Missouri Medical Malpractice: Laws You Should Be Aware Of
The way that medical malpractice cases are handled varies from state to state.
Some states cap the amount of damages that can be recovered, while others do not. There are also different statutes of limitation which determine the length of time you can wait before filing a medical malpractice claim. In Missouri there are some specific medical malpractice laws you should be aware of if you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice and plan to pursue filing a claim against a doctor or hospital.
Proving medical negligence
To make a successful case against a doctor or health care provider, you must show that there was a duty of care owed to the patient by the health professional. You must then offer evidence to prove that this duty was breached and that this breach resulted in an injury. You cannot make a medical malpractice claim if there was no damage, injury, or loss caused by the malpractice incident.
Malpractice can include failure to diagnose a condition.
Statutes of limitation
- In Missouri the statute of limitation for medical malpractice claims is two years from the date of the damaged caused by the health professional.
- If a wrongful death has occurred the statute allows three years from the date of the death.
- Minors who are under 10 years old are allowed to bring a claim until their 12th birthday.
- The statute stipulates that claims that involve foreign objects have 2 years from the date that the object/injury is discovered, but this cannot exceed 10 years from the incident.
Caps on damage awards
Caps on damage awards are a hotly contended issue. Many states, Missouri included, are constantly trying to amend the damage caps. The cap for non-economic damages is adjusted for inflation on an annual basis. The current cap is $565,000 as of 2012. There have been efforts in 2013 to change this.
Note: Missouri has implemented the pure form of comparative negligence. Under this law a claimant can pursue a claim for damages even if his or her actions contributed to the injury. But this could affect the amount of damages awarded.
For an expert to offer testimony, they must first prove their expertise. In most cases an affidavit establishing this expertise is filed within 90 days of the date the claim is filed.
The doctrine of sovereign immunity gives immunity to the state and its subdivisions. However, individual doctors and nurses are not included in this immunity, though punitive damages cannot be issued. These individuals must have liability insurance because other damage awards can be implemented against them.
St. Louis Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have questions about a medical malpractice claim, contact a St. Louis malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Medical malpractice claims should be acted upon quickly so as not to lose the opportunity entirely due to the statutes of limitation.
To schedule a free and private consultation, contact the expert St. Louis medical malpractice lawyers at the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm by calling (314) 588-7200 or filling out our online contact firm.
Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact our legal team right away. Waiting to seek legal representation can prevent you from filing a claim and receiving the compensation you deserve.
Contact Zevan Davidson Roman today.
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