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St. Louis Medical Malpractice Lawyers

Representing Patients Nationwide

At The Simon Law Firm, P.C., we recognize that the consequences of a medical mistake can be tremendously difficult for our clients and their families. That’s why our personal injury lawyers have dedicated countless hours reviewing medical records, researching medical literature, and speaking with medical experts about potential claims.

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Our St. Louis Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serve Clients Across the U.S.

The approach we take in medical malpractice cases is what truly sets the Simon Law Firm apart. We understand that these cases are often emotional, but we believe in fully understanding the intricacies of your case to build a strong foundation. Ensuring we leave no stone unturned, we provide our clients with accurate representation, working effectively to resolve your claim.

Our St. Louis medical malpractice lawyers provide guidance and advice throughout the process. We take the title “attorneys and counselors” seriously and will address your questions or concerns. If you believe a medical provider’s error has injured you, don’t hesitate to contact the medical malpractice attorneys at our firm for a free consultation. We will review the details and provide information to get you through this difficult time.

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What to Know About Medical Malpractice

Physicians, nurses, and all other medical providers must follow the prevailing standard of care, which requires actions or inactions to align with what competent medical professionals would do under similar circumstances. However, healthcare providers sometimes make preventable mistakes, injuring their patients. Diseases are misdiagnosed, lab results are misread, surgeries or other procedures go poorly, patients are neglected, and their complaints are ignored. If you have found yourself in this situation, you may be a victim of medical malpractice.

Examples of medical malpractice include:

  • Medication prescription or administration errors
  • Emergency department lapses
  • Birth injuries to both babies and mothers
  • Surgical errors and hospitalization errors
  • Failure to properly monitor or follow up with the patient
  • Errors involving the administration of anesthesia
  • Adverse reactions (to drugs or procedures) and drug interactions
  • Delays in diagnosing an illness, condition, or cancer
  • Failure to diagnose medical conditions
  • Failure to correctly read a report, lab results, or radiology results
Since Simon Law’s founding in 2000, we have recovered more than
$1 Billion
in verdicts and settlements.

Elements of a Successful Medical Malpractice Claim

For a medical malpractice lawsuit to be successful, the plaintiff must be able to prove the following four elements:

  • Duty: The doctor or other medical professional had a doctor-patient relationship with the plaintiff and owed them a legal duty of care.
  • Breach of Duty: The doctor failed to meet this standard duty of care.
  • Causation: The doctor’s breach of duty was the reason that the patient suffered harm.
  • Damages: Due to the above elements, the doctor’s misconduct resulted in economic and non-economic damages (including but not limited to additional medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering).

Medical experts are often the key to validating many of the required elements in a medical malpractice case. Medical procedures, diagnoses, and courses of treatment are complex, and if the mistakes are not entirely obvious, the testimony of an expert witness is also necessary.

Which Element of Malpractice is Hardest to Prove?

Breach of duty is the hardest element of medical malpractice claims to prove. Oftentimes, proving the medical provider acted in a way that can be considered unreasonable is difficult. Essentially, it’s up to the plaintiff to show the defendant failed to provide the same amount of care that a different medical provider would have provided in a similar situation. Additionally, proof must be shown that the negligence directly led to the injury.

Calling on a knowledgeable expert witness can help prove this element as their relevant experience in the field can support evidence of whether a medical professional acted incompetently or negligently, failing to provide the expected duty of care.

How Do You Identify Malpractice?

Just because a patient did not receive the outcome they wanted from their medical treatment does not automatically mean their physician committed medical malpractice. Many surgeries and procedures have higher failure rates, but physicians and patients still choose to have them performed as the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

The key to identifying legitimate malpractice versus an undesired outcome is whether the result was caused by a failure to provide the expected standard of care. Did your physician fail to make a diagnosis that most doctors wouldn’t have missed in typical exams? Was a test not ordered for you that a doctor would typically order? Were you injured because the doctor failed to provide the level of care expected of a physician?

Accurately identifying malpractice is often a difficult determination to make on your own. An emotional response to a poor outcome after a medical procedure can have individuals looking for a reason why or an individual to blame, but that’s not always the case. For help identifying whether you may have a legitimate medical malpractice claim, it’s best to consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.

Can you Sue a Hospital for Emotional Distress in Missouri?

Missouri does allow victims to sue for emotional distress, but they are required to show tangible damages in the form of financial losses associated with the injury, including those from the actual distress. This evidence can take the form of:

  • Therapist or psychologist testimony
  • Therapy bill receipts
  • Medical expert testimony regarding the injury’s impact on the victim’s life
  • Testimony about the victim’s life before and after the injury from family, friends, employers, and coworkers

How Long Do You Have to Sue for Medical Malpractice in Missouri?

The statute of limitations in your state can be one of the most influential elements in a medical malpractice claim.

The Missouri statute of limitations in medical malpractice is two years from the date of injury. However, there are some exceptions to this statute.

  • If a foreign object has been left inside the patient’s body, the statute of limitations would begin either two years from the date of discovery of the object OR two years from the date when the patient should have discovered the object when performing ordinary care, whichever date comes first.
  • If the physician failed to inform the patient of medical test results, the statute of limitations begins either two years after the date of discovery OR two years from the date when the patient should have discovered the failure to inform, whichever comes first.
  • If the plaintiff is under the age of 18, the individual has until his or her 20th birthday to file a medical malpractice claim.
  • If the malpractice resulted in death, the case would reference Missouri’s statute of limitations for wrongful death which state the individual’s advocate has three years from the person’s date of death to file a claim.

While these are the most common exceptions to the statute of limitations, there are others your case may qualify you for. Consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney for a case evaluation to determine if you are within this statute.

How Much are Most Medical Malpractice Settlements?

According to the National Practitioner Data Bank’s Data Analysis Tool, from 2022 through September 2023, most reported medical malpractice claims in Missouri fell within the $100,000 to $249,000 range (99 out of 356 reports). However, a significant amount of victims received $250,000 to $499,999 (69 out of 356 reports). While rare, Missouri did have six reports of cases reaching a settlement at or over $2 million.

Many of the payouts are after a settlement. Medical malpractice cases that go to a jury trial will often receive a larger compensation amount.

Is There a Cap on Medical Malpractice in Missouri?

As of 2015, Missouri has established caps on damages in medical malpractice. When the law was first signed, non-catastrophic injuries were capped at $400,000 while catastrophic injuries were capped at $700,000. These caps are subject to an annual increase of 1.7 percent, meaning that by 2050, non-catastrophic injuries will be capped at $721,595 and catastrophic injuries will be capped at $1,262,791.

Non-catastrophic injuries are those in which the victim is expected to recover from fully. Injuries resulting in long-term, debilitating symptoms that victims may never recover from are considered catastrophic injuries.

What’s the Difference Between Medical Negligence and Malpractice?

Medical negligence and medical malpractice are legally distinct terms. At the most basic level, medical malpractice claims need to prove that the provider caused the patient injury or harm, while medical negligence claims do not. We explain the difference between medical negligence and malpractice more fully in this article.

Does Missouri Have a Discovery Rule for Medical Negligence?

Yes, Missouri has a discovery rule in medical negligence. This rule indicates when the statute of limitations begins once the patient discovers or should have reasonably discovered the negligence. Missouri’s discovery rule states the statute of limitations will begin two years from the date of discovery or two years from the date in which the patient should have discovered the negligence.

Does Missouri Have a Patient Compensation Fund?

At this time, Missouri does not have a patient compensation fund. Physicians and healthcare providers are responsible for obtaining their own malpractice insurance for necessary coverage.

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Get the Help You Need from Our St. Louis Medical Malpractice Lawyers

The Simon Law Firm, P.C. has the resources and expertise to handle your medical malpractice case without sacrificing the personalized counsel and support you deserve. Contact our office or reach out directly to one of our medical malpractice attorneys today.

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