Why You Need Help From An Attorney
In 2019, Kansas City lifted the cap on medical malpractice lawsuits. With this cap lifted, you can expect to win more money if your doctor was neglectful or negligent. However, a medical malpractice case can be very complex and you will need to have your case handled by a medical malpractice lawyer.
All doctors across the United States are held to certain legal standards. Doctors are expected to follow best practices, and if a doctor fails to meet his duties, you will be entitled to seek damages either through a settlement or by taking your case to court. However, doing so won’t be easy.
What is Considered Negligence?
Practicing medicine is difficult and the courts recognize that some doctors will make mistakes. Therefore, the negligence that you experience must be well outside of the standards for duty of care for a doctor. For example, if your doctor misdiagnoses you, this may lead to your treatment being delayed. You may receive the wrong treatment or the treatment might be performed improperly.
In other cases, the medical practitioner may simply be careless. She might not sterilize your equipment or may have poor communication. Regardless of how your doctor is negligent, you are entitled to compensation if you have suffered damages as a result.
Medical malpractice can arise in several ways including:
- Failing to train staff adequately
- Failing to supervise staff
- Failing to follow hospital procedures
- Failing to help a patient in distress
- Failing to follow security protocols
- Failing to properly maintain equipment
In some cases, a hospital might not be held responsible for an accident. For example, many doctors who work for a hospital are independent contractors and you may instead need to sue the doctor directly. However, if the hospital knows that a doctor is dangerous and grants privileges anyway, you may seek compensation from the hospital.
Don’t Assume That The Doctor Is Correct
Your doctor might have taken the best course of action possible to treat your injuries. However, it never hurts to schedule a short consultation with a Kansas City medical malpractice attorney who can help you understand whether you have a case.
Because of the medical knowledge necessary to prove a medical malpractice case, your medical malpractice attorney must work with an expert witness who has practiced medicine and will be able to testify that the care you received was not appropriate or was negligent.
Don’t Wait Too Long To File
Typically, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim is two years. However, you may have learned about your injuries much later than that. The good news is that you can sometimes have the statute of limitations extended so that you may file two years after the date where you discovered your injury.
What Are The Benefits Of Filing?
The most common reason to file is to seek compensation for medical expenses. You might need a more expensive medical treatment to undo the health effects of the previous treatment while also treating the original condition. You must also seek compensation for future medical expenses.
If you are unable to work, you will be eligible for lost wages. If you are able to work, but will not be earning as much as you previously earned, you will be entitled to compensation for any reduced wages.
Medical malpractice mistakes can lead to pain, misery, and dysfunction. You may be hospitalized for days or even months and you may miss out on activities you once enjoyed. Therefore, you deserve compensation for any pain or suffering you experience. Not only might you be entitled to compensation for mental anguish but your family may be entitled as well.
Pain and suffering are considered a form of non-economic damages. Fortunately, with non-economic damages, your attorney may calculate these damages based on a multiplier so you will have a sense of what your medical malpractice case is worth. The multiplier takes into account:
- The pain and suffering you have experienced
- Any economic losses
- The multiplier number which is between one and five
Knowing how much your settlement may be worth is crucial because the negligent physician will do everything possible to reduce your settlement. By knowing how much your case is worth, you can avoid settling for too little.
What If The Victim Is Deceased?
Wrongful death cases often arise due to medical malpractice. This not only occurs often in hospitals and clinics but also at hospices and nursing homes. If your loved one passed away due to medical malpractice, you will be entitled to compensation for wrongful death. When an adult passes away, his spouse or children are eligible for damages. However, when a child under the age of 25 passes away, her parents will be eligible for wrongful death benefits. Missouri law also allows grandchildren to collect wrongful death benefits.
Why Hire a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?
Because medical malpractice litigation can be expensive and time-consuming, an attorney can help you understand whether you should pursue the case. Filing for damages related to medical malpractice is very complex and you’ll be less likely to make a mistake if you have all of your paperwork examined by an attorney. If your case goes to trial, you’ll need an attorney who can understand two very technical fields: medicine and law.
Unfortunately, some doctors will attempt to destroy records to avoid liability. If you do not know which medical records should be there due to a lack of expertise in malpractice law, you may forever lose documentation necessary to support your case. Your Kansas City medical malpractice attorney can also determine the standard of care that the doctor, hospital or nurse should have followed.
What Are My Odds?
Medical malpractice law places a heavy burden on the plaintiff to use scientific and medical data to prove that the doctor failed to meet a reasonable standard of care.
A large percentage of medical malpractice cases are lost. However, this shouldn’t discourage you because patients file quite a few fraudulent medical malpractice claims. If your case has merit and if you’re working with a medical malpractice attorney, you’ll have a much better chance.
Fortunately, you can increase your odds by writing a formal demand letter. You should have this letter crafted by a Kansas City medical malpractice attorney who will create an itemized list of damages and demand compensation for your injuries. Many physicians are willing to settle to avoid the embarrassment and reputational damage of a malpractice case going to court and becoming a part of the public record.
Regardless of which route you would like to take, our law office is here to help. If you were injured due to a case of medical malpractice, call today to schedule a free consultation.