Medical malpractice can be life-changing for those who suffer from the negligence of a medical professional. If an injury occurs because of an error in treatment, a misdiagnosis, or irresponsible care, discuss your case with a qualified Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer who understands both Kansas and Missouri personal injury law.
Three Factors of a Medical Malpractice Case
Medical malpractice suits can be lengthy, and the statute of limitation for such issues depends on a few factors. To be a medical malpractice case, the claim must contain three factors:
Negligence occurred. Negligence is very different from a patient being unhappy with his or her care. To claim a doctor was negligent, you must have evidence to show the doctor caused you or your loved one harm.
The injury occurred because of negligence. The patient must have evidence showing the doctor’s negligent care caused injury. The injury must occur as a direct result of the treatment, and the patient or lawyer must be able to prove the link.
The negligence must cause specific damage. To be a medical malpractice case, the patient must have suffered significant damage. The top categories for damage usually include physical pain, mental distress, lost wages and time at work, and significant medical bills.
Timeline of Medical Malpractice Suits
Regardless of whether your case is in Kansas or Missouri, the process of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit can take months, even years. If you’ve suffered an injury from negligent medical care, here are your next steps:
Your skilled attorney has your best interests in mind, so be upfront about your situation. Malpractice can make some people feel uncomfortable, especially if negligence has affected something like your sex life or mental cognizance. Your attorney needs to know what you’re suffering to make your case, so be as honest as you can about your condition and symptoms.
Fact-check Medical Records
Your medical malpractice lawyer will review the medical records from the case and will want to know every detail of the condition, treatment, and the injury that occurred. Your attorney will request medical records and bills from the doctor’s office and the insurance company to make sure everything matches. This process can take weeks or months.
Hire a Medical Expert
Your medical malpractice attorney will have insight into this step. You’ll need someone else to testify that your care was substandard and led to harm. A medical expert views the records and the evidence to determine what went wrong and what should have gone differently.
File the Lawsuit
If no agreement happens, the medical malpractice lawyer will proceed with filing the lawsuit in Kansas City. This starts the clock for the trial. The Kansas statute of limitations is two years from the time of the injury or from the time of discovery of the injury.
Kansas Medical Malpractice Screening Review Panel
After filing the lawsuit, any health care provider affected by the suit can call for a Medical Malpractice Screening Review Panel. This panel consists of one health care provider chosen by the plaintiff, one chosen by the defendant, one agreed upon by both parties, and one chosen by the court. These four individuals work together to determine if a medical professional committed negligence, if treatment was appropriate, and if the injury sustained stemmed from the negligence.
Once the case moves on, both sides have time to go through all the medical records to extract any evidence and documents to appear in court. This process can take a year or more to complete. The judge may hear the evidence multiple times during the discovery process.
When discovery finishes, the lawyers begin to talk about settlements again. Sometimes the attorneys can work it out between themselves. Often, the case will go to mediation to reach a settlement.
If neither side can reach a solution, the case continues to trial. A medical malpractice trial can last about a week. At the end of the trial, the judge and the jury determine the settlement.
Though this timeline offers a basic outline of what you can expect, malpractice injuries are all different. Discuss the details of your case with a Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer who has experience in both Kansas and Missouri law for further help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.