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It’s normal to have questions if you suspect medical malpractice in hospital treatments for yourself or a family member. One of the benefits of speaking with an Arnold medical malpractice lawyer is finding trustworthy answers. At Albers Injury Law, we have experts in personal injury and medical malpractice cases in Arnold, MO, and surrounding cities. Contact our compassionate team for professional guidance right away.

What To Know About Medical Malpractice in Missouri and Illinois

Medical malpractice refers to injuries that happen because a healthcare professional doesn’t provide proper care. This situation can include incorrect actions as well as failing to act.

In Missouri, many healthcare providers, in addition to doctors and surgeons, can be liable for medical malpractice. You can file a lawsuit against dentists, chiropractors, optometrists and physical therapists, among others.

Injuries don’t always need to be physical to be considered malpractice. You can take a clinical psychologist to court for negligence that causes emotional or mental harm.

How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?

To file a lawsuit for medical malpractice, you need to prove four main elements:

  • There was a duty of care or a doctor-patient relationship.
  • The doctor acted negligently.
  • The medical negligence injured you (or a family member).
  • The injury caused you significant damages, such as large medical bills or loss of income.

You don’t have to analyze these factors on your own. With our team, an Arnold medical malpractice attorney can review your case and outline your legal options.

What is medical negligence?

Medical negligence is when a doctor doesn’t take the action a reasonably skilled medical professional should have taken, and the patient’s health suffers as a result. For example, if the vast majority of doctors avoid using a certain medication for people who have diabetes, it could be negligence if a physician gives that medication to a diabetic patient. This applies to accidents and deliberate decisions.

How do you show a duty of care?

Physicians have a duty of care to help their patients, as do other medical professionals, including anesthesiologists, registered nurses, radiologists, and EMT personnel. A medical malpractice lawyer in Arnold can use hospital bills, medical records, emails, and text messages to show a doctor-patient relationship existed.

Types of Medical Malpractice and Negligence in Arnold, MO

To help you decide whether to file a medical malpractice claim, we’ve put together some of the most common examples of medical malpractice in Missouri and Illinois.
Surgical errors

Surgeries often have some level of risk, and an unfortunate outcome isn’t automatically negligence. Things are different when surgeons make serious mistakes in the operating room, however. The following situations are clearcut examples of medical malpractice:

  • Accidentally removing healthy organs
  • Leaving items or surgical instruments inside the patient
  • Performing the wrong operation on a patient or confusing two different patients
  • Operating on the wrong part or the wrong side of the body
  • Performing surgery while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Other emergency room personnel can also be guilty of negligence. A nurse might administer the wrong medication or dosage. An EMT might ignore a patient’s medical alert bracelet and trigger an allergy. The anesthesiologist might use too much anesthesia, leading to serious complications.

Incorrect diagnosis

When doctors misdiagnose a patient’s illness, the results can be devastating for the person’s health. An incorrect diagnosis can cause a delay in correct treatment, worsen the real health problem, and cause patients to take the wrong type of medication — often with significant side effects — for months or more.

This kind of malpractice includes:

  • Ignoring a patient’s medical history
  • Misinterpreting test results
  • Not ordering lab tests when the symptoms call for it
  • Not recognizing clear evidence of heart attack, stroke, or other serious conditions
  • Not performing required follow-up care
  • Misdiagnosis is negligence when a reasonably competent physician would have arrived at the correct diagnosis or requested additional testing.
  • Unnecessary surgery

Some physicians order surgeries that patients don’t need, either by accident or with financial motives. In either case, when doctors act negligently, patients can sue for medical malpractice.

An example would be a heart surgeon who performs an invasive bypass procedure when a minimally invasive angioplasty would be the ideal option for patient recovery instead. A more egregious example would be if the same doctor lied to patients about needing a heart operation at all.

Wrong treatment

No doctor is perfect, but it’s reasonable to expect that your physician will give you a treatment that is likely to help your condition. Prescribing the wrong medication — one that no competent doctor would recommend — is an example of medical negligence. Another example would be a doctor prescribing a placebo for a serious disease.

Lack of informed consent

Another type of malpractice relates to your freedom to choose medical treatment with accurate information. Doctors and surgeons must obtain your consent before treating you and only after clearly and honestly telling you about the risks and alternative options. If they hide a valid treatment from you — perhaps one that’s less lucrative — you could have grounds to sue.

Ways a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Arnold Can Help

One of our main objectives is to support you through the process of filing a medical malpractice claim. Our caring team can help in several ways:

  • Analyze your case to determine how strong it is
  • Answer your questions about the process and explain what type of evidence to save
  • Gather evidence and contact expert witnesses
  • Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf
  • Take medical malpractice claims to court

A medical malpractice lawyer in Arnold can’t promise a large settlement, but it’s easier to take the right steps with an experienced professional at your side.

Contact Our Experienced Arnold, MO, Medical Malpractice Lawyers

At Albers Injury Law, we work extensively with personal injury cases in Arnold, MO, and Granite City, IL. We’re experienced in Missouri and Illinois medical malpractice laws. Contact a caring Arnold medical malpractice lawyer for help right away.

FAQs About Medical Malpractice in Illinois and Missouri

Is there a time limit for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Missouri or Illinois?

The statute of limitations for filing a claim is normally two years, starting from the date the patient discovered the injury or should reasonably have known about it. There is a hard limit on lawsuits after 10 years in Missouri and four years in Illinois, even if the patient didn’t discover the malpractice earlier.

Does Missouri have a cap on medical malpractice damages?

The state of Missouri caps non-economic medical malpractice damages (such as pain and suffering) to approximately $815,000 for catastrophic injuries and $465,000 for other injuries. This cap doesn’t apply to economic damages, such as hospital bills, recovery costs, or lost income.

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