Patients who are injured by a healthcare provider can hold him or her accountable through a medical malpractice claim, recovering compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. If you are filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, it is important to know what you need to prove in order to hold the at-fault provider accountable. There are three major points to prove a medical malpractice case: breach of duty, causation, and damages.
Breach of Duty
First, you will need to prove that the at-fault party breached his or her duty of care to you through a negligent act or omission. All medical professionals, including doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses, owe a certain standard of care to patients they treat in a formal capacity.
If a healthcare provider’s actions deviate from the standard of care, he or she breaches this duty. You will need to gather enough evidence to prove that the medical professional’s actions deviated from what a similarly trained and reasonably prudent healthcare provider would have done.
In Missouri, plaintiffs in medical malpractice claims are required to submit an Affidavit of Qualified Health Care Provider to attest to this fact. A medical malpractice lawyer can help you enlist the help of an expert medical witness and gather enough evidence to establish breach of duty.
After you establish the at-fault party’s breach of duty, you will need to show that you suffered an injury or harm as a result of his or her negligence. If the medical professional had upheld his or her duty of care, you would not have sustained the injury or worsening illness.
For example, say that you visit the doctor with common symptoms of a heart attack: chest pain, shortness of breath, and a racing heartbeat. To rule out the possibility of this life-threatening condition, a reasonably prudent and trained physician would order certain diagnostic tests, like an electrocardiogram.
However, your physician fails to order these tests and instead diagnoses you with acid reflux. You go home and later collapse. When you wake up in the hospital, you learn that you suffered a heart attack and sustained brain damage due to oxygen loss.
If the doctor you had visited ordered the proper diagnostic tests, your condition would have been caught earlier and you would have received treatment before collapsing. Because the doctor failed to diagnose your condition, you sustained a severe injury—thus allowing you to establish causation.
Finally, you will need to prove that you sustained damages due to the at-fault physician’s negligence. In Missouri, you can recover compensation for the economic, or financial, losses you sustained, as well as your non-economic pain and suffering.
Examples of damages in Missouri medical malpractice claims include the following.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages during your recovery period
- Loss of future earnings and benefits
- Disability accommodations, such as mobility equipment
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Depression and anxiety
- Loss of quality of life
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured Due to Medical Malpractice in Kansas City, Missouri?
If you believe you or a loved one has been harmed due to medical practice you should speak with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 816.832.4688 to schedule your free consultation. We are proud to serve Kansas City, Missouri, and the surrounding area and look forward to speaking with you.