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Justice for Victims of Medical Malpractice

Medical Malpractice FAQ

Answers to Medical Malpractice Questions

Medical malpractice is one of the more confusing legal practice areas, especially when you are the victim of less-common incidents such as anesthesia errors, blood transfusion injuries, failure to diagnose, or pharmacy errors. How can you possibly determine liability and obtain compensation in these situations?

At Meyerkord & Meyerkord, we have the answer to this and many other medical malpractice-related questions you may have. Our attorneys have practiced personal injury and medical malpractice law for many years and share more than a century of combined experience. No matter what injury or illness you have experienced due to a negligent doctor or hospital, we can help.

Start getting answers today by reviewing some of the more common questions listed below. After that, do not hesitate to engage in a free consultation with a St. Louis personal injury lawyer from our firm.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a patient suffers injury due to the negligence of a medical professional. For example, a doctor error could result in misdiagnosis or a failure to diagnose, causing the patient to receive the wrong type of treatment or no treatment at all. This might, in turn, result in further illness or injury.

A pharmacy could make a mistake with a patient's prescription, resulting in a medication error. Surgeons could also cause wrongful surgical injuries due to negligence, such as gastric bypass errors, incorrect operation, or postoperative infections due to use of contaminated instruments.

Anyone who has become injured or ill or whose condition has worsened due to the carelessness of a medical professional has every right to file a personal injury claim for compensation.

Medical malpractice claims can be difficult to prove, especially since hospitals and doctors require patients to sign a number of forms and waivers to prevent liability. This is why it is important to hire an excellent St. Louis medical malpractice attorney as soon as you possibly can. With their counsel and representation, you will have the highest chance of recovering the damages you have incurred.

What Are Some Common Types of Medical Malpractice?

We have the experience to help you recover the full amount of your damages in all types of medical malpractice, including the following:

  • Doctor Error: In the medical field, doctors hold a great deal of responsibility and are expected to have the knowledge and skill to treat a patient. This is largely due to the amount of schooling, training, and testing a doctor must undergo in order to be considered capable of treating patients. Even so, a doctor can become negligent in their practice and make a mistake that causes severe illness or injury. Common cases include birth injuries, misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose.
  • Surgical Error: Surgeons are held to the highest level of accountability of any medical professional. In many cases, their patients' lives are in their hands when they perform an operation. Anesthesia errors could cause excruciating pain for a patient. Additionally, incorrect operation and wrong site surgeries can make an injury worse than before, and contaminated instruments and other issues could cause postoperative infections. A patient could even suffer wrongful death due to a surgeon's negligent mistake.
  • Pharmacy Error: Medication errors are more common than you might think. Whether a doctor prescribes the incorrect medication or too much of a drug, or a pharmacist incorrectly compounds or distributes the medication, a patient can suffer extreme illness or wrongful death. Without proper medication, a person's condition can worsen. On the other hand, too much medication also can cause internal injuries, illness, or wrongful death.

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit in St. Louis?

According to the Missouri Revised Statutes §516.105, actions against health care providers - including physicians, hospitals, nurses, and pharmacists - must be filed within two years of the date that the injury or illness occurred. This is called the "statute of limitations." If an injury victim fails to file a claim within this time frame, they forfeit their right to obtain compensation. Medical malpractice injuries can be catastrophic and life-changing, such as brain injuries or paralysis caused by a negligent surgeon, or other illnesses or injuries caused by misdiagnosis or pharmacy errors.

There are a couple of exceptions to the statute of limitations for medical malpractice. If a person under the age of 18 is injured, then they have until their 20th birthday to file a medical malpractice claim. If a person is filing a claim after discovering a foreign object has been left inside their body, the action must be taken within two years of the date they discover the existence of that object. Additionally, any patient who discovers that a physician or hospital failed to inform them of the results of a test has two years from the date of their discovery to file a claim.

Since legal action for medical malpractice has such a strict time limitation, you should not hesitate a moment to retain the services of an excellent lawyer. A personal injury attorney from Meyerkord & Meyerkord can provide the services you need.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Medical Malpractice?

As long as a patient is not responsible for their illness or injury in any way, they may be able to obtain compensation for their situation by filing a medical malpractice claim. In order for such a claim to be successful, however, they must be able to establish negligence on behalf of a third party. This can be very difficult to do since hospitals, doctors, and pharmacies operate under strict waivers and attempt to deny liability in any way. That is why it is vital to hire an experienced St. Louis personal injury lawyer. Only then can you obtain the evidence needed to prove the liability of a negligent medical professional.

Establishing Negligence

Doctors: Many cases of medical malpractice are the result of doctor error. In order to recover damages for such cases, you must prove that a doctor was grossly negligent and made a mistake that could have been avoided if he or she had taken the appropriate precautions.

Nurses: Although nurses usually operate under the direction of a doctor, they could still be held responsible for certain cases of injury. They too can cause a prescription error, or an infection could set in due to their use of contaminated instruments. If your injury or illness can be traced back to a nurse's unnecessary mistake or negligence, a claim could be filed against them to recover your damages.

Surgeons: Many medical malpractice cases are the result of surgical error. Surgeons can cause postoperative infections by leaving objects inside a patient or by using contaminated instruments. They could also cause undue pain and suffering due to anesthesia errors or could operate on the wrong site altogether. An excellent attorney could help you obtain evidence of such negligence and fight for the compensation you deserve.

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