Alabamans who are injured by a physician or medical professional will likely want to consider their options for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Unfortunately, Alabama is one of the most difficult states for establishing a successful medical malpractice claim, thanks to tough laws that penalize patients and protect doctors.
The numbers bear out this assertion. Alabama ranks dead last for the fewest medical malpractice payments per capita between 2004 and 2014. Alabama’s rate of medical malpractice payments is a mere 169 payments for every million residents in the state. As a result, approximately 90% of patients who allege medical malpractice will lose their case.
These troubling figures are made more problematic by the fact medical malpractice is believed to account for nearly 250,000 deaths each year. Simply put, if you or a loved one were the victims of medical malpractice in Alabama, the burden of proving your case will be a high one.
Alabama Medical Malpractice
In 1987, Alabama lawmakers chose to rework medical malpractice laws. The reworking of these laws was initiated in response to a surge in medical malpractice lawsuits, which effectively harmed the insurance market. According to an article published by the Alabama law review, malpractice claims increased by 26 percent between 1980 and 1986. Additionally, the average medical malpractice payment nearly doubled. Doctors experienced increased costs for their malpractice coverage, and plenty of businesses shut down altogether after incurring significant losses.
Lawmakers responded to these realities with an updated Alabama Medical Liability Act. Effectively, this act imposed strict restrictions on expert testimony and placed caps on damages. While these damage caps were eventually overturned by the Alabama Supreme Court, they lasted until the early 1990s. Today, Alabama’s limits placed on expert testimony continue to rank among the toughest in the nation, which is unsurprising given the low success rates in medical malpractice lawsuits.
The high cost of bringing a malpractice case, and the low odds of victory, make it difficult for too many victims to even find an attorney to take a medical malpractice case. The simple reality of Alabama malpractice is that doctors have many advantages under the current legal landscape. For this reason, you need an Alabama injury attorney who is bold enough to fight for your rights if you have been a medical malpractice victim.
In some cases, it may be in your best interests to settle a case, particularly given the low probability of courtroom success. However, if you have a strong case with clear evidence of medical wrongdoing and negligence, Alabama medical malpractice lawyer Noel B. Leonard will take your case to court and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.
From his office in Foley, Noel B. Leonard represents medical malpractice victims or their loved ones in the city of Foley and Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia Counties. Contact Alabama injury lawyer Noel B. Leonard or call 251-943-8638 for a legal consultation to talk about your legal options and the likelihood of a successful medical malpractice lawsuit.