When we go to a medical professional for care, we trust they have our well-being in mind. However, healthcare providers are far from infallible. Whether due to simple errors or subpar care, unnecessary harm at the hands of a healthcare professional can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. 

When medical negligence happens to you or a loved one, you may be able to hold a healthcare provider legally accountable for medical malpractice.

At Dempsey Kingsland & Osteen, we understand how complex and disempowering medical malpractice cases can be for patients. For over 30 years, we’ve made it our mission to help patients who suffer substandard care and hold healthcare providers responsible for their negligence. Each Lenexa medical malpractice attorney on our team is a skilled advocate with extensive experience negotiating and litigating positive outcomes for the residents of Johnson County. 

Types of Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional’s subpar or negligent care causes injury to a patient. Generally, medical mistakes or oversights are at the root of malpractice cases. Some common situations that can lead to medical malpractice claims include:

  • Anesthesia errors, 
  • Birth injuries,
  • Delayed diagnosis, 
  • Surgical mistakes,
  • Unneeded procedures caused by mishandled records,
  • Medical device malfunction,
  • Misdiagnosis,
  • Non-disclosure of treatment hazards,
  • Hospital equipment errors,
  • Nursing home negligence, and
  • Incorrect prescription dosage.

Malpractice can happen at the hands of any medical or healthcare professional: doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmacists, physical therapists, etc. 

We offer a free initial consultation with experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney in Lenexa. Call (816) 484-3776 or contact Dempsey Kingsland Osteen via an online form.

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Proving Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice doesn’t happen every time a patient experiences a negative outcome from medical treatment. No law requires healthcare professionals to provide care that guarantees a 100% recovery rate. However, the law does require medical providers to adhere to professional standards of caution and attention when treating patients. This means taking reasonable steps to avoid carelessness and mistakes so that patients receive adequate treatment for their condition.

Healthcare providers who fail to apply reasonable professional standards of care can be held liable for any harm they cause patients. However, the burden is on the patient to demonstrate that a provider’s negligence caused their injury. Legally, this involves proving four things:

  • The medical professional had a duty of care to the patient as a healthcare provider;
  • The medical professional violated this duty (through action or inaction);
  • The patient suffered injury, harm, or death; and
  • The medical professional’s failure in their duty caused the patient’s harm.

Proving that a healthcare provider breached their duty of care generally requires the help of an expert: another medical professional who can testify to the standard and acceptable treatment in a given situation. Kansas law requires medical professionals to meet specific criteria to qualify as experts in malpractice cases. To serve as an expert witness, a healthcare provider must have spent at least half of the past two years performing clinical work in the same profession as the defendant charged with malpractice. 

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Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

After consulting with qualified medical malpractice attorneys in Lenexa, you or your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit with the Johnson County district court. 

It’s important not to wait too long to do this. There’s a two-year statute of limitations for filing Kansas medical malpractice claims in civil court. There are some situations when the deadline can be extended, for example, when patients don’t discover their injuries until later. However, if you wait more than four years after the act of alleged malpractice, you can lose your right to sue altogether.  

When the case is open, your lawyer will gather evidence to prove your malpractice claim. This can include collecting medical records and other documents relevant to your health and treatment. They’ll also contact medical experts who can testify to the quality of care you received. The other side—the healthcare provider—will also have a chance to assemble a defense with evidence and their own experts. 

In Kansas malpractice cases, a medical screening panel review often happens before the case goes to trial. A judge or either party in a medical malpractice lawsuit can request a screening panel to review the case’s merits. The panel will include:

  • A healthcare professional selected by the plaintiff,
  • A healthcare professional selected by the defendant,
  • A healthcare professional chosen by both parties, and 
  • A lawyer appointed by the court.

The panel will consider whether the defendant provided the standard level of medical care appropriate for the situation. They’ll also investigate the patient’s injuries and determine whether they resulted from the defendant’s errors or oversights. 

If the case goes to trial, the outcome of the screening panel can be available as evidence. The experts who served as members of the panel may also be called as witnesses.

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Damages for Medical Malpractice Victims

In a successful medical malpractice lawsuit, victims can receive various types of financial compensation for their injuries. The amount of compensation you recover varies depending on the case and the severity of your harm.

Economic damages aim to help victims return to the financial place they were in before their injury. This can include compensation for hospital bills, prescriptions, and other future medical expenses associated with your injury. If you’ve been unable to work while you recover, you could also recover compensation for lost wages.

Patients harmed by a healthcare provider’s negligence can also receive noneconomic damages. This is compensation awarded for intangible losses you’ve suffered, like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and even disability. In Kansas, the law limits the amount of noneconomic damages available in medical malpractice cases to $350,000.

In some cases, a court could also impose punitive damages on a healthcare provider for malpractice that’s extremely negligent or intentionally harmful. A malpractice case has to have clear and convincing evidence of wrongdoing from the start to warrant punitive damages. A Lexena medical malpractice attorney can help you determine if these damages could be available in your case. 

How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help

A competent lawyer is an essential part of any successful medical malpractice claim. The guidance of a skilled attorney experienced with medical malpractice can significantly impact the outcome of your claim and your ability to get proper compensation. 

From the start, a lawyer can help you collect crucial evidence about the nature and extent of your injuries before it’s lost. They can identify potential witnesses and conduct interviews that corroborate your experience and treatment. A seasoned medical malpractice attorney is critical for securing a credible expert who can clarify your case’s complex medical issues. Your attorney can effectively present the evidence for your case in any legal proceedings and help ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way. 

Many medical malpractice cases end in settlements instead of trials. A settlement can be a more efficient way to receive compensation for your injuries without undergoing the stress of litigation. However, it’s essential to have an experienced legal professional review any settlement agreement before you accept. A lawyer can assess the offer and negotiate with the other side for more favorable terms.

Premier Legal Representation for Malpractice Victims

Ultimately, the best medical malpractice attorney is the one that you trust. At Dempsey Kingsland & Osteen, our top priority is ensuring that our clients feel secure and supported. We offer the experience and insight that comes with three decades of successful advocacy on behalf of medical malpractice victims. Beyond our legal advocates, our staff includes trained medical professionals and dedicated paralegals prepared to assist with your case.

We collect a fee only if we can recover compensation on your behalf. If you’ve been dealing with the consequences of medical malpractice, contact our office today to speak to an attorney about your rights and options.

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