If you have experienced harm while undergoing treatment at a medical facility, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim. However, there are certain things you must prove and establish before doing so. Our attorneys explain the basic requirements of a Missouri medical malpractice claim.
Requirements For A Medical Malpractice Claim
Sometimes things go wrong while a patient is undergoing medical care—perhaps a doctor incorrectly diagnoses an illness or cancer treatment fails to prevent the spread of a tumor. These things aren’t necessarily grounds for a medical malpractice case, however. Medical science isn’t advanced enough to cure every ailment and the human body is complicated. You can only file a medical malpractice claim if a medical professional who was supposed to provide care failed to do because of negligence.
To have a medical malpractice claim all of the following must have occurred:
- A doctor-patient relationship was established
- The doctor was negligent
- The doctor's negligence caused an injury to the patient
- The injury led to damages suffered by the patient, such as physical harm, mental pain, and/or lost wages
Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
Events that tend to lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit include:
- Misdiagnosis: This occurs when a doctor exams a patient but fails to diagnose their condition correctly, either because they detected the wrong illness or none at all. This harms the patient because they either revive the wrong treatment or none at all for their condition.
- Delayed diagnosis: This occurs when a patient is misdiagnosed at first, but later receives the correct diagnosis.
- Failure to treat: This is a situation in which a doctor correctly diagnoses your condition but doesn’t provide adequate treatment for it. Failure to treat may occur because a doctor releases a patient from the hospital too early or neglects to follow-up.
- Surgical errors: A patient can sue for surgical errors if a surgeon made a seriously negligent and harmful mistake, such as performing the wrong procedure or accidentally leaving medical equipment inside a patient.
- Birth injury: Birth injuries occur when something goes wrong during prenatal care of childbirth that causes harm to the child. Birth injuries often result in the need for lifelong medical care.
- Defective medical devices: Known as product liability, this type of lawsuit comes about when a patient is harmed by a defective medical product rather than human error. Usually, the product manufacturer is liable for damages.
Remember, you have to prove that the doctor or nurse was negligent, meaning they did do something they shouldn’t have or vice versa. For example, if a doctor fails to uncover your illness after doing all the tests they were required to, they have not been negligent; a negligent doctor will have misdiagnosed you because they didn’t do the tests they were supposed to. Keep this in mind when filing your claim.
Call Bertram & Graf, LLC Today
Medical malpractice cases can be extremely complicated. You must have medical experts back up your case, establish who was liable, and compile a lot of paperwork. Therefore, it helps to have an attorney on your side. An experienced attorney can be a great asset to your case. Our Kansas City lawyers focus largely on medical malpractice cases in Missouri and have the integrity and tenacity to help you receive the compensation and justice you deserve.
If you or a loved one has suffered harm at the hands of a medical professional or device, our attorneys can help. Contact us online or over the phone today to schedule your free, remote consultation.