our experts play a crucial role in constructing a clear timeline and demonstrating how the doctor’s negligence caused your complications.
The Injury Resulted in Damages to the Patient
Lastly, our firm must prove that the doctor’s negligence caused your injury and resulted in damages to you. Damages can encompass a range of things, from the pain and suffering experienced by a surviving family following a medical malpractice error resulting in a loved one’s death to compensation for additional operations, treatments, or rehabilitation necessitated by the initial mistake.
For instance, if a surgeon’s error leads to a patient’s paralysis, we can vividly depict the impact on your life during negotiations or in front of a jury. This will include all types of things – from no longer being able to work in your previous field of employment to pain and suffering from no longer being able to fully be a part of raising your family or engaging in hobbies you once enjoyed.
Calculating damages in medical malpractice cases can be complicated, and it’s important to seek out personal injury attorneys who are experienced with the nuances of the process, such as those at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP.
We carefully listen to your experience and conduct a deep investigation to gather every detail of your case. Our medical malpractice lawyers are fierce in negotiations and unafraid of trials to secure your deserved compensation. To learn more about our medical malpractice process and to receive a free case evaluation, please call us anytime at (205) 324-1212.
Frequently Asked Questions
Alabama Code § 6-5-482 sets a statute of limitations of two years on all injury claims. If a cause of action remains undiscovered and could not have reasonably been discovered within that period, then you can commence an action up to six months after the date of the discovery. This law’s exception for minors pertains exclusively to those under the age of 4, allowing them to file a claim until their eighth birthday.
If a case proceeds to trial, a jury can grant a victim compensatory and punitive damages. Typically, compensatory damages comprise economic (e.g., medical expenses, lost income) and noneconomic (e.g., emotional distress, pain and suffering) damages. In specific instances where the defendant’s misconduct is established with clear and convincing evidence, punitive damages may also be granted. Alabama Code § 6-11-21(a) specifies that in most civil cases, punitive damages cannot exceed three times the compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is higher. Nonetheless, Alabama Code § 6-11-21(d) imposes a limit of three times the compensatory damages or $1.5 million, whichever is greater, in civil cases involving physical injury.
Most consent forms function as evidence that you received information regarding specific risks and have agreed to undergo medical procedures. If the consent form (or a separate form) sought to release medical personnel and facilities from civil liability, such agreements are not always ironclad. A release form could self-declare invalidity if it omits or inadequately defines a complication experienced by the victim.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
According to a recent Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis report by Diederich Healthcare, Alabama saw more than $44 million in medical malpractice payouts in 2022. This figure represented a staggering 56 percent increase in malpractice payouts since 2020.
Nationwide, Diederich discovered that diagnostic issues constituted the most common alleged error, accounting for 32 percent of payments. Patients alleged surgery issues in 23 percent of cases, with treatment malpractice following at 20 percent. Payments for obstetrics cases accounted for 12 percent, and medication and anesthesia malpractice payouts combined represented seven percent.
Nationally, 32 percent of paid claims involved an error that resulted in the patient’s death. Eighteen percent involved significant permanent injury, while 19 percent involved major permanent injury. Quadriplegia, brain damage, and lifelong care needs accounted for 11 percent of paid claims. Minor permanent injuries and major temporary injuries represented eight percent and seven percent of paid case outcomes, respectively.
Here are the national average payouts for a variety of outcomes:
Quadriplegic, brain damage, or lifelong care – $939,475
Major permanent injury – $627,380
Significant permanent injury – $451,281
Death – $395,509
Major temporary injury – $227,009
Minor permanent injury – $236,524
Minor temporary injury – $94,354
Emotional injury only – $166,371
Insignificant injury – $35,605
Undetermined injury – $82,825
Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer In Birmingham Today
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP has been helping injury victims for more than 20 years. Our Birmingham medical malpractice lawyers independently investigate and tirelessly pursue accountability for all negligent parties.
If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed because of medical malpractice in Alabama, do not delay in contacting Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP. You can have our firm review your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call (205) 324-1212 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.