When we face an illness or injury, we put our trust in medical professionals to help diagnose and treat us, so we can recover and return to our lives as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, there are instances where we leave the care of a hospital in worse shape than when we arrived. When this happens, and it is the fault of a medical professional, it’s called medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice occurs much too often in the United States. The errors that result are currently listed as the third-leading cause of death, right after heart disease and cancer. These errors are almost always the result of human error, which means they should almost always be preventable.
Keep reading to learn about why medical malpractice occurs, and what you can do in the event you or a loved one is a victim.
Causes of Medical Malpractice
A victim of medical malpractice may suffer from surgical or medication errors, misdiagnosis, birth injuries, nerve injuries, or falls. The causes of these injuries are almost always avoidable when patient care is prioritized.
Incompetence. If an inexperienced doctor is pushed to perform a certain procedure, the consequences can be deadly. Inadequate skills and training, especially in the operating room, can lead to many mistakes.
Fatigue. Medical professions often work long hours. If they neglect their body’s need for rest, they can become easily distracted or careless when working with a patient.
Lack of Communication. Communication is key in a hospital. When someone mishears instructions or doesn’t ask for clarification, there may be consequences.
Improper Management. Hospitals and medical professionals are tasks with performing a variety of procedures and operations in a certain way. There are protocols in place for a reason. If a hospital staff member decides to stray from these protocol for whatever reason, medical errors can occur.
Drugs or Alcohol. Regardless of the occupation, working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is an incredibly dangerous and irresponsible choice. Those dangers are substantially higher when the employee is performing a medical procedure on a patient.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Missouri
In Missouri, you have two years from the date your medical error occurred to file a lawsuit. You are also required to file an affidavit of merit within 90 days of filing your initial claim. The affidavit of merit must prove that a medical professional or qualified expert was consulted about your claim and feels as though the initial doctor or hospital was negligent and caused your injuries. That expert may be asked to give testimony at your trial.
A medical malpractice lawsuit can get messy when hospitals’ legal teams get involved. In order to receive the compensation you deserve and hold the negligent party liable, you’ll need strong legal representation. Our Columbia medical malpractice lawyer has handled challenging cases like this before and is prepared to represent you. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your claim.