A patient never assumes that going to a doctor will make his or her medical condition worse or cause a new injury. Unfortunately, not all hospitals and health care professionals in Missouri can be trusted to properly care for patients. Medical malpractice, or the failure to use an appropriate level of care when treating a patient, can result in serious patient harm – including spinal cord injuries. In these situations, the patient may have grounds to file a medical malpractice claim.
Who Is Responsible for a Spinal Injury During Surgery or Medical Exams?
If you did not have a spinal cord injury or as severe an injury before entering a hospital or doctor’s office in Missouri, you may be able to hold the medical provider or facility responsible (liable) for your injury. However, a health care practitioner will only be liable for a spinal cord injury if it was caused by negligence or malpractice.
Medical malpractice is defined in the Revised Statutes of Missouri Section 516.105 as a licensed health care individual or entity committing negligence, errors or mistakes while providing health care services and acting in the course and scope of their employment. In essence, malpractice is when a medical practitioner falls short of the standards of patient care and causes an injury. Medical malpractice can take many forms, including surgical errors, misdiagnoses and birth injuries.
Holding someone responsible for your spine injury with a medical malpractice claim requires proof of medical negligence. You or your lawyer must demonstrate using clear and convincing evidence that your health care provider fell short of the standards of care and that this is why your spinal cord injury occurred. Examples include if a negligent surgeon damaged a spinal nerve, or a rough medical exam exacerbated what was only a minor back injury. You may need a lawyer to review your case to determine if it has merit.
Medical Negligence and Spinal Cord Injuries
Many different forms of medical negligence and malpractice can inflict spinal cord injuries on patients. The spine is a complex and sensitive area of the body that can sustain serious injuries in multiple ways. Every physician or surgeon that treats a patient must live up to the required standards of care and only perform actions that are appropriate based on the circumstances. Falling short of the duty of care could potentially cause a spine injury.
Examples of medical malpractice connected to spinal cord injuries in Missouri include:
- Making a mistake during emergency care, such as failing to immobilize the spine or diagnose a spinal fracture.
- Misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a condition, such as meningitis or a tumor on the spine.
- Making a surgical error, such as severing a nerve or leaving behind a foreign object.
- Administering anesthesia incorrectly (potentially causing epidural hematoma).
- Using a non-sterile or contaminated piece of equipment during spinal surgery, resulting in an infection.
- Using a defective medical device during a procedure or implanting one in the body.
These are only some of the many potential causes of spinal cord injuries connected to medical malpractice in Missouri. Any act or omission that a reasonably prudent doctor or health care provider would not have committed under similar circumstances can result in a medical malpractice case if it causes a preventable spinal cord injury.
What to Do if You Think You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim in Missouri
If you believe you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim for your spinal cord injury, contact a spinal cord injury lawyer in Kansas City right away for a free case consultation. A lawyer will be on your side, explaining and protecting your rights through every phase of the legal process. You can trust your attorney to do what is necessary to pursue fair and full financial compensation on your behalf. Call Dickerson Oxton, LLC today at (816) 368-5637 for more information.