Careless treatment or harm at the hands of a medical professional can take a serious emotional as well as physical toll on patients. The painful consequences of substandard medical care frequently leave victims feeling betrayed and powerless. Nothing can erase the harm caused by medical malpractice. However, with the help of an attorney, patients who’ve suffered from medical malpractice can hold negligent providers accountable.

For more than three decades, Dempsey Kingsland & Osteen has been the firm of choice for Mission residents who’ve suffered unnecessary harm at the hands of a healthcare provider. We’ve built a reputation across Johnson County for providing top-of-class client experience in complex and sensitive medical malpractice cases. When you come to Dempsey Kingsland & Osteen, you receive the backing of not only a seasoned Mission medical malpractice attorney but a team of trained medical experts and dedicated paralegals. 

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice happens when a patient is harmed by substandard care at the hands of a hospital, doctor, nurse, or other healthcare provider. Healthcare professionals who fail to provide a reasonable standard of care can be held legally responsible if their action or inaction has harmful or fatal consequences for a patient.

Any medical professional—chiropractors, pharmacists, optometrists, etc.—can engage in malpractice. Here are some of the most common types of medical malpractice patients in Johnson County face:

  • Misdiagnosis,
  • Delayed diagnosis,
  • Surgical mistakes,
  • Unnecessary surgery,
  • Improper anesthesia administration,
  • Inappropriate prescription dosage,
  • Birth injuries,
  • Medical product malfunction,
  • Nursing home negligence, and
  • Non-disclosure of treatment hazards.

Some types of medical malpractice are easier to recognize than others. Substandard care seems clear when you have to undergo an unnecessary operation because of a hospital’s record mismanagement. However, other forms of malpractice can be more subtle. It’s not always obvious right away when a doctor overlooks or misdiagnoses a condition. The painful consequences of these and other errors may take weeks or months to appear. 

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

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How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice?

To prove you’re the victim of medical malpractice, you must show that a healthcare provider failed to act according to reasonable professional and legal standards. 

In legal terms, medical malpractice is a type of negligence. To hold a healthcare provider legally responsible for malpractice, you must prove several vital points

  • The healthcare provider had a duty of care. A duty of care is central to the patient-doctor relationship. All healthcare providers have a professional duty to take reasonable care in treating patients who come to them for aid.  
  • The healthcare provider breached this duty of care. This happens when a provider fails to apply their skills and knowledge according to professional medical standards. A doctor can breach a duty of care when they fail to give patients the treatment reasonably expected by other providers in their field.
  • An injury occurred. The patient suffered harm (including death) after consulting with the healthcare professional.
  • The healthcare provider’s breach of duty caused the injury. The patient’s harm directly resulted from the provider’s failure to provide an adequate standard of care.

Legally, the responsibility of proving medical malpractice falls on the patient. However, demonstrating that a healthcare provider’s subpar treatment directly caused an injury can be challenging. Malpractice cases often involve complex health terminology and highly technical medical evidence. Testimony from expert witnesses is essential to prove that someone violated professional medical standards of care. 

It’s a good idea to remember this when you’re searching for legal representation for a malpractice claim. The best medical malpractice attorney will have connections to reputable healthcare professionals who are prepared to testify to the medical standards that apply to your case.

What Happens in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Under Kansas law, either party involved in a malpractice case can request a medical screening panel review the claim before it goes to court. A judge can also order that the two parties participate in a screening panel prior to trial. The panel is made up of the following members:

  • A healthcare provider chosen by the patient,
  • A healthcare provider chosen by the defendant,
  • A healthcare provider agreed upon by both parties, and
  • An attorney chosen by the court.

The screening panel will examine the existing evidence supporting the plaintiff’s claim of malpractice and evaluate whether the case has merit. If the case ultimately goes to trial, a court will consider the panel’s opinion during its evaluation. The members of the panel may also be asked to testify.

However, many medical malpractice claims don’t go to trial at all. In many cases, the parties involved in a malpractice lawsuit can negotiate a settlement. This generally means the defendant offers to pay the plaintiff a set amount of financial compensation to drop the lawsuit. It’s essential to consult with a competent lawyer before accepting any settlement offer. Once you sign a settlement, you lose your right to hold a healthcare provider legally responsible for malpractice.

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What Compensation Is Available for Victims of Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice victims can be eligible for several types of financial compensation. 

Economic Damages

Compensation for medical expenses is one of the most common forms of financial recovery available to malpractice victims. This can include any hospital bills, prescription fees, and physical therapy costs you accrued because of the malpractice. 

Victims can also recover compensation for the wages they lost while unable to work because of their condition.

Noneconomic Damages

Compensation can also be available for losses that aren’t so easily calculated. A court can award medical malpractice victims compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering,
  • Emotional distress,
  • Disfigurement or disability, and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

Under Kansas law, plaintiffs in personal injury can’t recover more than $350,000 in noneconomic damages.

How Can a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help Me?

The support of an experienced lawyer is essential for patients to make a compelling case that a healthcare provider acted with harmful negligence. 

For one, an attorney can assist in navigating the deadlines for bringing medical malpractice suits in Kansas. Victims of medical malpractice generally have only two years to file a claim against a healthcare provider under Kansas law. In some cases, when a patient’s injuries don’t appear immediately, the statute of limitations can extend as far as four years after the act of malpractice. However, once the deadline passes, you lose your right to sue. To be safe, contact a Mission medical malpractice attorney sooner rather than later about your case.

Substantial evidence and objective expert witnesses are two major factors in winning compensation in a medical malpractice suit. A lawyer can be a crucial help in gathering and preserving the medical records, witness statements, and other physical documentation needed to prove a provider breached their standard of care.

An attorney is also the best resource for finding a medical professional who meets the legal standards to testify as an expert in Kansas. Testimony from an objective medical expert is fundamental to proving a healthcare provider’s liability and justifying compensation. 

If you’re offered a settlement, a legal professional can be valuable to ensure that you receive the proper compensation you’re owed.

Legal Advocacy Makes a Difference 

Patients seeking professional help deserve treatment that takes them toward recovery, not away from it. This principle motivates our dedicated team of medical malpractice advocates at Dempsey Kingsland & Osteen. We’ve spent the past 35 years helping clients recover from the devastating financial and emotional impact of substandard medical care.

As some of the top medical malpractice attorneys in Mission, we prioritize client care and don’t charge fees unless we win you compensation. Contact our office today to speak to a legal advocate about your case and options.

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