Overland Park Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Holding Medical Providers in Kansas City Liable for Negligence & Errors
At the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr., our focus is on advocating for victims of medical malpractice in the Kansas City area. With a team of skilled trial attorneys, we are unafraid to take on challenging cases and prepare for litigation when it's in the best interest of our clients. Our commitment to securing maximum compensation is unwavering, especially for complex medical malpractice claims that have the capacity to change the client’s livelihood depending on the outcome. We approach each case with the diligence and tenacity it deserves, aiming to hold negligent healthcare providers accountable for their actions. If you need legal counsel after medical malpractice hurt you or a loved one, get us on your side today.
Get a free case review with our Overland Park medical malpractice lawyers by calling (816) 597-4556 now.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice refers to instances in which a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or nurse, fails to provide the standard of care expected in their profession, resulting in harm or injury to a patient. This could occur due to errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management. To be considered malpractice, the negligence must cause damage or harm to the patient, either by making a new injury or allowing a preexisting injury or illness to worsen when the correct treatment would have allowed it to start healing.
Four Elements of Medical Malpractice
Our Overland Park medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr. are experienced in handling medical malpractice claims. We understand the intricacies involved in such cases and are skilled at investigating incidents to determine if they meet the four key elements required for a legitimate medical malpractice claim. This thorough approach ensures that all aspects of the case are scrutinized, providing you with the reliable and informative representation you expect and deserve.
The four key elements of medical malpractice that must be present for a claim to be legitimate are:
- Professional duty owed to the patient: This typically refers to the existence of a doctor-patient relationship. It must be proven that the healthcare professional in question had a duty to provide care to the patient. This is typically straightforward, as the relationship is established when the healthcare professional agrees to treat the patient.
- Breach of duty: Once it's established that a duty was owed, it must be shown that this duty was breached. This means that the healthcare provider failed to adhere to the accepted standards of medical care.
- Injury caused by the breach: The breach of duty must have directly resulted in an injury to the patient. In other words, it must be proven that the negligence or poor practice of the healthcare provider caused harm to the patient.
- Damages caused by the injury: Finally, it must be demonstrated that the injury inflicted upon the patient resulted in damages. These could be physical, emotional, financial, or any other type of harm that can be quantified for compensation purposes.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice can take many different forms, each with its own set of complexities and challenges. Our law firm is well-equipped to handle a broad spectrum of malpractice cases using our extensive experience and insight. To ensure thorough case preparation and effective representation, we often collaborate with medical experts for additional information and expert testimonies when needed.
Common types of medical malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis: A diagnosis error occurs when a doctor fails to diagnose a health condition correctly or in a timely manner, leading to improper treatment or a delay in receiving the necessary treatment.
- Surgical errors: A surgical error could involve mistakes made during surgery, such as operating on the wrong body part, leaving surgical instruments in the patient, or causing unnecessary damage during the procedure.
- Medication errors: Errors involving medication or prescriptions can occur when a healthcare provider prescribes the wrong medication or dosage, fails to account for drug interactions, or administers medication improperly.
- Birth injuries: These injuries can occur due to negligence during pregnancy or delivery, resulting in harm to the baby or mother. Examples could include failing to detect birth defects, not responding to signs of fetal distress, or mishandling forceps or vacuums during delivery.
- Testing errors: A medical provider who fails to order the right diagnostic tests or fails to read diagnostic test results correctly can ultimately cause harm to the patient by failing to fully understand the symptoms.
Damages in a Medical Malpractice Claim
In a medical malpractice claim, several types of damages could potentially be available to the injured party. These are primarily designed to compensate the victim for the losses they have suffered as a result of the healthcare professional's negligence.
Important damages in a medical malpractice claim include:
- Medical costs: This includes compensation for the cost of medical treatment required due to the injury. Importantly, it should not only cover past and current medical expenses but also future ones. In many cases, the injuries resulting from medical malpractice may require long-term or even lifelong medical care and treatment.
- Lost wages and reduced earning capacity: If the injury caused by medical malpractice has led to the patient missing work or being unable to continue their previous employment, they may be able to pursue compensation for lost wages. Furthermore, if the injury has reduced the victim's ability to earn an income in the future, this should also be accounted for in the compensation.
- Pain and suffering: This type of compensation addresses the physical pain and emotional distress experienced by the victim as a result of the injury. It can also include compensation for any reduction in the victim's quality of life.
What Party is Liable for Your Damages?
In medical malpractice cases, identifying the liable parties is crucial and often complex. Liability is not always confined to an individual doctor. Depending on the circumstances of the case and the nature of the harm caused, various parties could potentially be held responsible, including an entire medical institution.
Liable parties in a medical malpractice case could include:
- Doctors: Individual physicians may be held liable if their actions or negligence directly led to the patient's harm. This includes situations where the doctor failed to meet the standard of care expected in their specialty.
- Nurses and other medical staff: Nurses, technicians, and other medical staff can also be held liable if their actions or failure to act resulted in patient harm. This could include errors in medication administration, failure to monitor a patient's condition, or improper use of medical equipment.
- Hospitals and medical facilities: In some cases, the hospital or medical facility itself can be held responsible for a patient's harm. This is often the case when an employee of the hospital, such as a nurse or technician, commits an act of negligence. Hospitals can also be liable for "corporate negligence," such as failing to maintain safe conditions, adequately staff the facility, or check the credentials of doctors.
- Medical groups or health systems: If a doctor is an employee of a medical group or health system, that organization could potentially be held liable for the doctor's malpractice.
- Heirship Dispute
- Nursing Home Elopement
- Nursing Home Elopement
- Motor Vehicle Collision
Fight for Compensation with Our Help
Hiring a skilled medical malpractice attorney in Overland Park can significantly reduce the stress you feel when dealing with a medical malpractice claim. With a comprehensive understanding of the medical malpractice legal landscape, our team is well-equipped to handle the complexities of your case and find the best path forward. By letting us act on your behalf, you can ensure that no crucial legal processes are missed or overlooked, such as filing before any deadlines expire. Let us shoulder the burden of your legal challenges, while you focus on your recovery and well-being.
Get step-by-step legal counsel. Call (816) 597-4556 now.
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Medical Malpractice FAQs
- Is a bad medical outcome the same as medical malpractice?
A bad medical outcome is not necessarily the same as medical malpractice. Medical treatments and procedures have inherent risks and don't always result in the desired or expected outcomes, despite the best efforts of healthcare professionals. Medical malpractice, on the other hand, occurs when a healthcare provider deviates from the accepted standard of care in their field, resulting in harm to a patient.
- What is ‘informed consent’ in a medical setting?
Informed consent refers to the process by which a healthcare provider educates a patient about the risks, benefits, and alternatives of a proposed procedure or treatment before the patient decides whether to proceed. The patient must be given an opportunity to ask questions and must fully understand the potential risks and outcomes for informed consent to be established. Failure to obtain informed consent can be grounds for a lawsuit if it can be proven that a fully informed patient would have declined the procedure or treatment, and consequently, would have avoided the injury or harm that occurred.
- What is the statute of limitations on a medical malpractice claim?
The statute of limitations on a medical malpractice claim refers to the specific time period within which a patient must file a lawsuit after an injury or harm has occurred due to alleged medical negligence. This period can vary significantly from state to state, depending on local laws. Generally, it starts from the date when the harm was discovered or reasonably should have been discovered. It's crucial to understand that if a lawsuit is not initiated within the statute of limitations, it may be permanently barred.