Medical malpractice injuries are one of the most disturbing areas of a Missouri Personal Injury law practice. The victim of medical malpractice is actually harmed by the very entities entrusted with healing and helping him. Fortunately, Missouri has established legal statutes allowing medical malpractice victims to file a lawsuit for recovery of damages against any health services provider that causes injury.
Medical malpractice injuries include those caused by:
• Diagnostic Error
• Improper treatment/surgical error
• Lack of treatment
• Delay in treatment
Missouri Medical Malpractice Laws
Missouri law provides a short statute of limitations on filing medical malpractice claims. To clarify--medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within a certain time of the act causing the malpractice injury, or within a certain time period of the discovery of the malpractice injury. If the malpractice resulted in wrongful death, the deceased's estate has a different statute of limitations from the date of death to file a malpractice claim. If the malpractice case involves injury to a minor, the time to file the claim may also be different. To find out what time limitations may apply in a case, talk with a Missouri personal injury lawyer.
Missouri negligence statutes governing medical malpractice lawsuits have specific rules limit unique to this type of action. Many of these rules can be argued to favor the defense and medical provider. For example:
• The court may need to consider a request by either party for periodic damage payments in awards over $100,000.
• The plaintiff must file an affidavit of expert consultation in the first 90 days after filing the malpractice suit.
• If the defendant is more than 51% at fault, their liability may be treated differently by the court.
• Physicians charged with negligence while offering their services at a free health care clinic cannot be charged with malpractice--unless the negligence is willful.
• A physician's expressions of sympathy cannot be considered admission of guilt or entered into court proceedings.