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Should I File a Medical Malpractice Claim?

In 2016, researchers at Johns Hopkins determined that the third leading cause of death in the U.S. is medical errors. Additionally, millions of Americans suffer non-fatal injuries as a result of medical mistakes each and every year. With increased media attention on preventable medical mistakes, there is greater public awareness of these tragic stories than ever before. If you have experienced injuries due to negligence while under medical care, you may wonder if you should file a medical malpractice claim.

Not all unsuccessful treatments or negative outcomes in medical treatment constitute malpractice. Doctors must often try multiple approaches to treatment before finding one that works. The burden is on the plaintiff to show proof, and it can be challenging to demonstrate a clear difference between negative outcomes and negligent care. With that said, as an experienced Kansas City, MO birth injury lawyer – including those who practice at Royce Injury Attorneys, LLC can confirm – it is important not to make assumptions about the potential strengths or weaknesses of your case before you’ve had it legally evaluated. If you or your child have suffered harm as a result of malpractice, you may be entitled to significant compensation.  

What Must Be Proven in a Medical Malpractice Case?

In any medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff must prove four main elements in order for the claim to be successful.

  • The relationship existed. It must be clear that the doctor or healthcare worker who harmed you was directly responsible for your care. If you followed medical advice you overheard from a doctor at a restaurant, there was no doctor-patient relationship.
  • The doctor must have violated the standard of care. The doctor or healthcare worker or the hospital itself must have done something they should not have done according to reasonable care standards—or, neglected to do something that they should have done.
  • Negligence must have caused the injury. You must prove that the injury occurred as a direct result of negligent, reckless, or intentionally harmful actions or inactions. 
  • The patient suffered losses. You must have experienced harm as a result, such as physical pain, mental anguish, additional medical bills, or lost work. Damages awarded in a malpractice claim are meant to compensate for these losses.

What Are Some Examples of Medical Malpractice?

Some common categories of medical malpractice include the following:

  • Misdiagnosis: A doctor fails to correctly identify a patient’s condition.
  • Failure to Treat: A doctor identifies the condition correctly, but does not recommend or follow through on the proper treatment.
  • Delayed Diagnosis: A doctor fails to order the proper diagnostic tests for a medical condition, or to communicate the test results. 
  • Surgical Errors: The plaintiff must prove that the surgeon did not meet the standard of care. Examples include performing the wrong surgery, operating on the wrong body part, or leaving equipment in the body cavity.
  • Birth Injuries: A doctor or the hospital delivery team fails to follow the standard of care during the birthing process and the infant is harmed as a result.

If you or your child has experienced harm as a result of any of these medical situations – or any others – a malpractice attorney can help you to evaluate your rights and legal options at this time.

Royce Injury Attorneys
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$6,000,000 Wrongful Death

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$2,000,000 Medical Malpractice

Settlement for failure to diagnose lung cancer.

$4,000,000 Hospital Malpractice

Trial Verdict for failure to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.