We have all entrusted our health and well-being to a medical professional at some point in our lives. While some of us are able to walk away with appreciation and respect for our caregivers, many more are left facing egregious injuries that are often preventable, affecting not only the life of the patient, but his or her family as well. If you or a loved one sustained injuries due to a medical error, you might be eligible for compensation. However, it is crucial that you act as soon as you are aware of the error since every state has what is known as a statute of limitations, which sets a timeframe during which you must file your claim.
Since every state has its own statute, it is crucial that you understand your own state’s laws. If the statute of limitations passes before you file your initial complaint against the doctor, hospital, or another healthcare provider in the civil court system, you will lose your chance to obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Missouri Statute of Limitations
In Missouri, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in the state’s civil court system is two years, beginning on the date of the injury. It is important to note that this rule is not entirely absolute and there are some exceptions to the two-year statute. For example, if a surgeon left a foreign object inside a patient during a procedure, the injured individual would have two years from the date when he or she discovered the injury or should have discovered it. Essentially, if a patient could not have known about the injury, the statute of limitations would not begin until the individual is aware of it.
For children, Missouri has a ten year statute of limitations, beginning on the date of the injury or two years from their eighteenth birthday, whichever is later, to bring the medical malpractice claim to court.
Missouri state law also requires an affidavit of merit to be filed with the court within 90 days of filing a medical malpractice complaint. It must state that a qualified expert was consulted regarding your case and that he or she agreed that your healthcare provider was negligent in a way that resulted in your injuries. In cases where there is more than one defendant, separate affidavits must be filed for each one, detailing the roles they all played in causing your injuries.
The affidavit of merit must be signed by you or your attorney and should include the name, address, and qualifications of the medical witness. Without this information, the case will be dismissed.
In addition to the affidavit requirement, Missouri also requires expert testimony to be provided at trial to corroborate your claim that the care you received fell below the accepted medical standard of care. An article or treatise written by an expert cannot serve as a substitute for this testimony.
Experienced St. Louis Medical Malpractice Attorneys
When physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals fail to uphold the standard of care, patients get hurt. Many of these injuries have long-term consequences that can alter a person’s life forever. If you believe you sustained injuries due to the negligent or substandard care of a medical professional, you have a right to pursue compensation.
At The Simon Law Firm, P.C., our St. Louis medical malpractice attorneys recognize that the consequences of a medical mistake can cause a vast amount of hardship for our clients and their families. That is why we dedicate countless hours to reviewing medical records, researching literature, and speaking with medical experts about potential claims. You should not have to suffer in silence. Let us be your legal advocate and ensure your voice is heard and justice is served.
Contact our office today at 314-241-2929 to schedule your free consultation.