Medical malpractice happens when a doctor, dentist, or another professional in the field does not provide the usual standard of care to a patient. Unfortunately, it happens more than many would think.
The lawsuits are incredibly complex and take detailed research, evaluation, and litigation, which is where a qualified attorney comes in. If you sustained injuries after seeking medical care, you could have the right to collect compensation for your damages, an experienced Sunset Hills medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help.
Types of Medical Malpractice
Any time a doctor or healthcare provider offers substandard care to a patient below the level of care that a reasonable provider would have offered, the provider can be held legally accountable for the consequences. Some of the different types of situations that can result in a care provider being held responsible for medical malpractice can include:
- Delayed diagnosis or failure to diagnose a medical problem
- Surgical mistakes such as operating on the wrong patient or wrong body part
- Failure to monitor for drug interactions
- Administering or prescribing the wrong medication or the wrong dose
- Lab test errors
- Birth injuries
- Inadequate hospital policies regarding staffing or cleanliness
Recent studies have shown that the majority of malpractice claims against primary care doctors occur as a result of a failure to diagnose medical conditions. Surgeons, however, have reportedly been known to make errors like leaving items inside of patients or operating on the wrong part or the wrong person. Injured patients should speak with a skilled lawyer in Sunset Hills who could analyze the incident and file a medical malpractice claim.
Proving Liability in Sunset Hills Healthcare Malpractice Cases
Successful medical malpractice cases often require expert testimony, extensive research, and other supporting documentation. The Missouri Jury Instruction §11.06 advises the jury that medical negligence occurs when medical professionals do not provide care to a patient that other providers would have. Meaning that if another doctor would provide alternate, standard care if they were in the same position. A skillful attorney could help the injured party through pursuing a medical negligence settlement claim.
The plaintiff must establish four essential elements in civil court to prove liability in a medical malpractice case, including:
Duty of Care
When a medical professional is careless during the diagnosis or treatment of disease or illnesses, a court could hold them liable for medical malpractice.
Breach of Duty
A breach occurs when the healthcare provider does not provide care ethically or logically. A breach of duty of care also must cause physical or mental injuries and damages.
To prove causation, the plaintiff will need to show the court that there was a doctor-patient relationship. The doctor breached the usual standard of care, and that breach was the direct cause of their harm. Finally, they will need to prove they suffered verifiable damages.
The injured party will need to prove that they sustained verifiable losses to establish damages. They can do this with medical records and bills and any other documentation, such as proof of missing time from work.
Recoverable Damages in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
When a plaintiff establishes negligence in a malpractice lawsuit, the court will award monetary damages to compensate them for their injuries. Awards for damages fall under two major categories, special and general damages.
Special damages cover current and future medical bills and expenses and missing time from work.
General damages cover pain and suffering and other non-monetary damages the injured party suffered due to the malpractice.
Statute of Limitations for Healthcare Negligence in Sunset Hills
There is a specific statute of limitations for medical professionals in this state. The Missouri Revised Statutes §516.105 gives two years to sue, in most cases, for a medical malpractice lawsuit. In many medical malpractice claims, the patient does not know about their injuries right away.
For that reason, the statute allows exceptions for the discovery rule. If the patient does not know of their injuries until later, the clock will start running when they reasonably discover the damages. A knowledgeable Sunset Hills attorney could handle the legal filings and ensure the medical negligence claim meets the court’s requirements.
Consult with a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Sunset Hills
The legal proceedings a medical malpractice claim requires are overwhelming. That is especially the case if you have suffered severe injuries because of malpractice.
A practiced Sunset Hills medical malpractice lawyer could handle the legal work while you recover. If you sustained injuries at the hands of a medical professional, contact a motivated legal professional right away to begin the investigation and process of filing a claim.