Doctors and other healthcare providers work under a lot of pressure. They are humans who can and will make mistakes. When a medical professional makes a serious error, however, they need to be held accountable for their actions.
Medical malpractice happens more often than you may think. According to the Kansas City Business Journal, there were 179 medical malpractice payouts in Missouri in 2018, and 144 in Kansas in the same year.
An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you navigate the process of filing a lawsuit if a healthcare provider did not perform their duty of care. Our team at Denning Law Firm, LLC takes a personal approach to all of our clients’ cases. We provide comprehensive legal counsel and compassionate representation to our clients in Kansas City, Missouri, and the surrounding areas.
When a doctor or healthcare provider’s actions do not meet the standards of care and end up hurting a patient, medical malpractice has occurred. If you wish to file a lawsuit against a healthcare provider in Missouri or Kansas, it’s important that you understand the basics. If you are in Kansas, you should know that the state’s laws are some of the strictest in the country when it comes to suing a healthcare provider for medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice can happen in many different areas of healthcare. Some common types of medical malpractice include:
In Missouri, the medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within two years after the date on which the medical error happened. However, if the mistake was that a healthcare professional left a foreign object inside the body of a living person, then the lawsuit must be filed within two years of when the presence of the object was discovered (which is typically later than the date of the original procedure).
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice suits in Kansas is also two years. However, the law states that no matter what the medical error was, a lawsuit cannot be filed once four years have passed since the healthcare professional made the mistake. So, even if the presence of a foreign object was discovered five years after a procedure, a lawsuit cannot be filed in Kansas.
What if the person who is at fault for the medical error was not the doctor? How do you determine liability? It’s important to know that it’s not just the doctor’s duty of care. Other medical professionals are also responsible and can be held liable for mistakes they make that harm their patients.
It makes sense that the court won’t take just anyone’s word that a medical error was made. To file a medical malpractice or medical negligence lawsuit in Missouri, the person who is suing (or their attorney) must also file an Affidavit of Qualified Healthcare Provider.
Essentially, this document states that the original healthcare provider did in fact fail in their duty of care. It explains how another medical professional in that situation would not have reasonably made the mistake. The affidavit must also state that this mistake contributed to the ultimate harm the patient experienced.
It’s important that you consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to learn more about how your case may be eligible for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Whether you’re in Kansas City, Missouri, or on the other side of the state line, speaking with an attorney will help you with this process.
There are four basic criteria for a medical malpractice claim:
There was a doctor/patient relationship.
The doctor was negligent.
The negligence led to the injury.
The injury caused damages.
Once it has been proven that a healthcare provider made a medical error that led to the patient suffering harm, the courts can award the patient damages according to their case and the state law.
In Missouri, there is a limit on how much the person suing the healthcare provider will be able to recover for non-economic losses, which are generally known as pain and suffering. That cap is $400,000.
In the case that a healthcare provider caused a catastrophic personal injury or that their actions led to a wrongful death, the cap is $700,000.
There is also a limit in Kansas on how much an individual will be able to recover for non-economic losses. For cases that happened between July 1st, 2018, and July 1st, 2022, the cap is $325,000. For cases that happened on or after July 1st, 2022, the cap is $350,000.
There is no cap on how much a patient may be able to recover in economic damages (lost income, medical bills, future medical expenses, and other costs) in Kansas.
A medical error can change a patient’s life forever. Whether you are that patient or you are working on behalf of a loved one who has been harmed due to medical malpractice, speaking with an experienced attorney can help. Our team at Denning Law Firm, LLC will work hard to protect your rights and represent you in court. We represent clients in Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas, as well as the surrounding areas of Overland Park, Johnson County, and Jackson County. Contact us today to schedule your free evaluation.