When you trust a healthcare professional with your wellbeing, the last thing you expect is negligence. Yet, medical malpractice occurs more often than we'd like to believe. If you suspect you've been a victim of medical negligence in Missouri, you have legal rights. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to sue for medical malpractice in Missouri, underscoring the importance of expert legal assistance in the process.
Understanding Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice is a subset of personal injury law, which occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the established standards of care, causing harm to a patient. This deviation can involve an act of negligence or a failure to act when necessary.
Step-by-Step Guide to Suing for Medical Malpractice in Missouri
1. Seek Medical Assistance: Your health should be your top priority. Get an independent medical assessment to determine the extent of your injuries.
2. Hire an Attorney: Enlisting the services of an experienced Missouri medical malpractice attorney is critical. Your attorney will review your case, advise you on your rights, and help you understand whether you have a valid claim.
3. File a Notice of Intent: Missouri law requires that you give the healthcare provider a Notice of Intent to file a malpractice claim. You must deliver this notice at least 90 days before filing the lawsuit.
4. Medical Expert Evaluation: In Missouri, you must have a medical expert validate your claim. The expert must testify that the healthcare provider failed to provide the standard of care, resulting in your injury.
5. Filing the Lawsuit: Your attorney will draft a complaint outlining the allegations and damages you're seeking. Once filed in court, the healthcare provider will be served with a copy of the complaint.
6. Discovery Process: Both sides exchange information pertaining to the case. This process may include depositions, interrogatories, and document production.
7. Settlement or Trial: Most medical malpractice cases are settled before they reach trial. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, your case will proceed to trial where a verdict will be determined.
The Role of a Missouri Medical Malpractice Attorney
Navigating a medical malpractice claim can be daunting and complex, emphasizing the importance of an experienced attorney. A Missouri medical malpractice lawyer will guide you through the legal process, ensuring all requirements are met, from filing the initial notice to representing you in court or settlement negotiations.