When you’re seeking care from a medical professional, you expect them to identify the problem and start providing treatment to help you recover. While this may not always be an easy task, as some treatments can require multiple doctors, surgical procedures, medication, and more, you put your trust in your physicians to do their best. However, medical professionals can exhibit negligence, make mistakes, and cause harm to their patients. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you may be able to seek justice with the help of a St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer from Thomas Law Offices.
Our lawyers have experience in representing clients who have been victims of medical malpractice. We understand how confusing it can be when you’re hurt by a medical professional. You’ll likely want to know what happened and why, as well as how you’re going to be able to get the treatment you need to recover. We’ll be at your side every step of the way and will fight for you to get the recovery you deserve.
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What Are Common Medical Errors That Harm Patients?
When our lawyers investigate your case, we’ll need to know what happened to you. Some common examples of medical malpractice can happen when your doctor is diagnosing you, when you undergo surgery, or when you’re getting medication.
- Misdiagnosis. When you go to the doctor and tell them your symptoms, they’re supposed to take steps to figure out what’s ailing you. Ordering tests, asking further questions, and ruling out possibilities are typical ways they could do this. If a doctor misreads tests or doesn’t listen to what the patient is saying, they could misdiagnose the condition and begin giving the patient the wrong treatment. This can allow their original condition to progress and worsen.
- Failure to Diagnose. If the doctor didn’t recognize symptoms of an illness and didn’t give the patient a diagnosis, they could be held accountable for a failure to diagnose. This could happen in emergency rooms when someone is presenting symptoms of a heart attack or stroke but didn’t receive immediate treatment.
- Surgical Errors. When a surgical error occurs, a mistake could be made during the pre-op, operation, or post-op part of the process. If a surgeon makes a mistake, they could cause irreversible damage to a vital organ or could leave surgical tools and sponges inside the patient. In some cases, wrong-site surgery could occur, when the surgery is performed on the wrong area of the patient. Sometimes, surgical operations could get mixed up, and patients receive the wrong surgery.
- Anesthesia Errors. Before undergoing a procedure, patients can receive anesthesia. Medical professionals in charge of a patient’s care need to make sure they’re receiving anesthesia that they’re not allergic to and are receiving the correct dosage. An overdose could result in difficulty waking up or cause brain damage. If they’re not given enough, the patient could wake up during the procedure. Patient awareness during surgery can be an extremely traumatic experience.
- Medication Errors. Whether you’re picking up medication from a pharmacist or a nurse is administering medication in a hospital, errors can occur when someone acts negligently. If someone receives the wrong medication, they could suffer from a reaction and they’re not getting the medication they need. If they do get the correct medication but improper dosage, they could still have adverse reactions.
- Birth Injuries. When medical professionals involved in caring for patient while they’re pregnant or are involved in the delivery process, they need to make sure they’re monitoring the mother and the baby. If negligence occurs, one or both could suffer debilitating injuries.
Your St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer from Thomas Law Offices will carefully review your medical records and to find out what happened to you. Once we have this information, we can start looking into how it happened. While determining liability can be complex, our lawyers will review the facts of your case to find the liable party.
How Does Medical Malpractice Occur?
While there is never an excuse for medical negligence, it’s important to know how it happened so the right party is held accountable for their actions. The following are possible reasons why the medical error that harmed you occurred.
- Physician Error. If a medical professional makes an error, they could have been acting carelessly. They could also not have the experience necessary to treat or help a patient in a certain situation. When medical professionals are asked to do something outside of their area of expertise, they could help the patient get to someone who can help them. There’s also a chance the medical professional could be abusing alcohol or substances to deal with stress, which will impair their overall function and ability to make clear judgments.
- Hospital Error. If the hospital makes a mistake with a patient’s care, the administrative error could be the reason why a medical error occurred. There’s another aspect of hospitals that can cause health complications: cleanliness. If the hospital doesn’t have procedures to keep the facility sanitized, then patients could be at risk of contagious diseases.
- Miscommunication. When the care of a patient is exchanging hands, whether someone’s shift is up or the patient is seeing a specialist, their health information needs to be updated and accurate. Working from outdated information could possible result in situations where the patient’s health is put at risk.
When we find out how your injuries occurred, we’ll look into getting you compensation to help you recover. Let’s take a look at what you may be eligible to recover in your compensation amount.
Missouri Medical Malpractice Limits
When you’re seeking compensation for medical malpractice, it’s important to understand the different aspects of the total. Your injury may have resulted in significant medical bills and time missing from work. Having more expenses to pay when you’re unable to work can be financially stressful—but your St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer will fight for your compensation to cover your past and future medical expenses as well as your lost wages.
While medical expenses and lost wages are economic damages, you can also receive noneconomic damages for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. It’s important to know that in Missouri, there is a cap on the noneconomic damages you can recover.
There is a cap for both non-catastrophic and catastrophic injuries. A catastrophic injury causes the following:
- Loss of two or more limbs
- Permanent cognitive impairment
- Loss of vision
- Permanent failure of a major organ
The caps for these amounts increase each year by a rate of 1.7%. Here you can see the table of the caps for noneconomic damages in Missouri.
While the noneconomic damages have a cap, your med mal lawyer will seek to maximize your compensation so you can recover without worrying about how you’re going to afford treatment, keep up with your bills, and put food on the table. Thomas Law Offices is here for you.
Meet with an Experienced St. Louis Medical Malpractice Lawyer
It’s devastating when a medical professional has harmed you. But you can seek justice with skilled representation on your side. Thomas Law Offices will stand up to the negligent physician or hospital and show that their negligence caused your injuries and you deserve fair compensation for what you’re been through.
Start seeking your legal options today. Contact us for a free consultation. We’ll explain the legal process and help you find the best way to move forward.