St Louis Medical Malpractice Attorney
When you trust your doctor for medical advice, it can be extremely upsetting to find out that they were incorrect about the treatment or procedure that they prescribed. Around 12,000 medical malpractice claims are filed and paid each year. This number is dropping as healthcare practitioners are doing their best to improve treatment practices. You may not have had the best experience and are one of the unfortunate few who experienced medical malpractice. If you believe your medical treatment was not up-to-par, then you can take the necessary steps to prove your injury was due to a mistake.
When you have suffered from a case of negligence by healthcare professionals in St Louis, you can work with medical malpractice lawyers who can help you according to the law. Get a lawyer who will fight for you. Contact Hipskind & McAninch, LLC for a free consultation.
How To Manage Your Medical Malpractice Claim
Malpractice caused by healthcare professionals can be a very complex situation. You will have to provide evidence of this in a number of ways and prove that the medical professionals were neglectful. However, with the help of their legal services, your lawyer can help you to present these medical errors professionally to help you receive compensation.
What is Medical Malpractice and Negligence?
Negligence happens when the healthcare professional delivers a substandard level of care to you. In this case, the medical treatment they performed simply didn’t match the level of care you would receive from another practitioner who was providing proper treatment.
Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare professionals make medical errors. This means that they have either provided an incorrect diagnosis, unsuccessfully performed a procedure, misjudged signs and symptoms, or didn’t take measures to prevent an adverse result. One of the worst examples of this is the death of a patient due to failed health care measures.
In order for a malpractice case to be valid, it must include all of the following:
- Breach of Duty
Harm is caused by a doctor when they haven’t properly performed their medical duties. This can result in damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, legal fees, and any other damage that can be measured. This can also include non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Causation is the evidence that must be provided to show that it was the doctor or medical practitioner’s actions that caused harm. If the malpractice incident is not the direct cause of the actions of any of the medical personnel, then this would not be a case of medical malpractice.
When a breach of duty occurs, this means that the doctor or healthcare practitioner has deviated from the official standard treatment plan. This doesn’t necessarily mean it was a mistake. It happens if the doctor is not acting in a reasonable way, whether intentional or not, at which point it becomes a breach of duty.
If there is an issue of duty, this means that the doctor is required to provide the duty of care through their medical practices. The standard policies have to be adhered to, and if the doctor breaches this duty, then this means that it is a case of malpractice.
You should consult with your malpractice attorney to find out what occurred from a legal standpoint so that you can discover if this is a true case of negligence. Your personal injury claim has to prove that these four elements came into play and were the cause of the medical malpractice injury.
Medical Negligence Claim Incidents
Some examples of medical mistakes that cause negligence can include a wide array of incidents. For example, the following are some common occurrences of hospital errors:
One of the highest levels of medical malpractice includes medical errors that happen during surgery. For example, if you received the wrong type of surgery, then this is malpractice. Other surgical errors include the wrong site surgery. Sometimes doctors suture your surgery wound but leave a tool or item inside of you.
Poorly Executed Follow-Up
After you underwent a medical treatment or diagnosis, it is the healthcare team that must perform a proper follow-up. For example, if you had bone marrow surgery and no one checked up on you to recommend prescription medicine or explained to you the recovery process, this can be malpractice.
The Wrong Medication
When a doctor prescribes you the incorrect medication, this is malpractice. This is also the same case if you are provided with the wrong dosage of medicine.
Misinterpreting Laboratory Results
If your laboratory tests were read the wrong way by the doctor, then this is also a form of malpractice. Your lab tests should signify what disorder you have. If the test is ignored or simply misunderstood, then this falls below the standard level of care.
Improper or No Diagnosis
If you are not properly diagnosed by a doctor or medical care professional, then this can also result in a claim against them. This is because it is the provider’s responsibility to tell you what disease or health care issue you do or do not have. A misdiagnosis can result in the wrong treatment, which can be costly and detrimental to your health.
There are many other examples of medical malpractice. The doctors are the ones who hold the liability for your injuries. When you experience hospital errors, you should consult with your attorney to discover if these activities qualify.
Common Items To Include In Your Medical Malpractice Claim
You can be injured in both an economic and non-economic way. Hospital injuries can include physical damages as well as emotional harm.
Pain and Suffering
This refers to the non-physical and emotional pain that is the result of the injury. For example, if you have depression, anguish, or emotional trauma due to the injury, this is included in this category. Loss of enjoyment of life is another non-physical injury. You may feel distrust, dismay, or shame if the injury prevents you from being able to go to work. Any emotional suffering is considered part of your claim.
There are a large number of ways that you could have been physically injured. The most common ones can include birth injuries, medication errors, and misdiagnosis. Others include surgical errors, brain damage, no follow-up, and more. You must also include the damages that affect your income. If you are injured and are unable to work, then you can include the amount you would have made if you hadn’t been injured at all. This includes any work in the future during the time it takes for you to recover.
A case of wrongful death would demand a settlement for the family of a loved one that has died due to hospital errors. Around 29.7% of medical malpractice claims are for those that died. This is because the surviving family has to take care of the funeral costs, the burial costs, medical treatments up until the passing of the family member, and other fees. They can also claim for the following items after the case has occurred:
- Loss of earnings from the income they would have made
- Lack of companionship and protection
- Loss of support and guidance
- Value of the skill they provide
- Emotional pain and suffering
Steps You Need To Take
There are a lot of steps that are required to prove that your injury is a direct result of medical professional malpractice. Following these steps will help your attorneys obtain the full compensation you deserve.
Contact Healthcare Providers
Your first step is to contact the medical professional you worked with and alert them that you believe this is a case of medical malpractice. Sometimes, they may admit to this mistake and will be willing to work with you. In other cases, you have to get as much proof as possible to prove that your healthcare providers have caused you harm. You have to get as much information from them as possible to understand what went wrong during the treatment.
Medical Records And Evidence
Make sure you have all copies of your medical records, as they will need to be compared to your personal account of what happened. Sometimes medical records may hold clues to the errors that happened. Take pictures of any injuries and calculate all the additional costs you had to pay for. This will be useful when you speak with an attorney.
Contact The Medical Licensing Board
You can do this in the case that the healthcare provider isn’t receptive to your problem. Medical licensing boards can’t force healthcare providers to pay, but they can admonish them with warnings as well as other disciplinary actions. You have to contact the licensing board that the doctor is associated with. For example, a heart surgeon will have a different licensing board than that of a chiropractor.
File Your Claim In A Timely Manner
You can legally file a claim within a specific time period depending upon your state. In St. Louis, MO, there is a 2-year statute of limitations.
Work With Attorneys
Once you have all the information you need, it is time to obtain professional legal services. Your attorney-client relationship begins when you first ask for a consultation with a lawyer. You can describe in detail what medical care you received and go over the details of the problems you encountered at the hospital or treatment facility. Based on your experience, your lawyer will tell you what compensation you may be entitled to according to law. The lawyer will know what can be considered medical negligence and will guide you on the settlement process.
The Negotiation Process
For this aspect of your claim, you have to have a lot of patience. The attorney will contact the doctors involved, the insurance companies, and any witnesses. Their job is to coordinate the negotiation of a settlement amount. This process may take some time as the medical professionals may not agree to your terms. It can take several months to a year for all parties to come to an agreement. After this, the healthcare providers that were involved in the malpractice will pay you a sum, which happens typically by check. If no terms can be agreed upon, then your lawyer will fight in court for you.
If Going to Court, Get A Second Opinion
In the State of Missouri, you must file for an affidavit of merit to move forward with your case. This is a certificate that comes from another physician who validates the injury caused by medical malpractice. This case must be legally qualified by a certified healthcare professional for it to be considered for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Settlement Can You Expect
The average pay for a malpractice settlement in 2018 was $348,065. The amount you receive will be based upon the type of medical malpractice you experienced. For example, the average settlement for a person was $386,317 for wrongful death. However, medical malpractice that resulted in brain damage averaged around $961,185.
In total, $4,031,987,700 was paid to plaintiffs who filed a medical malpractice lawsuit as of 2017. You must note that a majority of medical malpractice cases don’t make it to court. Only 7% make it to a jury trial. Your medical malpractice lawyer will try to negotiate a settlement for you.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers In St Louis
When you are dealing with a medical mistake and need help from attorneys, you can find out more information about the medical malpractice process by contacting a law firm. A medical malpractice lawyer in St Louis, Missouri will know the difference between medical malpractice cases or normal treatment. St Louis medical malpractice lawyers are likely to be members of a knowledgeable law firm that can provide you with a great attorney-client relationship. Call Hipskind & McAninch, LLC for a free consultation.