Medical malpractice is a serious charge. A medical professional who negligently, recklessly, or intentionally causes harm to a patient can face severe consequences. A physician or other health care providers who fail to act with due care can also run into serious trouble. For this reason, many patients consider working with an attorney when they believe their doctor has been negligent in some way.
If you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, our team of Springfield medical malpractice lawyers at Peterson & Associates, P.C. can assist you in seeking the justice and compensation you deserve. Our attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.C. have years of experience handling personal injury claims, and we’re here to help you get the outcome you deserve. Contact our Springfield personal injury law firm today for a free consultation.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is the negligent, harmful, or improper medical treatment of a patient. It can be defined as the failure of a medical professional to follow basic standards of care. Medical malpractice can occur in a wide range of settings and situations and can result in injury to patients due to negligence on the part of medical professionals.
A claim for medical malpractice can be filed against a doctor or other medical professional when that person fails to exercise the proper care and skill necessary to provide a patient with adequate medical treatment. For example, a patient left unattended after undergoing surgery may suffer injury or death if the attending physician does not check on the patient regularly or does not provide adequate supervision of the surgical staff.
A claim for medical malpractice can also be filed against a doctor if an individual is injured because of an incorrect diagnosis. For example, if a doctor prescribes medication based on a wrong diagnosis, that medication may cause further injury to the patient. Additionally, a claim for medical malpractice can also be filed against a health care provider if improper handling of controlled substances results in harm to the patient.
Medical malpractice cases are typically brought in civil court rather than criminal court.
If you have sustained injuries from medical negligence, contact our personal injury attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.C. We will help you understand your legal options and ensure you get compensation for your injuries.
Types of Medical Malpractice
There are several types of medical malpractice, and if you believe you are a victim, it’s vital to seek legal help. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis: Misdiagnosis is a type of medical malpractice involving failure to identify or diagnose a medical condition correctly. It may be caused by an underlying illness, an inaccurate test result, or other factors. The most common causes of misdiagnosis are incorrect laboratory results or misinterpretation of X-rays. Misdiagnosis can affect the course of a disease and lead to unnecessary treatments and complications. It can also lead to loss of life through delayed diagnosis and treatment.
- Prescription Errors: One of the most common types of medical malpractice is prescription errors. These occur when a doctor prescribes the wrong drug or dosage–or no drug at all. A simple spelling error can result in an overdose of medication that can be dangerous to the patient and other patients who may have come into contact with that patient’s prescription.
- Surgical Errors: Surgical errors are errors made by surgeons during surgery. They may include excessive bleeding, lacerations of the skin or tissue, surgical site infections, and other complications. Surgery is a high-risk procedure, and it is not uncommon for patients to experience complications. A surgical error is an event that causes an unexpected or unintended result. These events can range from minor problems such as needle sticks to serious health complications such as infection or damage to internal organs.
- Birth Injuries: A birth injury is a type of medical malpractice that occurs when a medical professional fails to provide the proper care while delivering a baby. Birth injuries can cause harm or death to the fetus, newborn, or mother.
Other types of medical malpractice that occur in Springfield, Missouri, include:
- Anesthesia errors
- Medication errors
- Nursing home neglect
- Failure to treat emergencies
- Failure to obtain informed consent
The most important thing to remember if you have been the victim of medical malpractice is that you should not suffer in silence. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or death because of a mistake made by a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other health care provider, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Our attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.C. have years of experience helping medical malpractice victims in Springfield get justice. Contact our law firm’s experienced Springfield medical malpractice lawyer for a free case evaluation today.
How Can I Prove Liability in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Springfield?
Medical malpractice cases are often based on the “liability” principle–that is, the idea that a doctor, even if not at fault, will be held financially responsible for damages caused by their negligence. In some cases, it’s more straightforward than that.
If a doctor negligently administers an injection or a nurse negligently gives you a prescription, it is easier for you to show that the doctor or nurse caused your injuries.
In these cases, you have video evidence of what happened and can easily cite why the negligent act harmed you. In other cases, it may be more complicated. For instance, if there are no clear indications of why you were harmed or what caused your injuries, it may be harder to prove that the doctor or nurse caused your harm.
How to File a Medical Malpractice Claim in Springfield
When you believe your doctor has been negligent, you must file a medical malpractice claim to protect your legal rights. Depending on the type of malpractice you believe has occurred, you may have to file a different medical malpractice claim. For example, you may have to file a negligence claim if you were misdiagnosed or given an incorrect diagnosis. On the other end of the spectrum, you may have to file a more complicated claim for damages if there is evidence to suggest that the doctor or hospital was negligent in some way.
For example, in a case of a botched surgery, you might have to prove that the doctor failed to sterilize the instruments properly and failed to follow standard operating procedures. However, it can be a good thing if you go through this process. It means that you are taking your case seriously, which can often result in better outcomes for the patient.
How Can a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help You?
A medical malpractice lawyer can help if you have been injured due to a medical mistake or negligent behavior. If you believe that your doctor is responsible for harming you, you may be able to file a lawsuit against them.
A medical malpractice lawyer can help with the process of filing a claim and can investigate your case to see if there are any grounds for the claim. They will also be able to explain the legal implications of filing a claim and how much compensation you may be due.
A medical malpractice lawyer can also advise you on what steps you should take next, including whether or not it makes sense to pursue legal action.
A medical malpractice attorney will be able to evaluate your case, determine the strengths and weaknesses of your claim, and put together an action plan for pursuing your case. They will also help with preparing and prosecuting the case in court.
Compensation Available to Medical Malpractice Victims in Springfield
Medical malpractice victims in Springfield may be entitled to compensation for their losses. This can include economic damages, like lost income and medical bills, and non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life.
These damages are commonly referred to as “compensatory damages” because they are meant to compensate the victim for their losses.
Compensatory damages are available to any person who the wrongful conduct of another person has injured.
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation from your healthcare provider. You may also be eligible for payment from the hospital where you were treated or from other parties if a third party was involved in your care. Compensation may also come as part of a settlement agreement.
The amount you can receive will depend on your specific situation, but it will usually be based on your injuries and financial circumstances.
Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Claims in Missouri
Medical malpractice in Missouri is governed by statutes that set out the time limits for filing medical malpractice claims. Generally, a medical malpractice claim must be filed within two years of the date when the patient should have been informed of any injury or damage caused by negligent actions. This means that a medical malpractice claim may only be brought within this time limit. It will be barred if the claim is not brought within two years.
If you believe you may have a medical malpractice claim, you must speak with an experienced medical negligence lawyer as soon as possible. This will allow an attorney to gather the necessary evidence and ensure you meet all of the deadlines for filing your claim.
FAQs About Medical Malpractice Cases
Q: Can I receive compensation if I was hurt by a doctor who was too busy to treat me?
A: In most cases, you can receive compensation only if the doctor who hurt you was negligent. That is, only if the doctor did something not within the bounds of care that a competent doctor would use. For example, if you were misdiagnosed, you can probably receive compensation for the mistake.
Q: What type of compensation is available to medical malpractice victims in Springfield, Missouri?
A: There are two main types of compensation available to victims of medical malpractice in Springfield. The first is economic damages. These are the costs that you have paid and will continue to pay because of the mistake. For example, if you were given an incorrect diagnosis and had to undergo unnecessary surgery, your medical bills will be paid for under this heading. Additionally, you may also receive compensation for pain and suffering. This is meant to compensate you for the emotional distress that comes with being harmed by a mistake made by a doctor.
Q: Do I need a lawyer for my medical malpractice case?
A: Yes, it is always wise to have a lawyer when dealing with a medical malpractice case in Springfield. Medical malpractice cases can be complicated to deal with on your own. A Springfield medical malpractice attorney will help gather all of the necessary evidence for your claim and ensure that you meet all of the deadlines for filing your case to receive the maximum compensation possible.
Our Springfield medical malpractice attorneys at Peterson & Associates, P.C. have previously handled several medical malpractice lawsuits. We have the experience and resources to ensure you get the justice you deserve.
Questions to Ask a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Here are some questions you should ask a medical malpractice lawyer before working with them:
- Do you have any experience handling medical malpractice cases?
- How do you plan to handle my case?
- What kind of evidence will be needed to win my medical malpractice case?
- What is your communication style?
- What is your payment structure?
Speak to a Springfield Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Missouri’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is two years. This means you have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. However, it’s important to note that the clock starts ticking on the day of the injury, not the day you find out about it. So if you’re injured due to medical malpractice, it’s important to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney right away.
When you are the victim of medical malpractice, it is vital to have a qualified Springfield medical malpractice lawyer on your side. Our lawyers at Peterson & Associates are well-versed in medical malpractice law and have years of experience handling personal injury claims, including medical malpractice claims. Let us help you get started on your road to recovery.
We know what it takes to win your case and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact a Springfield medical malpractice lawyer by calling 816-888-8888 for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.