The Do's & Don’ts of Pursuing Medical Malpractice Claims
It’s almost an unthinkable experience when you or someone you love is injured as a result of medical malpractice or medical negligence. We assume that we’re in good hands when we enter a doctor’s office or hospital, but these kinds of accidents happen more often than you think. If they happen to you or a family member, you’ll need to know what to do when filing a medical malpractice claim and how to prove liability. Our team at the Denning Law Firm, LLC is licensed to practice in both Kansas and Missouri. Contact us today to start pursuing a medical malpractice claim in Kansas City, Missouri, or in Kansas City and Overland Park, Kansas.
Medical Malpractice Claims in Kansas
If you're filing a medical malpractice claim in Kansas, you have two years from the date of the injury to do so. If you didn’t discover the injury until later, the clock would start from the date you found out. However, Kansas law says you cannot wait more than four years after the act of malpractice to file a lawsuit, regardless of when you realized you’d been injured.
Medical Malpractice Claims in Missouri
Missouri has a similar statute of limitations to Kansas but is more lenient in a few key ways. To start, Missouri also has a two-year time period to bring a medical malpractice case forward, and this can start from the date of injury or when you discovered you had been injured. However, unlike Kansas, you have 10 years to bring forward a case if the injury wasn’t discovered immediately. There are also special provisions for minors who were injured in this manner, which state that any claim must be brought forth before the child turns 20 years old.
Do’s & Don’ts When Pursuing a Claim
DON'T wait to file your claim: A two-year statute of limitations may seem like a long time, but this will pass sooner than you think. This is especially true for medical malpractice cases or when you feel the duty of care of medical staff did not live up to industry standards. These cases take a lot of time and evidence, and you’ll need to work closely with a medical malpractice attorney to ensure you have a strong enough case to bring forward.
DO know your state’s specific laws: Although Kansas and Missouri have similar laws, they can differ in certain procedural ways, and you need to be aware of these differences. For example, the rules surrounding how to bring forth a case will be different depending on the state you’re in. In Kansas, the health care provider is entitled to request a screening panel be convened to evaluate whether your case has merit, while in Missouri you only need to supply a “certificate of merit” that’s been written by a qualified medical professional attesting to the validity of your case.
DO gather/obtain medical records: You’ll need a great deal of evidence to substantiate your claim, including medical records, billing statements, diagnoses, photographs, and witness testimony. The sooner you can gather this information, the better.
DO hire an experienced attorney: Medical malpractice cases are often complex and drawn out processes, and you should not attempt to do this on your own. Most medical professionals will have a team of highly trained attorneys working on their side, and you need to have competent legal representation in your corner too.
DON'T sign anything without consulting with your attorney: The doctor’s insurance company may ask you to sign a statement, but you should never do this without first consulting with your attorney. Once you sign your name to something, it’s nearly impossible to change or rescind your statements, even if there was a legitimate error made.
DO let your attorney contact the doctor’s insurance company directly: You can provide some information to your doctor’s insurance company, such as contact information and the very basics of the injury, but you should never try to explain why something happened or who was at fault for it. You can simply tell them that you’ll be back in touch once you meet with your attorney.
DON'T argue with the doctor about what went wrong: The negotiations will happen between your attorney and your medical provider’s legal team and the insurance company. It will not help your case to argue directly with your doctor.
DON'T miss doctor appointments: It’s essential that you follow all your doctor’s orders. If you don’t, your actions will be scrutinized and they may claim it was your fault that the injury occurred because you didn’t follow all medical instructions.
Rely on Experienced Representation
Let us help you hold negligent healthcare providers accountable for their actions. If you’re in the Kansas City, Missouri, area and you feel you’ve been injured by a medical professional, contact us today at the Denning Law Firm, LLC to discuss your options. We are also able to represent clients in Kansas City, Kansas, and Overland Park.