When you seek medical treatment for your injury, ailment, or disease, you do so with the expectation that your doctor or surgeon will treat you according to the standard of medical care. Unfortunately, doctors could make careless mistakes and cause unnecessary harm. No matter how a medical error occurs, you have the right to hold a negligent doctor accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Unlike other lawsuits, there are essential requirements you must meet before you can file a suit. These requirements are complex, and failing to meet them can cost you dearly. A seasoned If the claim is filed after the deadline, the plaintiff may be unable to recover compensation for damages. While a favorable outcome is never guaranteed, a knowledgeable personal injury attorney at A.W. Smith Law Firm, P.C., will work tirelessly to help you pursue financial compensation.
State law imposes unique requirements for medical malpractice lawsuits that are not present in other types of cases. According to Missouri Statute 538.225, a knowledgeable Fulton medical malpractice attorney must obtain an affidavit from a legally qualified health care provider before filing a suit. This affidavit must be a written opinion about how the defendant failed to provide the treatment a reasonably prudent medical professional would have in that situation. The affidavit must also specify that the defendant’s failure caused the harm to the injured claimant.
The statute also requires that a plaintiff files this affidavit within 90 days of the initiation of a lawsuit. This deadline is strictly enforced, and the court will dismiss the case if the plaintiff fails to meet this requirement. However, the judge in a medical malpractice case has the authority to extend this deadline by an additional 90 days if the plaintiff can show good cause why an extension is necessary.
The damages available in a medical malpractice claim similar to the types of recovery in personal injury cases. However, there are important limitations on these damages that only apply to a medical malpractice claim.
There are two types of damages in any medical malpractice lawsuit: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are measurable losses related to a plaintiff’s injuries. These types of damages compensate a plaintiff for a specific amount of out-of-pocket expenses. This could include medical expenses and lost wages.
Non-economic damages compensate a plaintiff for injuries that are not easily calculated. These injuries are subjective and can differ significantly from one case to another. They compensate a plaintiff for losses such as mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, as well as pain and suffering.
There are no limits on the number of economic damages a diligent Fulton medical malpractice attorney could recover for their clients. However, according to Missouri Statute 538.210.1, non-economic damages are arbitrarily capped at $400,000. This limit expands to $700,000 in cases that involve a catastrophic injury or death.
It could be difficult handling a medical malpractice claim while recovering from a severe injury. A Fulton medical malpractice lawyer could take the burden off your shoulders and advocate on your behalf.