Medical malpractice occurs when the negligent action or inaction of a healthcare professional causes a preventable injury or illness or worsens an existing condition. We trust healthcare professionals to ensure that our best interests are taken into consideration with every decision made regarding our well-being.
When that trust is broken it can be devastating physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. An experienced Gladstone medical malpractice attorney can help you understand how Missouri’s laws apply to your case and how to get the compensation you deserve.
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.contact us
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Missouri Medical Malpractice Claim?
Depending on your situation there are a number of medical providers who could be potentially liable for what you have endured. The individual who performed or instructed the negligent behavior should certainly be held responsible for their actions.
You may also be able to hold their employer liable, which could make a big difference in the compensation you can potentially receive. Here are some of the individuals and groups that may be liable for medical malpractice.
- General practitioners
- Registered nurses and certified nursing assistants,
- Nurse practitioners,
- Medical clinics or physician offices,
- Insurance companies,
- Pharmacies, and
- Diagnostic laboratories.
This is not an all-inclusive list. Your medical malpractice lawyer in Missouri can help you understand who you should file your claim against.
Elements of a Valid Medical Malpractice Claim
Not every negative outcome is the result of medical malpractice. Every person is unique, which means the way one person reacts to specific treatment, may not be the same for someone else. Medical professionals should have a good grasp on the controllables and make good decisions based on the information they have.
There are generally four elements that must be proven to have a valid claim in Missouri. Your Gladstone medical malpractice attorney can help you define each element within your specific circumstance.
Duty of Care
To establish a duty of care, there must have been a professional relationship between the healthcare provider and the patient. This means that there is a record of the healthcare provider having seen the patient in a professional capacity.
This could be a close relationship such as a primary care provider who has been seeing the patient for years, or a nurse who happened to be on duty and assigned to the patient when they were in the hospital.
Breach of Care
The healthcare provider breached their duty by failing to meet the expected medical standard of care. For healthcare providers, the standard of care is specific. According to Mo. Rev. Stat. § 538.210(1) the healthcare provider must use the degree of skill and learning ordinarily used under the same or similar circumstances by members of the same profession with similar knowledge and education.
The medical provider’s breach of care (negligence) was the cause of the injury or illness, or worsening of an existing health condition. This negative impact on the patient’s health would not have occurred if the health provider had provided the expected level of care.
Your resulting injury or illness caused actual damages to the patient such as medical bills, lost income, loss of mobility, pain and suffering, and more. You will want the best malpractice attorney available to help you understand the actual extent of your individual damages.
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
There are so many things that could potentially go wrong, which is why healthcare providers must undergo extensive education and training to earn their respective titles and certifications.
Unfortunately, successful medical practice does require diligent attention to the needs of every patient and not all healthcare providers achieve that level of care. When they fail to provide adequate care, a Gladstone medical malpractice attorney can help. These are a few examples of mistakes that may constitute medical malpractice.
Misdiagnosis / Failure to Diagnose
When a physician fails to diagnose a medical condition or provides an incorrect diagnosis, the patient may not receive the treatment they need to recover or may receive unnecessary treatments, leading to injury or wrongful death. In some situations, a diagnostic lab may be responsible for providing the physician with incorrect or incomplete information, thus leading to the misdiagnosis.
A surgeon and other medical providers involved in the process may be held liable for surgical errors such as the wrong patient being operated on, operating on the wrong part of a patient’s body, or for leaving a surgical instrument inside the body.
The surgeon may also be responsible if they performed the surgery in such a way that is outside the accepted method of performing the procedure, resulting in harm to the patient or an unsuccessful surgery.
Medications can be extremely important to a patient’s well being. Receiving the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of the right medication (whether too much or too little) can have devastating consequences.
Medications can also cause allergic reactions and have strange interactions if taken with certain other medications. Depending on what happened, the prescribing doctor, pharmacists, or administering healthcare professional, could all have potential liability.
Though babies are born every day, the birthing process can still be dangerous for both the baby and mother. There are multiple techniques that can be used to monitor the mother and baby and assist if there are birthing complications.
Choosing the wrong procedure, or medication for the situation or using defective equipment can cause devastating injuries to both the infant and the mother. Birthing injuries include mistakes made during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or the postpartum period.
Failure to Obtain Informed Consent
Missouri law requires that patients are given the information they need to make an informed and educated decision about the medical treatment they consent to. If a healthcare provider fails to disclose the risks of treatment or educate the patient about the extent of the treatment they can be held liable for any harm caused by the treatment. There are exceptions if emergency treatment is necessary to prevent loss of life.
Putting someone under anesthesia is a very delicate procedure. Too much or too little anesthesia can have serious consequences. The wrong type of anesthesia, improper preparation, or failure to recognize drug interactions can be devastating, if not deadly. Anesthesiologists must also monitor a patient carefully the entire time they are under anesthesia and during the waking process.
Is a Gladstone Medical Malpractice Attorney Necessary?
Not all medical errors will lead to a valid claim. It is important to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Gladstone who can help you understand the strengths of your claim and how much compensation you are entitled to.
An attorney can also help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim and negotiate on your behalf. Most medical professionals and facilities have their own legal counsel already prepared for claims like yours, and you do not want to face them alone.
The highly professional but approachable team at Dempsey Kingsland & Osteen has decades of meaningful trial experience and a successful record of obtaining maximum compensation for those injured by someone else’s negligent behavior.
Our team of medical malpractice attorneys in Gladstone are focused on helping medical malpractice victims and their families recover from the devastation of inadequate medical care. Other attorneys refer complex cases to us because of our earned reputation for being able to win.
We also have multiple medical experts on staff to assist us make informed decisions and achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients. Contact us to schedule your free case consultation.