A patient who sustains an injury or illness because of the negligent actions of a doctor or another type of healthcare provider deserves fair and meaningful compensation for their physical, emotional, mental, and financial hardship. 

However, medical malpractice lawsuits in Missouri can be challenging, and you need a Belton medical malpractice attorney you can trust. The experienced team at Dempsey Kingsland & Osteen is happy to discuss the process and what to expect so you can feel comfortable moving forward with appropriate legal action.

What Are the Basic Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Claim? 

Medical malpractice claims are similar to other personal injury claims in that the plaintiff must be able to prove that a duty of care was owed and breached. As a result, the plaintiff sustained actual damage. The doctor or provider/patient relationship establishes the duty of care for medical malpractice claims.

The most significant difference between a medical malpractice claim and other personal injury claims is that the healthcare provider must have breached a specific standard of care rather than the standard of a reasonable person.

According to Mo. Rev. Stat. § 538.210(1), a healthcare provider must use the degree of skill and learning ordinarily used under similar circumstances by members of the same profession with similar knowledge and education. Under this statute, a similarly trained professional must also agree that the healthcare provider acted in a substandard way. 

Your Belton medical malpractice attorney can help you determine if the circumstances of your situation fit all the required elements to file a claim

To talk about how Dempsey Kingsland Osteen can help you recover compensation for Medical Malpractice, contact us online or call toll free at (816) 421-6868.

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Types of Medical Malpractice Cases

Countless things could go wrong when being treated by a medical professional, which is an overall known risk and why healthcare providers must have education and training. One of the keys to the successful practice of medicine is attention to detail, which includes the unique needs of every patient. 

Unfortunately, not all providers achieve that level of care, and that failure can have serious consequences. A medical malpractice lawyer can help you understand how to determine if you have a valid claim. Here are some common examples of medical malpractice:

Misdiagnosis / Failure to Diagnose

Patients rely on medical providers to properly diagnose medical conditions so they can receive the treatment they need to heal. Absent an accurate diagnosis, the patient could fall subject to worsening conditions as they lack meaningful treatment or receive treatment that is not helping their actual condition. In some situations, a diagnostic lab may be responsible for providing the physician with incorrect or incomplete information, thus leading to a misdiagnosis

Medication Errors

The correct medication can be crucial to establishing and maintaining a patient’s health. The wrong medication can not only be ineffective, but it can also cause devastating consequences. Medication errors may pertain to the type of medication, the dosage, or even failure to avoid known allergic reactions when prescribing medications. Physicians, pharmacists, attending nurses, or other healthcare professionals can make medication errors.

Surgical Errors

When patients consent to surgery, they trust that the surgeon and other medical providers involved in the process will adhere to a high standard of care. These healthcare providers may be liable when things go wrong because of preventable errors.

Some examples of surgical errors include operating on the wrong part of the body, leaving a surgical instrument inside of the body, or even operating on the wrong patient altogether. 

Failure to Obtain Informed Consent

Missouri law requires that medical patients are provided with the information necessary to make an informed and educated decision about the treatment they consent to.

If a healthcare provider fails to disclose the risk of treatment or does not properly educate the patient about the treatment and what to expect, they can be held liable for harm caused. There are exceptions to the consent law if treatment is necessary to save the patient’s life.

Anesthesia Errors

There can be a thin line between too much and too little anesthesia. The wrong type of anesthesia, failure to recognize drug interactions, improper preparation, and inattentive monitoring can have devastating, if not deadly, consequences.

Anesthesiologists are expected to have a high level of expertise and skill in preventing these types of errors and can be held liable if they fail to meet the standard expected. 

Birth Injuries

Though giving birth is not a new process, it can still be dangerous for both the mother and child. Advancements in the options to assist in the labor process include positioning techniques, pain management, and monitoring equipment.

Choosing the wrong procedure or medication for the situation or using defective equipment could have severe consequences for the mother and child. Birthing mistakes include errors during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or postpartum. 

What Is The Missouri Time Limit for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Under Missouri law, an injured patient must generally file a medical malpractice claim within two years from the date of the alleged negligent act. There may be applicable exceptions to the two-year rule if the patient discovers the negligence after the statute of limitations has expired. Your medical malpractice lawyers in Belton can help you determine if you are within the standard filing period or if any exceptions apply. 

Missouri also has a 10-year outer limit for malpractice claims known as the statute of repose. Even if exceptions to the two-year statute of limitations apply, the claim will generally fall into the 10-year statute of repose, which bars the injured patient from recovery after that period. This restriction exists to protect defendants from indefinite or open-ended potential liability. 

How Much Is a Medical Malpractice Claim Worth?

Each malpractice claim is unique and will be valued based on several factors about the impact it has and will have on the injured party’s physical, mental, emotional, and financial well-being. An injured patient may be owed economic damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, and other financial impacts. 

Noneconomic damages may also be available and pertain to the physical, mental, and emotional impact of what the patient has been through. Examples may include pain and suffering, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress. 

In cases of extreme medical negligence, an injured patient may also be eligible to receive punitive damages, which punish the behavior. An experienced Belton medical malpractice attorney can help you determine what you are entitled to receive. 

Choosing a Belton Medical Malpractice Attorney

Not all medical errors will lead to a valid legal claim, and you need someone who understands the intricacies of Missouri law. If you want the best chance of success, you need the best medical malpractice attorney you can find. 

The Dempsey Kingsland & Osteen team has decades of meaningful trial experience and a successful record of obtaining maximum compensation for those injured by someone else’s negligent behavior. Other attorneys refer complex cases to us because of our earned reputation for being able to win. We are attorneys, not doctors, and we know our limitations.

We have multiple medical experts on staff to assist us in making informed decisions and achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation. 

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