Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., behind heart disease and cancer – causing at least 250,000 deaths each year. Doctors, medical facilities and other healthcare professionals are required to exercise “that degree of skill and learning ordinarily used by members of their profession under the same or similar circumstances”. Failure to provide this accepted standard of care is considered medical negligence, the most common types are:
Medication Mistakes – prescribing incorrect dosage or failing to check for allergies or potentially deadly drug interactions.Misdiagnosis – treating a patient for the wrong ailment can lead to unnecessary or harmful treatments and, ultimately, delays treatment and prolongs suffering.Delayed Diagnosis – can be just a detrimental as a misdiagnosis. Delayed diagnosis prevents a patient from getting treatment in a timely fashion.Surgical Errors – surgeons operating on the wrong body site, performing the wrong procedure or leaving equipment in a patient’s body.Infection – is a risk with any hospital stay or procedure and most are not serious, however some infections can be very serious or even deadly.Birth Injuries – serious, sometimes permanent, injuries to mother or baby during labor and delivery.
Do I have a viable medical malpractice claim?
First, you must prove that an official doctor-patient relationship existed. The negligence in question must have happened in the course of treatment.
Second, you must prove that the doctor was negligent in some way. This means proving that another similarly skilled, reasonable doctor would have acted differently in the same situation. In Missouri, a doctor in the same field as the potential defendant must sign a written opinion indicating, in part, that there was negligence in order to bring a lawsuit.
Third, you must prove that the healthcare professional’s negligence caused or contributed to cause your reported injuries. You can only sue for injuries that were caused, or contributed to be caused, by the healthcare professional’s negligence.
Lastly, you must prove that actual injury occurred. If the care in question was in fact negligent, but did not actually harm you, then you have no claim.
Medical malpractice has a statute of limitations
In Missouri, a person must follow a two-year statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims. This means you have two years from the date of an incident of medical malpractice to sue.
Casey, Devoti & Brockland is a St. Louis-based law firm focused exclusively on personal injury litigation. Since 1983, our attorneys have helped injured people navigate the road to recovery by securing compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages. Together Partners Matt Casey, Matt Devoti and Anne Brockland have nearly 50 years of trial experience handling the following personal injury matters: car, truck and train crashes, victims of impaired and distracted driving, medical malpractice, birth injuries, product liability, premises liability, elder and sexual abuse, Workers’ Compensation and wrongful death. We proudly serve clients throughout metropolitan St. Louis, southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois.
Our highly accessible attorneys deliver the perfect balance of aggressive legal representation, compassion and personal service. If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligence of another, call the office today for a free, no-obligation consultation: (314) 421-0763.