Medical Malpractice Attorney
When you seek medical care at the emergency room, local hospital, or with your primary care physician, you expect to receive a standard of care from a competent healthcare professional. Unfortunately, many people fall victim to medical malpractice every year, suffering preventable injuries due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or another provider.
Our personal injury attorneys at the Crone Law Firm understand the devastating injuries involved in these claims and the complicated nature of medical malpractice lawsuits. We can pursue your case so you and your loved ones can focus on coping with your injuries or the wrongful loss of a family member.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice or negligence happens when a patient is harmed by a healthcare professional’s action or lack of action. These lawsuits require intricate knowledge of Tennessee and Missouri laws and statutes and the following burden of proof:
- An Existing Doctor-Patient Relationship: The doctor or nurse must be in charge of your care in a medical setting and not someone who gave you off-hand advice at a barbecue.
- The Doctor was Negligent: We can’t pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit if you are unhappy with your results from a treatment or procedure. Negligence must be proven, such as a physician who fails to diagnose a condition when symptoms are present in a situation where another competent physician would have made the correct diagnosis.
- Negligence Led to Your Injury: We must provide evidence that the doctor’s incompetence directly led to your injuries or the loss of a loved one. To establish fault, we will call on a medical expert to testify.
- Your Injury Led to Monetary Damages: The last piece of your case involves understanding the total impact of your injury, such as past and future medical bills, chronic pain, loss of income and earning capacity.
Types of Medical Malpractice:
Medical Malpractice encompasses a wide range of circumstances and healthcare professionals. Some of the most common types of claims include:
- Failure to diagnose
- Improper treatment
- Failure to inform a patient of known risks of a procedure, medication, or treatment
- Surgical errors such as leaving instruments in the body, operating on the wrong body part, or performing the wrong procedure on a patient
- Incorrect anesthesia administration or overdose
- Failure to monitor a post-op patient for complications
- Failure to diagnose and treat infections and other post-op complications
- Obstetrical malpractice or childbirth injuries such as failure to monitor before and during labor or improperly using a vacuum extractor or forceps during delivery
- Emergency room mistakes, including testing errors, delaying test results, unsanitary equipment, and failure to perform the correct tests
- Prescription errors
- Hospital negligence (may involve a nurse or orderly who commits an egregious error that harms or kills a patient)
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
Recoverable Compensation and Damages in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
There are three types of compensation in medical malpractice claims: Economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. Economic damages are the monetary losses and expenses you incur, such as medical bills, lost wages, and out-of-pocket costs, including travel to and from appointments and home or vehicle modifications for disability. Non-economic damages are more subjective and include pain and suffering, anxiety, and stress. Punitive damages are designed to “punish” the wrongdoer, in this case, a physician or other healthcare professional, and deter them from future negligence.
If you lose a loved one to medical malpractice, your wrongful death compensation may involve loss of financial contributions, loss of household services, loss of consortium (for spouses), and loss of parental guidance (for children) along with medical expenses.
Medical Malpractice Laws and Statutes in Tennessee
The State of Tennessee has capped medical malpractice compensation. Non-economic damages in these lawsuits cannot exceed $750,000 per claim, and that includes cases filed by the injured party’s family members. If a catastrophic injury such as paralysis, death, or amputation of several limbs is involved, the cap increases to $1,000,000. This does not affect the economic damages as these are measurable costs.
Tennessee also has a strict statute of limitations for medical malpractice, limiting the time you can file a lawsuit against the negligent physician to one year from the day the malpractice occurred. If the injury isn’t discovered until later, you have one year from the day it is noticed. However, Tennessee law also dictates that no lawsuit may be filed more than three years after the date the error happened. The only exemption to this three-year rule is if a foreign object is found in the patient’s body, in which case the one-year statute stands from the date the object is identified.
Medical Malpractice Laws and Statutes in Missouri
Missouri statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits is similar to most U.S. states. You must file your claim within two years from the date of the medical error. One exception to this time constraint is if a surgical instrument or sponge is discovered, or a physician fails to inform a patient about their medical test results. In these cases, you have two years from the date of discovery or the day on which it should have been discovered to file.
Missouri law dictates that no medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed more than ten years after the negligence occurred, with zero exceptions. If the patient was under 18 at the time of the incident, they must file the lawsuit by their 20th birthday.
In addition to these stipulations, Missouri requires an “Affidavit of Qualified Health Care Provider” filed within 90 days of the lawsuit filing. The affidavit must state you have obtained a written account from a qualified health care provider who found the defendant failed to provide the standard of care that a competent provider would have offered in similar circumstances and that their failure caused your injuries.
Missouri also has a cap for non-economic losses in medical malpractice lawsuits, which is $400,000 or $700,000 for catastrophic injuries.
Contact Crone Law Firm About Your Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice lawsuits are some of the most complicated cases. Our experienced attorneys at the Crone Law Firm can build your case and pursue maximum compensation so you and your family can focus on healing and coping with your ongoing injuries. Contact us online or call us today at 901-737-7740 for a complimentary case evaluation.