Kansas City Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When a patient seeks medical advice or treatment for an illness or injury, they have the right to expect the highest level of professionalism and competence. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When a doctor, health professional, or medical facility fails to deliver treatment consistent with industry norms and the patient either suffers an injury or fails to recover because of it, they may have grounds for a medical malpractice suit. These types of cases are complicated, and you will require the advice of an experienced lawyer. If you are seeking a Kansas City medical malpractice law firm, attorney Ryan Bratcher of RKB Law, LLC will provide you with a free case evaluation. Call today.
Requirements for Kansas City Medical Malpractice Cases
In addition to being more complex than other types of personal injury cases, the requirements for medical malpractice are also a little different. With medical malpractice suits, the plaintiff is usually a doctor, medical professional, or healthcare facility. They must have a duty of care to treat the patient. There are several ways in which they may have breached this duty. Some of these include:
- Providing care that’s inconsistent with the standards of the medical profession.
- Failing to provide care that other medical professionals would have prescribed if they had the same information with the same patient.
- Making a mistake that either exacerbates a condition or prevents recovery.
Your attorney must also show that the medical malpractice incident caused damages. If you’ve been injured due to medical malpractice or your recovery from a condition was hindered due to an error, call Ryan Bratcher today for a free consultation.
Types of Medical Malpractice
There are many types of medical malpractice. Here are some of the most common types that medical malpractice lawyers in Kansas City handle:
This can include everything from leaving instruments or sponges inside of a patient to removing the wrong organ. It can also include nicking a vein during surgery or causing an infection.
Prescribing physicians have an obligation to ask about medicines to which their patients may be allergic. They should also find out what other medications their patients are taking to prevent adverse interactions.
Improper Medical Advice/Misdiagnosis
Doctors are not required to produce results, but if it can be shown that their prescribed treatment created a harmful medical condition, made an existing condition worse, or prevented the patient from recovering, it may be grounds for legal action.
These types of errors are unfortunately common. Birthing mistakes can create conditions in the infant, such as shoulder dystocia, nerve damage, spinal cord injuries, cephalohematoma, and cerebral palsy. These mistakes can create permanent long-term adversity throughout the life of the newborn.
Administering either too much or too little anesthetic during surgery can have disastrous effects. Patients have experienced excruciating pain while immobilized and unable to speak when too little anesthetic is administered. When too much of the pain-killing agent is provided, the results can range from illness to blood clots to wrongful death. Other actionable errors can result from failure to properly monitor the patient while they are under the influence of the anesthetic.
Some medical mistakes are fatal. If you believe that medical malpractice ended the life of your loved one, either by causing their death or failing to prevent death, you may have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. In Missouri, you must establish that you have standing to file a wrongful death case before you can file.
Damage Awards in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Like other personal injury lawsuits, damages are separated into two major categories: Economic Damages and Non-Economic Damages:
Economic damages in medical malpractice cases include things like additional medical bills that accrue from prolonged treatment, corrective surgeries to repair damage from a surgical mistake, and additional time off from work. Any item that results from the medical malpractice incident that carries a monetary cost belongs in this category.
This includes pain and suffering. Any physical pain or prolonged physical pain you experience as a result of medical malpractice would fall in this category. Additionally, emotional trauma or mental anguish resulting from the incident is compensable.
These damages are awarded to punish the defendant in cases where their actions were intentional or egregiously negligent. In Kansas City medical malpractice cases, punitive damages are rare but not unheard of.
The Difference Between Unsuccessful Care and Medical Malpractice
It’s important for potential plaintiffs to recognize the difference between medical malpractice and care that just didn’t produce the desired results. Healthcare providers can’t usually guarantee outcomes and are reticent to make the claim that they can. What they are supposed to do is provide patients with an expected range of outcomes for the treatments that they recommend. If the treatment is unsuccessful or successful but failed to produce results, that alone may not be grounds for a lawsuit.
On the other hand, your attorney can show that the course of treatment deviated from the treatment that would be recommended by other healthcare professionals. If they can prove that this treatment created a medical condition, exacerbated a medical condition, or failed to cure a medical condition, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
What You Should Do if You Suspect Medical Malpractice
You may not even be aware that you’re the victim of medical malpractice until weeks or months after your treatment. In some cases, the medical error may not be uncovered for years. For example, a surgical needle that is left inside of a patient might not be uncovered until their next X-ray. If you do suspect that a doctor’s care or hospital’s treatment prevented you from recovering, made your condition worse, or created a new condition, there are some things that you can do to help your case.
- Report any new medical developments to your doctor – In some cases, your doctor may have to adjust the treatment. Just because something isn’t working doesn’t mean that medical malpractice has occurred. Your physician may want to adjust treatment based on the new information.
- Get a second opinion – Under no circumstances should you rely solely on a doctor’s advice if you believe that they have committed malpractice. Do not, however, discontinue any treatment without first seeking the advice of another doctor.
- Keep all medical records – You should keep hard copies of any medical records you receive from your doctor or clinic. You can also scan them into a hard drive or email them to yourself so that you have a backup.
- Document your condition – Keep a diary that details your health and symptoms on a daily basis. Be consistent with your documentation.
- Contact a Kansas City medical malpractice law firm – If you’ve been injured by a doctor or healthcare facility in Kansas City, you should contact an attorney who practices this type of law. Attorney Ryan Bratcher has extensive medical malpractice litigation experience. He is familiar with common types of med-mal injuries and can garner the resources required to pursue this type of claim.
Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Malpractice
The following questions are frequently asked by medical malpractice claimants. This is not to be construed as legal advice. For a free case evaluation, call the RKB law firm today.
What is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Missouri?
For most medical malpractice cases, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the incident. It’s important to note, however, that in some cases, the statute of limitations may be longer. For instance, by law, for items left inside of a patient during surgery, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of discovery.
Can I afford a medical malpractice lawyer?
Because medical malpractice attorneys work on a contingency basis, you will not have to pay out of pocket. Attorneys like Ryan Bratcher receive their payment once the case is successfully litigated in court or settled out of court. If they don’t win, you don’t have to pay for their legal services. Under Missouri law, medical malpractice lawyers are required to provide written disclosures of their contingency fee schedule. Don’t commit to an attorney before receiving this document.
Who is responsible for paying my settlement or court award?
Because medical malpractice settlements and lawsuits often involve high dollar amounts, nearly all medical professionals carry malpractice insurance. With most incidents, you and your attorney will file a claim with the insurer. Your attorney will calculate your damages and present it to their adjuster. There is typically a negotiation period. If the two parties can reach an agreement, your case will settle. If not, it may require litigation. In any event, it’s to your advantage to have a Kansas City malpractice attorney who’s familiar with this area of the law on your side.
Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Kansas City, MO
Medical malpractice attorney Ryan Bratcher has represented many clients in Kansas City area medical malpractice cases. If you believe that you are the victim of malpractice, call the RKB law firm to discuss your claim. All consultations are free. Call today to speak with an experienced attorney in Kansas City, Missouri.