St. Louis County Medical Malpractice Lawyer
It is only fair to expect that whenever we visit a doctor, hospital, or dentist, that we would receive competent care. While this does not mean that a positive outcome should always result from a visit, it does mean that medical professionals would take all appropriate steps to provide the best possible care to patients.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Medical professionals often make mistakes due to being tired, not being up to date on all recent medical advances, or simply by being careless or distracted. This can lead to serious injuries that severely impact the health of patients.
A St. Louis County medical malpractice lawyer may be able to help you take the steps needed to obtain compensation following instances of medical malpractice. An experienced injury attorney could help you evaluate the quality of medical care that you received and to understand the relevant laws that hold medical professionals to a minimum level of competency.
What is Medical Malpractice?
A doctor may commit malpractice if they act in a way that a similarly situated doctor would not have, given the circumstances presented by the patient. As a result, a medical malpractice attorney must evaluate all the factors that went into the doctor’s decision to act as they did. These include:
- The tools and facilities available to the doctor at the time of treatment
- The overall health of the patient prior to treatment
- The overall complexity of the procedure
- To what extent the treatment provided was done in an emergency scenario
A St. Louis County attorney who has experience in these cases could help determine whether medical malpractice occurred in a particular situation. However, only a licensed medical professional can testify to this fact in court.
Is there a Requirement to Speak with an Expert Witness?
Most medical malpractice cases consider complicated questions concerning the proper practice of medical science. As a result, neither an injured plaintiff nor their attorney is qualified to present this evidence to a lay jury. Legislatures have long recognized this problem, and in the interest of discouraging frivolous lawsuits against doctors, they require that plaintiffs hire expert medical witnesses to prosecute their claims.
In fact, plaintiffs must work with these experts before the case even gets to court. According to MO Statute §538.225, a plaintiff or an attorney must complete an affidavit that states that they have consulted with a qualified legal expert and that this expert believes that medical malpractice has occurred. The statute also states that an expert is qualified if they are a licensed medical professional in the same profession as the defendant, are actively practicing or have retired within the past five years, and hold the same specialty as the defendant.
This expert is also critical if the case goes to trial. An expert would serve as a plaintiff’s chief witness to evaluate the actions of a defendant doctor and to describe how that malpractice inflicted injuries. A medical malpractice lawyer in St. Louis County could help plaintiffs to understand the requirement to work with an expert witness and to take appropriate steps to locate and hire these professionals.
A St. Louis County Medical Malpractice Attorney May be Able to Help You
Medical malpractice claims are among the most complex cases for personal injury that occur in our society. It is rare for a person to be able to recognize when medical malpractice occurs, but not so rare for a person to realize that something has gone wrong. If an error leads to a new condition or a worsening of an existing one, this may indicate medical malpractice.
This can occur in a variety of ways. A medical professional may commit malpractice by failing to diagnose a condition, being slow to order diagnostic testing, prescribing unsafe medication, or even by making errors during surgery. To prove these cases, a plaintiff must work with a qualified medical expert. This expert is necessary to make claims even before a case gets to court.
A St. Louis County medical malpractice lawyer could help you when a doctor, dentist, or nurse error results in your injuries. They can help you to press your claims for medical bill payments, lost wage reimbursement, and payments for pain and suffering. You may have as little as two years from the date of malpractice to start a case. Contact a St. Louis County medical malpractice lawyer today to get started.