When Can You File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

by David Zevan on Oct. 14, 2014

Accident & Injury Medical Malpractice Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Wrongful Death 

Summary: Providing evidence to prove medical negligence is difficult and may require help from a St. Louis medical practice lawyer.

Whenever a patient sustains an injury resulting from medical negligence, the injured patient may wish to file a medical malpractice claim. However, providing evidence to prove medical negligence can be quite difficult, and it often requires the expertise of both medical and legal professionals. Individuals who are injured due to medical negligence should consult an experienced St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer.

Medical Negligence and Standard of Care

Filing a medical malpractice claim requires more than being injured by a doctor during a medical procedure. It is necessary to prove that the doctor was negligent and to prove that the negligent action is the reason for the injury. The negligent action may be a wrong diagnosis, performing the medical procedure inappropriately, or providing the wrong medical treatment. Medical negligence occurs when medical personnel fail to meet the established medical standards of care. Standards of care may differ based on various factors, including the patient’s age, geographic location, and medical condition of the patient.

For example, a 30-year-old male pneumonia patient in Missouri would be treated based on the standard of care provided by doctors to 30-year-old male pneumonia patients within the same location. There will be some differences in the standard of care for a 15-year-old male pneumonia patient in the same geographic location.

Establishing That an Injury Was the Result of Medical Negligence

Establishing the occurrence of medical negligence is not enough for a lawsuit to be filed. It is necessary to establish that the negligence caused an injury.  Establishing the fact that a negligent action of a doctor caused an injury is also known as determining causation. There are some requirements to determine causation. A St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer would need the following records and documents:

  • Letters from the medical facility or medical care provider.
  • Healthcare receipts.
  • Test results.
  • Facts associated with the diagnosis.
  • Notes of the doctor.
  • Pictures showing the injuries.
  • Notes associated with the medical history of the injured person.

The lawyer may consult with an expert witness, who is likely a medical professional. The witness will evaluate the case from the perspective of a medical professional, which may increase the chances of establishing medical negligence and causation.

Time Period for Filing Medical Malpractice Claims

Medical negligence claims should be filed within the statute of limitations or the specific time period set by law for the claim to be filed. The statute of limitations is determined by the state where the medical negligence claim is filed. It is essential to seek the advice of an experienced St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer to ensure that your case is filed within the stipulated time period. If you have suffered injuries as the result of medical negligence, call the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm at (314) 588-7200.

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