If you live in Kansas City and feel that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you may sue your healthcare practitioner. Medical malpractice is complicated and can include several legal proceedings.

Successful medical malpractice lawsuits require that the plaintiff be able to prove the following three things.

1. The care provided by the medical professional was below the standard of care that would ordinarily be provided by other healthcare practitioners under similar circumstances.

2. An individual was harmed because their medical practitioner deviated from the standard of care.

3. There was a professional relationship between the injured person and the healthcare practitioner.

Physicians are concerned about medical malpractice lawsuits. This concern may lead them to act in a way that is not always in their patient’s best interests. They may order tests or treatments that offer more risk than benefits for their patients. These include tests that can have complications, like injury and radiation exposure. That being said, most physicians in Kansas City understand that the best way to prevent malpractice lawsuits is to provide quality care, build strong relationships with their patients, and prove themselves to be trustworthy.

If you feel that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact us. Your initial consultation with us is free.

What Are Different Types of Medical Malpractice?

A Kansas City medical malpractice attorney will help clients who have suffered because of different types of medical malpractice. These could include but are not limited to the following.

Misdiagnosis

Many medical malpractice cases are because of misdiagnosis. A doctor might examine their patient, but they may not diagnose the correct illness. They may say that the patient does not have a discernible illness or may say that the patient has a condition that they do not have.

The courts see misdiagnosis as medical malpractice because it stops the patient from getting the treatment they need. If the patient is healthy, a misdiagnosis could mean that they receive treatment they do not need.

The law does not view all incorrect diagnoses as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice only applies if the doctor did not do what another doctor would have done in a similar circumstance with a similar patient. If because of the misdiagnosis a patient is harmed, they may file a medical malpractice suit.

Delayed Diagnosis

This shares some similarities to a misdiagnosis. In this circumstance a doctor would initially make the incorrect diagnosis. Later on, the patient receives an accurate diagnosis. However, because there was a delay in the accurate diagnosis, the patient’s condition gets worse and the patient does not get the treatment they need.

In order for it to be considered a delayed diagnosis, the doctor must show less competence than other physicians in a similar circumstance. For example, a doctor may have not ordered testing that could have led to the correct diagnosis. Or the doctor did not notice the signs of the disease in a test, such as a CT scan or x-ray.

Failure to Treat

In these circumstances, the doctor has the right diagnosis, but they don’t recommend sufficient treatment. This could happen because a doctor has a busy schedule and too many patients. They put profit ahead of safety. They don’t treat all of their patients with the basic standard of care. This can also happen if a doctor releases their patient too quickly, does not refer their patients to a specialist, or does not offer follow-up care.

Surgical Errors

A surgical error can seriously impact an individual’s quality of life. There is the misconception that if a patient signs an informed consent document acknowledging the risk that could happen during a surgery, they lose their ability to sue for their injuries. In most cases, this is not true and goes against logic.

Consider this example. A doctor can tell a patient that the possibility exists for them to die during a hand operation. However, this does not mean that the physician can administer too much anesthesia and cause death. Nor does it mean that the doctor may perform a different surgery that leads to the patient’s death.

The following are some surgical errors that might be considered malpractice: 

  • Leaving medical equipment inside the patient
  • Performing unnecessary surgeries
  • Performing the wrong procedure
  • Incorrectly administering anesthesia
  • Using non sterile surgical instruments

Other forms of medical malpractice could include birth injuries and medical product liability. A Kansas City medical malpractice attorney can work with their client to help them identify the type of malpractice they have suffered and create a strategy for getting the compensation they are due.

What Steps Should You Take If You or Someone You Know Is Injured Because of Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice cases can take a toll on the victim. There is a social stigma attached to medical malpractice that can make it difficult to prove a case to a jury. However, there are some things that an individual can do to improve their chances of getting a fair outcome.

  • First, change your medical providers by getting a referral. Once your physician knows you are thinking about filing medical malpractice, they might put things into your records that can lessen the chance of your claim being successful. Finding a new doctor can help you avoid this.
  • Second, get a copy of your medical records. If you get a copy of your medical records as soon as you realize the incident of malpractice, you can prevent others from altering or tampering with your records.
  • Third, continue to get medical care and follow your new medical providers’ instructions. It is important that you maintain your health and wellness. If you keep up with the treatment plan outlined by your new physician, it will make it easier for your attorney to understand the extent of the medical harm that you have received. This is key for a successful medical malpractice case.
  • Fourth, journal your injuries and recovery. Do not rely on your memory. Medical malpractice cases can take years to resolve. Journaling this information will help you document things you might have forgotten otherwise.
  • Finally, contact an attorney within the time allotted by the statute of limitations. It is imperative that you act promptly if you feel that you or your loved one is a victim of medical malpractice.

Determining Medical Malpractice Damages

An individual injured by medical malpractice may recover damages from a variety of sources, including medical bills, lost earnings, and loss of quality of life. If medical malpractice leads to death, the patient’s family might recover damages. These damages are limited by caps set by the state. Your personal injury attorney will need to know the details of your case to determine the types of damages you might receive.

How Do You File a Medical Malpractice Claim?

If you or someone you love has been injured because of medical malpractice, your first step is to talk to a medical malpractice attorney. An attorney who routinely handles medical malpractice cases has the contacts, legal know-how, and experience to put you in the best position for success.

Your next step is to get copies of your medical records. These are the best evidence in medical malpractice cases. There may be some release forms that you need to sign, allowing your attorney to view your medical records.

You may need to notify healthcare providers and insurers. Your attorney can be a buffer between you and the claim’s professionals. Finally, you will file the medical malpractice complaint by drafting and filing a complaint in civil court.

There are some forms of litigation that a person can do on their own. Medical malpractice is not one of them. If your or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, please contact our Kansas City medical malpractice attorneys today. Let’s discuss your case. The initial consultation is free.