Our experienced Kansas City medical malpractice attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC are dedicated to a personal approach to compassionate representation. Your initial consultation is always free of charge at our law firm in Kansas City, MO. When we do accept cases, we operate on a contingency fee basis; if we don’t win your case, you won’t pay anything. You can reach one of our legal team members at (816) 268-1960. Alternatively, you may fill out our free case evaluation form online and we will get back to you promptly. Please call or contact us today.
- How to hire a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer
- Can you sue a Kansas City hospital for medical malpractice?
- Types of medical malpractice cases we handle
- What are the medical malpractice laws in Missouri and Kansas City?
- Can you sue for medical malpractice years after treatment?
- How serious is medical malpractice?
- Medical malpractice statistics
Victim of Medical Malpractice? Speak to Our Injury Lawyer
Seeking the care of a health care professional is something many people take for granted. If we get sick or injured, we see a doctor to set us right again. The guidance and services that hospitals, doctors, and nurses provide is accepted by patients and in most cases, the patient will get better. However, there are times when health care providers engage in negligent actions which can seriously injure, or even kill the patients they’re treating. This negligent behavior is known as medical malpractice and as many as 98,000 people are killed each year in the United States alone as a result of it. If you or somebody you love was the victim of malpractice, a skilled Kansas City medical malpractice attorney at Dickerson Oxton, LLC can help. We handle medical negligence and malpractice cases throughout all of Kansas City including, but limited to, the following neighborhood and communities:
- River Market
- West Bottoms
- Union Hill
- Crown Center
- Beacon Hill
Call (816) 268-1960 to schedule a free consultation. A knowledgeable lawyer will review the details of your claim and let you know how much your case is worth.
Proving a Malpractice Case
When a doctor provides inadequate care, the patient or their surviving family can file a malpractice claim against the doctor to recoup damages. We handle all types of claims to help recovering families. For medmal cases to have merit, a few things need to be true:
- A doctor-patient relationship exists – You have to be able to prove that you hired the doctor or that the doctor actually treated you. This can sometimes be muddy if a consulting physician is involved.
- The doctor was negligent – Being dissatisfied with the doctor’s services is not a reason for a malpractice claim. To prove negligence, you must be able to show that another doctor would have acted more appropriately. A doctor’s care isn’t required to be perfect, but reasonable and careful. If they make the best decision possible with the information they have, then you won’t have much of a case, especially if you agreed to the treatment.
- The negligence caused the injury – Most of the time, the doctor is treating someone who is already injured, so it might be difficult to prove that the doctor’s actions actually caused the patient’s injury or death.
- The injury led to specific damages – Even if the doctor’s performance is substandard, his actions would have to directly cause further complications, such as: physical pain, increased medical bills or lost wages from missed work.
All of these need to have happened for a malpractice claim to be successful.
Malpractice is also known as professional negligence. The terms are often interchanged and are used to refer to the same act. By definition, medical malpractice is an act or omission of a health care provider in which the care given falls short of the accepted, professional standards set in place by the medical community. This negligence can cause catastrophic injury or even the wrongful death of the patient. A claim of malpractice towards a member of the medical field can be brought against any responsible party in the medical community. From emergency rooms to medication errors and routine checkups. nSuch people can include:
- Physician assistants
- Cosmetic surgeons
- Radiologists or X-Ray technicians
- The hospital as a whole
When an instance of malpractice takes place in Missouri, the injuries that the patient can incur can greatly vary. In some cases, the patient dies as a result of malpractice and a case for wrongful death is then pursued by a malpractice attorney and the surviving family members or estate of the decedent who hired him or her. Some injuries that malpractice can cause are:
- Brain damage
- Amputation of a limb
- Serious infections
- Permanent organ damage
- Advancement of disease or cancer
- Wrongful Death
A recent study found that on average, 12 million people are misdiagnosed every year in the United States. A misdiagnosis for a medical condition can also be grounds for a malpractice claim if it is found that the undiagnosed disease or cancer should have been found given the patient’s circumstance. Medication errors are also a big issue, physicians who prescribe drugs with severe or fatal interactions can also be held liable. Surgical errors on the part of either the attending physician or assistants are also grounds for a malpractice case. Anesthesiologists who administer an incorrect dose of medication can cause extremely severe complications, even the death of a patient. Malpractice can result in serious injuries that can cause life long complications. If you suspect you have been the victim of malpractice in the medical field, seek the service of a Kansas City malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
Can I Sue a Kansas City Hospital for Medical Malpractice?
The short answer here is yes, but only under certain circumstances. One of the more complicated of these issues is determining whether or not the doctor is technically an employee of the hospital or an independent contractor. If the doctor was an independent contractor who simply saw patients at that hospital, they would not be liable. If the doctor is an employee, the hospital is liable, particularly if they were negligent in any way when hiring that doctor. In the event you or a loved one experienced medical negligence at any of the following hospitals, get in touch with a Kansas City malpractice attorney to learn your legal options. These hospitals include, but are not limited to:
|CLAY||Kindred Hospital Northland||500 NW 68th Street||Kansas City||MO||64118|
|CLAY||North Kansas City Hospital||2800 Clay Edwards Drive||North Kansas City||MO||64116|
|CLAY||Signature Psychiatric Hospital||2900 Clay Edwards Drive||North Kansas City||MO||64116|
|JACKSON||Center for Behavioral Medicine||1000 East 24th Street||Kansas City||MO||64108|
|JACKSON||Children's Mercy Hospital||2401 Gillham Road||Kansas City||MO||64108|
|JACKSON||Crittenton Children's Center||10918 Elm Avenue||Kansas City||MO||64134|
|JACKSON||Research Medical Center||2316 East Meyer Boulevard||Kansas City||MO||64132|
|JACKSON||Research Medical Center - Brookside Campus||6601 Rockhill Road||Kansas City||MO||64131|
|JACKSON||Research Psychiatric Center - A Campus of Rese||2323 East 63rd Street||Kansas City||MO||64130|
|JACKSON||Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City||4401 Wornall Road||Kansas City||MO||64111|
|JACKSON||St. Joseph Medical Center||1000 Carondelet Drive||Kansas City||MO||64114|
|JACKSON||Truman Medical Center - Hospital Hill||2301 Holmes Street||Kansas City||MO||64108|
|JACKSON||Truman Medical Center - Hospital Hill 2 Center||1000 E 24th Street, 2 Center||Kansas City||MO||64108|
|JACKSON||Truman Medical Center Lakewood||7900 Lee's Summit Road||Kansas City||MO||64139|
|JACKSON||Two Rivers Behavioral Health System||5121 Raytown Road||Kansas City||MO||64133|
|PLATTE||Saint Luke's North Hospital||5830 NW Barry Road||Kansas City||MO||64154|
Even if a hospital can be held liable, is it worthwhile to include them in the claim? This depends on whether the doctor has enough malpractice insurance to cover the damages. Suing the hospital means having an additional lawyer attempt to dispute your claims, which means more time spent in litigation and, if your claim is successful, much more time until you can be compensated.
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases We Handle
There are many problems that can arise throughout the course of treatment by a doctor, but malpractice in the field of medicine stems from a doctor’s mistake. So here are some of the most common causes of a claim being filed:
- Misdiagnosis – According to a recent study, approximately 12 million people who seek outpatient care are misdiagnosed every year. While this only amounts to five percent of the total patients seen, a 95 percent success rate is considered low in the medical community.
- Improper treatment – If a doctor prescribes a method of treatment whose drawbacks can be clearly predicted, and is something no other competent doctor would prescribe, then a malpractice claim could be made.
- Failure to warn a patient of known risks – Most surgeries, medicines and other treatments come with side effects in some form or another. However, the patient is usually not a medical professional. You, as the patient, need to be informed of all the potential risks of any procedure. If you would have elected a different form of treatment had you been properly informed of all the risks, that is a lack of informed consent.
- Childbirth injuries – Negligence can happen before and during childbirth which are grounds for malpractice. In prenatal care, a doctor could fail to diagnose an illness in the mother (such as preeclampsia or hypoglycemia), birth defects, or a disease which could be contagious to the fetus. During the actual childbirth, a doctor could fail to recognize signs of complications or fetal distress, order a C-section when it was appropriate or improper use of birthing tools.
- Anesthesia errors – A mistake by an anesthesiologist is potentially much more harmful than one made by a surgeon. If they don’t do proper research of your medical history, fail to inform you of risks or make an avoidable mistake during the procedure, these are grounds for a malpractice claim.
Contact us today to discuss building a case if you are facing any of these malpractice claims.
Contact Us Today to Start Building Your Malpractice Case
To secure compensation for a malpractice claim from an at-fault party in, you or your attorney will need to prove the elements of a claim. Gathering proof of malpractice against a medical professional or entity, often requires a deep investigation into the events of the day of the treatment, including speaking with other medical professionals involved with patient care. Your lawyer may return to the hospital where your injury happened, interview witnesses, hire medical experts, gather medical records and take other steps to help prove your case.
Start building your malpractice case right away by collecting evidence the day you suspect wrongdoing. Write down a description of events, including the name of your physician, type of procedure, what you believe happened, and the date and location. The more information you record about your injury, the stronger your malpractice claim could be. A lawyer can help you with evidence gathering and the other steps it will take to bring your case to court. Hiring a Missouri medical malpractice attorney from Dickerson Oxton, LLC could take the burden of legal action off your shoulders.
Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice Years After Treatment?
Many malpractice claims have unique statutes of limitations. Rather than only having two years to file, you may be able to bring a claim against a defendant years after receiving the treatment in question. An extended statute of limitations may exist if you do not discover your injury or illness until later. The most common example is a retained foreign body case, in which the patient does not discover a surgical instrument within his or her body cavity until years after the surgery. In these cases, the statute of limitations may not begin until the date of discovery.
Even if years have passed after the negligent treatment or medical errors occurred, that caused your injury or illness, you could still have the opportunity to file a claim. In Missouri, you have two years from the date of discovering your injury to file if the case involves forgetting a foreign object in the body cavity. The courts will start the clock on the date of discovery or the date by which a reasonable and prudent patient would have discovered the injury, rather than the date of the treatment. The state of Missouri also has a statute of repose, however, that may limit how long you have to file.
If more than 10 years have passed since your treatment, you may have lost the ability to file a lawsuit in Missouri. State law gives a maximum deadline of 10 years no matter when you discovered the injury. This statute of repose does not apply to claims involving minor patients. Patients under 18 when they received treatment have until they turn 20 to file malpractice claims, even if that means waiting over 10 years to file.
The filing deadlines in Kansas are different compared to Missouri. In Kansas, a plaintiff also has two years from the date of injury or date of discovery to file. However, the statute of repose is just 4 years after the act of malpractice rather than 10. If more than four years have passed after your treatment, you may not have the ability to file a malpractice lawsuit against a medical professional in Kansas – even if you just discovered your injuries. Ask a professional negligence lawyer about your specific deadline for filing a claim.
LIMITATIONS AND JUSTICE IN MISSOURI MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS
Malpractice cases with regards to an individuals health, have the potential to cause life-threatening, lifelong injuries. If you suspect that you, or someone close to you, has been the victim of malpractice in the medical field don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Kansas City personal injury lawyer at Dickerson Oxton, LLC today. The statute of limitations effects how long you have to pursue a claim. Our personable attorneys offer client-specific strategies to help make your case a success.
Claims for malpractice in medicine can be complicated, often involving several medical professionals to be called in to evaluate the case. Due to this, you need knowledgeable attorneys on your side, ones that know the specific laws and regulations governing these types of cases. At our law firm, we have experienced, passionate, and personable attorneys ready to provide legal advice and seek justice for you.
Medical Malpractice Laws
These vary slightly between Kansas and Missouri in terms of notification requirements, statutes of limitation and damage caps. In Kansas:
- A claim must be filed within two years of the date which the injury should have been reasonably discovered.
- Kansas does not require a pre-notice of intent to sue, nor do they require a certificate of merit from an expert witness.
- All malpractice cases that pertain to medicinal malpractice have a $250,000 damage cap on non-pecuniary losses.
- For someone to qualify as an “expert witness,” that person must have spent at least 50 percent of their time in the previous two years in the exact same field as the defendant.
- The same discovery rule in Kansas applies here for the statute of limitations. One exception is that children have ten years after the injury or two years after their 18th birthday, whichever comes later, to file a claim.
- Missouri requires that an affidavit of merit be submitted within 90 days of filing the original claim. There must be separate affidavits for each defendant, if there is more than one, and must explicitly state the qualifications of the expert.
- Most malpractice cases have a damage cap of $400,000, but can be as high as $700,000 in some cases.
- The “joint damages” rule means that if one medical professional was found to be more than 50 percent at fault for your injuries, that doctor has to pay the entire settlement, even if another doctor or nurse was involved.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
On average, roughly 75,000 medmal claims are made each year in the United States, 34 percent of which are due to surgery errors. If a doctor stays in their profession for 20 years or more, it’s all but a guarantee that a doctor will face a malpractice claim of some sort during their career. Obstetrician-gynecologist (OBGYN) are the professionals most commonly involved as a defendant in malpractice claims at 19 percent, followed by general surgeons (17 percent) and primary care physicians (16 percent). While only three percent of all malpractice claims were filed pediatricians, they faced the largest average payout of any specialty, at approximately $520,000 per claim.
Despite the high number of claims made, malpractice is not an easy thing to prove. A recent study shows that only 22 percent of medmal claims actually resulted in payments to the claimant. As a result, the total number of payments has decreased substantially from 1991 to 2017. In 1991, there were 19,016 paid malpractice medical payments; in 2017, that number had fallen to 11,260. As of 2017 2,631 of these claims were paid more than $500,000 or more.
Only 4.5 percent – on average depending on the doctor’s practice area – of malpractice cases in the medical field go to trial, the rest are settled out of court. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as litigated claims tend to take much longer to complete. For those successful in trial, it took an average of 25 months to receive payment; for those settled out of court, it only took 11 months.
Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney in Kansas City Today
The Kansas City medical malpractice lawyers at Dickerson Oxton, LLC views these types of cases seriously. If you or a loved one has injuries from a negligent or incompetent physician, we can help. We can review your rights with you for free during an initial consultation. From there, we can help you collect evidence against the practitioner or health care center to start building your case. Our lawyers may be able to file a lawsuit against one or more defendants on your behalf. To contact a medical malpractice attorney of Dickerson Oxton please call (913) 428-8220 or contact us via our free online form.
“This was my first experience with an attorney. I can only say I was satisfied with my case. You worked with all parties involved and brought everything to a successful conclusion.” – Audrey R.