Medical malpractice claims are among the most complicated in personal injury law. A properly pursued claim demands an understanding of both the law and medical science. Missouri law states that medical providers must be held to a standard of care that protects their patients and holds them legally liable when this standard of care falls below acceptable levels.
Only through the analysis of expert doctors can a plaintiff hope to prove their case. A Madison County medical malpractice lawyer can help you determine if this care was unacceptable and pursue medical providers for compensation when negligence is present. Work with a compassionate personal injury lawyer that can fight for you.
When Does Poor Care Become Malpractice?
In understanding medical malpractice, it can be helpful to consider its similarities to any other lawsuit alleging personal injury. For example, in truck accident cases, the plaintiff needs to prove that they were injured when the truck driver acted in a negligent way.
This can be done by ignoring a rule of the road, or simply by driving in a careless manner. Medical malpractice claims require a similar analysis. All medical providers have a duty to care for the well-being of the patients in their charge.
When the care they provide is so poor as to cause undue injury, they may be said to be negligent, or in medical terms, to have committed malpractice. It is when someone attempts to understand if the care was poor that medical malpractice cases become more complex.
Reasonable Standard of Care
Missouri law provides a definition of the reasonable standard of care as the follows: When a medical practitioner provides their services, they are expected to do so as an average, similarly trained practitioner would under similar circumstances. In short, that they did the best they could given the situation.
This can be when a doctor is performing a surgery, a dentist is filling a cavity, or a nurse is drawing blood. If these procedures are performed so poorly as to cause unexpected harm to the patient, then there is a possibility of malpractice. An experienced Madison County medical malpractice lawyer could help individuals determine whether there was malpractice or not.
Missouri’s Rules for Filing the Case
Anybody who is not a medical provider is not qualified to provide an opinion as to whether malpractice occurred. In all medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff’s case must be centered upon an expert witness’ opinion as to how and why the malpractice happened.
In fact, Missouri Statute 538.225 states that this expert’s opinion must be obtained prior to a case even being filed in court. This expert’s contact information must be provided to the court no more than 90 days after the complaint is filed. This allows the defendant to properly research the allegations and to prepare for a cross-examination of the expert at a trial.
All lawsuits alleging medical malpractice must be filed in court no later than two years after the incident. In some situations, this time limit may be extended when the injuries were not discovered until after the underlying procedures were completed. In no case will medical malpractice cases be accepted more than ten years after the fact. This rule is known as the statute of limitations.
Under Missouri Statute 516.105, any violation of this rule will give the defendant cause to move for a dismissal of the case. For this reason, it is extremely important that clients contact us as soon as possible.
Madison County Medical Malpractice Lawyers Lead the Way
A Madison County medical malpractice lawyer can understand that people who have been injured due to a medical provider’s negligence may have many questions and concerns. You may not know if the care you received was so poor as to rise to the level of malpractice, or are intimidated by the prospect of facing a lengthy trial. An attorney could work to put those fears to rest.
A Madison County medical malpractice attorney could work with expert doctors to analyze your case and develop a strategy that provides a better chance of success. Take a step towards protecting your rights and hold negligent medical providers responsible for their actions. Contact a lawyer today and know that you are in capable hands.