When it comes to the professionals that take care of our health needs, we expect a certain level of confidence. We expect them to be trained to a high standard so that we can feel safe when we need their help the most.
Unfortunately, negligence does happen, and when it does, the result can lead to catastrophic injuries.
When this occurs, medical malpractice law in Kansas City, MO, states that you should have every chance to hold these physicians accountable for their negligence. Medical malpractice cases are considered personal injury claims in the eyes of Texas law, which means you should seek the help of a skilled Kansas City personal injury lawyer if you or a loved one are the victim of medical malpractice.
Here at Wendt Law, our highly-skilled, highly experienced team of medical malpractice lawyers are here to help. We have a great track record in dealing with medical negligence cases just like yours. We offer a free consultation and free case evaluation where we can advise you on the best course of action and discuss your case.
We have over 40 years of combined experience in dealing with cases just like yours, so call us on 816-542-6734 to seek the compensation you deserve.
Common Forms of Medical Malpractice
If you are wondering what exactly constitutes medical malpractice and medical negligence here are some common reasons for a medical malpractice claim:
The incorrect diagnosis of a medical condition. This can happen because the doctor refuses to put the patient through certain tests or monitoring, or they ignore the concerns of a patient and their condition worsens.
Poor communications between doctors and nurses, such as forgetting to communicate medications, side effects, or allergy risks with each other.
Treating or operating on a patient without informed consent. This happens when a doctor does not gain consent to administer medications or surgery. Consent should always be given by patients before treatment or the doctor is engaging in grossly negligent behavior.
Treating a patient with the wrong medication or performing the wrong procedure. This happens due to a lapse in judgment, a surgical error, or bad communication. Failing to perform the correct procedure is definitely gross negligence.
Discharging a patient too early or not allowing them enough time for the treatment to take to finish. Rushing to discharge a patient can lead to conditions or side effects being missed.
A lack of sufficient monitoring. If a patient is not monitored correctly and regularly during their time at the hospital, there may be injuries that could have been avoided.
Common Injuries Sustained As A Result Of Medical Malpractice In Kansas City, MO
Every Kansas City area medical negligence case is different and can result in any number of injuries. The most common ones we see here at Wendt Law are:
Infections – Infections usually happen as a result of poor sterilization and contamination issues. Infections can arise from surgical equipment that has not been sterilized or contaminated equipment or medication. Infections can cause serious complications and even death if untreated.
Surgical incisions in the wrong patient – While rare, we do see cases where patients undergo surgery that they were not meant to undergo. Sometimes patients receive the surgery that was meant to be done on another patient. This means they have undergone a complicated medical procedure for no reason. They may have long-term follow-up appointments and mental trauma as a result and they deserve to be compensated for this.
Drug overdose or allergic reactions – It is the responsibility of the hospital and the doctors to ensure that medication is given in the correct dosages and to ensure that the patient is not allergic to the medication.
Wrongful Death – The worst possible outcome of medical errors, is the wrongful death of a patient. This can happen because of incorrect medication, surgical errors, or device malfunctions.
It is really important for all attorneys who work in this field to have exceptional knowledge of the Missouri medical negligence laws and regulations. If you do not follow them to the letter, your case may be thrown out. This includes presenting to the relevant medical review boards.
Who is Liable in my Medical Malpractice Claim?
All healthcare providers have a duty of care to their patients. This means that all medical professionals can be held liable in a medical negligence case. If a medical professional acts in a way that any reasonable professional would not, they are acting negligently.
You can file a medical negligence claim against any medical professional, which means:
You have grounds to make a medical malpractice claim if any health care professional has caused you harm. When treating patients, all healthcare providers have a patient-provider relationship which means they are accountable for their actions whilst treating you.
How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice in Kansas City, MO?
You are going to need proof in order to assign negligence in a medical malpractice case. In particular, you are going to need to prove that malpractice directly caused your injuries.
To do this you will need to show:
That the victim was under a doctor’s care in a professional relationship.
That the doctor acted negligently.
That the doctor acted in a way that a reasonable equal would not have acted.
That the injuries in question were caused by this negligence.
That the patient suffered damages as a result, such as medical bills, emotional trauma, etc.
Importance of Investigation
Medical malpractice cases and the law that governs them are particularly complex, and this means it is crucial to hire a specialist Kansas City medical malpractice attorney in order to guide you through the process.
They will be able to investigate on your behalf, collecting evidence and advising you on the best course of action. They will also advise you on the importance of keeping all records, from medical bills to taxi ride receipts.
They will be able to get in touch with their network of medical malpractice experts. These will be able to bolster your claim in court.
Most of the time, physicians will have strong levels of medical malpractice insurance to protect them if they make a mistake. This means that in many cases, the insurance companies will attempt to settle outside of court, preventing the need for a lengthy court case.
This only happens if you are in full agreement with the settlement figure and we advise you to speak to your medical malpractice lawyers to find out if they think the sum is acceptable or not. Settling outside of court will lead to fewer fees and less stress but may mean you are awarded less overall.
What Damages Could You Recover Through a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Although all medical malpractice cases are different in terms of severity and complexity, you and your loved ones may be entitled to a range of different damages if you have been the victim of negligence.
Some damages are economic, meaning they have a physical number attached to them. These include things like medical bills. Some are non-economic, these include things that are less tangible, like loss of enjoyment of life. These will need to be calculated by an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
A medical malpractice attorney from our law firm will ensure that you have the chance to be compensated in full for any damages you have received, which may include:
When it comes to claiming for your medical bills, you can claim for all past, present, and even future medical bills. You will need to keep all records of your bills if you want the best chance of compensation.
Keep records of all ER visits, necessary medical devices, routine doctor’s appointments, and more.
Loss of Wages and Earning Capacity
If you have had to take time off work due to your injuries, you can claim for all lost wages you have incurred as a result. If your injury means you can no longer work in the same capacity as you did before, you can claim for all future loss of earnings too.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering can mean a number of things. These non-economical damages can include things like pain and emotional suffering you have endured or loss of enjoyment of life if you can no longer attend sporting events or hold your kids.
To calculate these damages your attorney will look at things like your levels of depression fear and anxiety as well as how much your life has been changed as a result of the incident.
Non-Economic Damage Cap
In Missouri, there is a cap on all non-economic damages. This means in a standard medical malpractice case you can claim for up to $400,000 dollars for non-economic damages.
In more serious cases that result in catastrophic injury or wrongful death, this is increased to $700,000.
Loss of Consortium
If a close family member or spouse has lost their life due to a medical malpractice incident. You may be entitled to seek compensation for lost income to the household.
If you feel the medical professional involved acted in a way that was malicious or grossly negligent, you may be able to seek punitive damages.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the individual and deter others from acting in the same way.
The Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Suits
Every state in America has its own specific statute of limitations. This places a time limit on victims of personal accident cases, medical malpractice cases, and wrongful death cases.
These time limits are put in place to encourage victims to pursue their specific claims in a timely manner. This prevents victims from taking advantage of the fact the defendant most likely no longer has the evidence to dispute their claim
Medical malpractice limitations tend to be shorter than standard personal injury cases.
If you attempt to file your case after the given time limit, the court has every right to refuse your claim entirely. If you do manage to get the court to listen, you may find the defendant uses your untimely filing as strong evidence against your claim and you may have your case thrown out.
What is the Statute of Limitations in Kansas City for a Medical Malpractice Case?
In Missouri, the state of limitations states that you have two years to file medical malpractice suits.
There are a few exceptions to this where the length of time can be extended. One example would be if a physician has left a surgical tool inside a victim’s body. In these cases, victims have two years following the date they discovered the object.
Kansas City Medical Malpractice Laws
If you want to file a medical malpractice suit in Kansas City you will need to ensure that you use an attorney who is well versed in all of the laws of the state.
Firstly, you will need to ensure that you are within the statute of limitation period set out for medical malpractice, which is two years for most cases.
Next, you are going to need to make sure you use an experienced attorney to file your complaint. They will file an affidavit of merit in civil court.
This affidavit must contain:
A written opinion coming from an experienced and legally qualified health professional.
A statement from the victim that finds the defendant negligent and guilty of actions a reasonable and careful professional in a similar situation would not have made.
A statement that the breach of care directly influenced and contributed to the injuries for which you are filing the suit
What Can a Kansas City Medical Malpractice Lawyer Do For Me?
Here at Wendt Law, we know how daunting it can be to file a case against your healthcare professional. It is common that victims to decide not to pursue compensation because they are scared of the stress involved.
In complex medical malpractice cases, your attorney-client relationship is crucial. They are going to be helping you to prove your medical malpractice claims.
The first thing that will happen when you get in touch with an attorney, is usually a free consultation and case evaluation. During these initial talks, your attorney will evaluate your case and decide whether or not it is strong enough to pursue.
If it is, they will talk to you about their fee structure, offer some advice and arrange for a more formal sit down where you will start to build your case.
If you agree to representation, your attorney will take over all liaising. They will deal with all the parties involved and take the burden from your shoulders. They will file your paperwork correctly and on time and ensure you meet all dates.
They will also begin their investigation process, speaking to experts and building a strong case on your behalf. This means you will be able to relax a little bit and focus on dealing with the emotional and physical trauma of the incident.
Once they have evaluated your case they will work out what they think your claim is worth and calculate a settlement figure. This figure will be worked out by adding up your economic damages and adding the non-economic damage figure they have calculated and sending it over to the insurance company.
Many cases will settle at this point and you will pay your lawyer their fees from your settlement figure.
If your settlement is rejected and the other party is not cooperative, your case will move to the courtroom.
At this point, your lawyer will use the case they have built for you to convince the court that you deserve the compensation you are seeking.
Contact a Kansas City Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
At Wendt Law Firm, our legal team is extremely experienced in dealing with a wide variety of medical malpractice, hospital negligence, and personal injury cases.
Call us today for a free consultation and case evaluation, as well as some free advice.