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When we are ill, injured, or in need of emergency medical attention, we rely on hospitals, clinics, and medical professionals to provide us with the help we need to feel better. While feeling better is normally what ultimately occurs, sometimes mistakes are made, and we end up feeling worse or suffering even more harm.
When medical professionals fail to provide the minimum standard of care expected of someone with their training and experience, a patient can be injured further, or lose their life. This is referred to as medical malpractice and is one of the leading causes of death in the United States.
Victims of medical malpractice are legally entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering, lost wages and income, medical expenses, and other related losses. Furthermore, the family of someone who lost their life due to medical malpractice may be entitled to wrongful death and funeral benefits.
If you or a loved one has been injured while under the care of a medical professional in St. Louis, you need the help of our St. Louis medical malpractice attorneys to recover all the compensation you deserve.
Call Miller & Hine today at (314) 413-2053 or reach out to us online to schedule your initial consultation to learn more.
Common Causes of Medical Malpractice in St. Louis, MO.
There are many ways you or a loved one may suffer further injury or illness while being treated by a medical professional. Common causes of medical malpractice in St. Louis include:
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Medical misdiagnosis
- Delayed diagnosis
- Failure to treat
- Medication errors
- Birth injuries
- Emergency room mistakes
- EMT malpractice
- Laboratory mistakes
- X-ray misdiagnosis
- Hospital-acquired infections
Who Can Be Held Liable in Medical Malpractice Claims?
Whenever a professional relationship occurs between a patient and medical professional or healthcare worker, that person may be held liable for errors or negligence that cause injury. That means the following parties can be held liable for medical malpractice claims:
- Members of the surgical team
- Post-op care professionals
- The hospital or medical facility
A medical malpractice attorney can investigate your unique circumstances to determine liability in your case. In some cases, the doctor or medical provider may be personally liable, such as when working as an independent contractor with a medical facility. In other circumstances, the facility itself may be liable for injuries caused by its employees.
How to Prove Provider Negligence
Missouri malpractice law requires a case to meet specific criteria in order to meet the definition of negligence. Proving provider negligence requires that a case meets the following 4 elements:
- That a medical professional/patient relationship existed at the time of the injury so the doctor or professional owed a duty of care to the patient to provide a high standard of care and safety as well as to provide thorough information about the risks of any procedure or treatment
- That the provider deviated from the standard of care that another reasonable medical professional would have provided under the same circumstances
- That the breach of their duty of care directly caused an injury to the patient
- That the injury resulted in damages to the patient, including financial, physical, and emotional damages
When a person places themselves in the hands of medical professionals, they have the right to expect the highest quality of care. When a provider breaches that standard through an error or through negligence, they owe the injured party compensation for their economic and non-economic damages. The compensation for damages is typically paid through the provider’s liability insurance.
How a Lawyer Can Help Take on Insurance Companies
A Missouri medical malpractice lawyer knows how to skillfully navigate the state’s medical liability insurance system. Insurance providers often use recognizable tactics to try to deny a claim or undervalue it to minimize their payout to a malpractice victim. They can use your statements out of context against you or try to deny that your treatment for the injury is necessary. They may also attempt to have you quickly sign a lowball settlement agreement before you even know the extent of your damages. Once a St. Louis malpractice lawyer begins working on your case, they will handle all communication with the insurance company, saving you from potential pitfalls.
Compensation for a St. Louis Medical Malpractice Claim
Regardless of the circumstances that gave rise to your medical malpractice claim, our medical malpractice attorneys can help. We will attempt to negotiate a favorable settlement for you and your family, based on how the medical malpractice occurred and the nature and severity of the harm it caused you.
All possible forms of compensation will be accounted for, such as compensation for the following damages:
- Lost wages and income
- Medical expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of familial support
- Mental health treatment for PTSD, depression, or anxiety related to the injury
Furthermore, if you have lost a child, parent, sibling, spouse, or other loved one due to medical malpractice, you may qualify for wrongful death benefits.
Our skilled trial attorneys will do everything needed to obtain a fair settlement from the liable party(s) and their insurance carriers. If a settlement cannot be agreed upon, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial to secure the compensation you deserve.
Don’t hesitate to contact our law firm to discuss your medical malpractice claim with an experienced St. Louis medical malpractice attorney. The law limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit to recover your losses.
Missouri’s Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice
Missouri places a 2-year time limit on medical malpractice cases in order to preserve the freshness of evidence and to protect defendants from long-term threats of lawsuits. However, due to the unique nature of medical malpractice cases compared to typical accidents, some injury victims may not realize the cause of their worsened condition, illness, or injury until some time later. In these cases, the two-year clock begins on the date of their discovery rather than on the date of the incident itself. In cases of delayed discovery, malpractice victims have up to ten years to file a claim. Two other exceptions to the 2-year limit also exist:
- If the malpractice causes death, family members have a 3-year statute of limitations to file a claim.
- If the malpractice victim was under age 18 when the injury occurred they have until age 20 to file a claim
- If the malpractice stems from the failure to inform a victim of test results, the time limit is 2-years from the date of the patient’s discovery
Get an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer on Your Side Today
The St. Louis medical malpractice lawyers at Miller & Hine have more than 48 years of combined experience. Call us today at (314) 413-2053 or visit our contact page to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Remember, we don’t charge a fee unless we recover compensation for you.