The Challenges of Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim in Missouri

Something didn’t go right when you or a loved one went to a doctor or healthcare professional for help and, as a result, an injury or death occurred. How do you prove you or your family member was the victim of medical malpractice?

Common Types of Malpractice

Just because you go to a doctor for treatment is no guarantee that your condition will be fully healed. Medical technology and practices have allowed us to do amazing things, but the human body is a vastly mysterious organism, and diseases and conditions do not always respond to professional treatment, and ultimately we will all succumb to to age, infirmity, or injury. But, where a doctor fails to take adequate care and you suffer an injury as a result, you may be entitled to a recovery through a medical malpractice claim. Common bases for medical malpractice include:

  • Failure to properly diagnose a condition or disease
  • Errors in providing treatment or surgery
  • Improper administration of medication or anaesthesia
  • Birth defects by improper medical treatment of the mother or improper delivery procedures

The Elements of a Medical Malpractice Claim

Proving a medical malpractice claim requires four basic showings by a plaintiff:

  • There was a duty owed by the doctor or healthcare professional to the patient. This is usually relatively straightforward in showing, as a physician treating a patient enters into what is called a doctor-patient duty. This can be more challenging when the patient seeks to bring a claim against a doctor who did not directly enter into a relationship with the patient, i.e. a doctor who consulted with the patient’s doctor.
  • The doctor breached the duty owed to the patient. Courts have held that the duty owed in a doctor-patient relationship is that the doctor conduct himself or herself in accordance with the professional standards of the medical community. This can be a challenging element to prove, and often involves the use of expert witnesses who will discuss the doctor’s actions in the situation at issue and provide opinion on whether it fell short of professional standards.
  • The plaintiff must prove that his injury was the result of the doctor’s breach of the duty to provide a reasonable standard of care. This can also be very challenging to prove, as defense lawyers will attempt to show that the patient would have suffered the injuries regardless of the doctor’s breach, and therefore there was not legal causation. Again, this can involve expert testimony and complicated medical evidence.
  • There must be an actual injury suffered by the plaintiff, and the plaintiff will need to prove the full extent of those injuries in order to receive compensation for those injuries from a jury or in a settlement.

Work with Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Bringing Your Claim

Although bringing a malpractice claim is a challenging process often involving expert testimony and complicated medical data, and not every injury will result in a medical malpractice recovery,
The Hershewe Law Firm has successfully won numerous medical malpractice cases over the years, recovering millions of dollar in settlements for our clients and getting them the justice they deserve. Contact us today to discuss your potential medical malpractice claim.

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