When medical professionals treat patients, they must follow accepted standards of care. If they deviate from these standards, patients may suffer serious injuries.
Medical malpractice lawyers help injury victims recover compensation. They can help with evidence gathering, medical records, and negotiating with insurance companies.
Catastrophic damages include quadriplegia, loss of limbs, permanent brain damage, and more. In Missouri, there is a cap on noneconomic damages that goes up each year.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice happens when a health care provider deviates from accepted standards of practice and causes an injury to a patient. It is a subset of tort law, which deals with professional negligence. A patient can sue a physician, hospital, nurse, technician, or any other healthcare provider for damages caused by malpractice.
A successful malpractice case must establish two things: (1) that a health care provider breached the standard of care; and (2) that this breach caused personal injury. This personal injury may be economic or non-economic. Economic losses include medical bills and loss of earnings. Non-economic losses include pain, suffering, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life.
A lawyer can help a patient recover compensation for their injuries. Many attorneys specialize in malpractice cases. They can review your medical records and hire a healthcare expert to evaluate your case. They can also negotiate a settlement to avoid the unpredictable outcome of trial. Many lawyers work on a contingency basis and charge a percentage of the award you receive.
What Are the Damages in a Medical Malpractice Case?
When medical professionals fail to provide a standard of care, they can be held liable for the damages a patient suffers. There are three main categories of damages in a medical malpractice case: compensatory, non-economic, and punitive. To receive compensation for their losses, a victim must demonstrate that the healthcare provider breached their duty to provide a reasonable standard of care and caused their injuries.
A medical malpractice attorney st. Louis will review your medical records to determine if your claim is valid and may bring in a medical expert to confirm the details of your case. To prove that a healthcare provider breached their duty to you, your lawyer must establish four elements:
Causation — that the negligence or below-standard care directly resulted in personal injury to you. Damages — that you suffered damages, including but not limited to, additional medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages are a little more difficult to prove and often vary greatly from person to person. A jury will decide how much a patient should receive for their non-economic damages.
How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Case?
Every state has its own set of legal deadlines known as statutes of limitations. These timeframes are based on various factors, including how quickly the injury occurred or was discovered and whether a minor child is involved in the case.
To be successful in a medical malpractice lawsuit, it must be proven that a healthcare provider breached their duty of care. The breach caused injuries that resulted in damages. The damages can be economic or noneconomic in nature. Economic damages include past and future medical bills, lost wages, loss of employment opportunities, and other quantifiable financial losses. Noneconomic damages can include pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, and other emotional distress.
The discovery process in a malpractice case can take several months or even a year to complete. During this phase, the plaintiff’s attorney requests information from the defendants such as medical records and hospital records. The defendants must also respond to interrogatories and may be questioned under oath in depositions.
How Can I Find a Good Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Finding the right medical malpractice lawyer is essential for the success of your case. You will need someone with extensive experience and a track record of success in these complex matters. It’s also important to find a law firm that cares about you and will work tirelessly to help you get the compensation you deserve.
To narrow down your list of potential medical malpractice lawyers, start by reviewing their biographical information online. This will give you an idea of their education, years of legal practice, and any disciplinary action. It’s also helpful to look at their previous case results.
When choosing a medical malpractice attorney, you should also ask about their fee structure. Most attorneys offer contingent-fee arrangements, meaning they will only be paid if they recover compensation for you through a settlement or judgment. You should also make sure the attorney will cover up-front expenses such as expert witness fees and court filing costs.