No patient should have to experience injuries due to medical malpractice. While most medical providers are caring, well trained and strive to provide excellent medical care, there are some medical providers who don’t exhibit those characteristics. Irresponsible doctors, along with other medical providers, should be held accountable when their poor performance or lack of training results in negligent actions and inactions that hurt innocent people.
A resourceful St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer can assist an injured party in seeking compensation and fair treatment. If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a medical provider’s negligence, contact an adept personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options.
Time Constraints to Filing a Malpractice Case
One of the most important parts of filing a civil claim that plaintiffs need to keep in mind is the statute of limitations. This is a legal time constraint that limits how long a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case has to file a claim.
As per Missouri Revised Statutes §516.105, plaintiffs have two years from the date a malpractice event occurred to file suit. If this time period elapses without a court filing, you could risk having your case dismissed when it finally reaches the judge. Victims of medical malpractice should consult with a seasoned St. Louis medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to find how what legal options are available to them.
Statute of Limitations Exceptions
If the patient was a minor at the time of the malpractice or the malpractice involved leaving surgical instruments or sponges inside of a patient, different parameters may apply. Even so, a statute of repose of ten years applies, meaning that you cannot file a civil lawsuit once ten years have passed since the date of the injury.
Acquiring an Affidavit from a Qualified Health Care Provider
To filter out invalid and frivolous lawsuits, medical malpractice plaintiffs generally must meet certain requirements before their claim can be filed. Missouri Revised Statutes §538.225 stipulates that the plaintiff or their medical malpractice lawyer in St. Louis must file an affidavit affirming they have a written copy of a statement from a legally qualified health care provider who agrees that:
- The defendant failed to give the same kind of treatment that a “reasonably prudent and careful health care provider would have under similar circumstances”
- Their failure caused or contributed to the injuries and damages spelled out in the lawsuit
This affidavit also must be filed within 90 days of the original medical malpractice filing. If there are extenuating circumstances, the court may grant one extension of another 90 days. If this affidavit is not provided in the given timeframe, the judge usually will dismiss the lawsuit.
How a St. Louis Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
Plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases in St. Louis generally must ensure that their case is handled in accordance with all applicable state statutes. A case that does not follow the requisite procedures may be thrown out, and the plaintiff could lose their opportunity to recover damages.
A St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer is the one to turn to when you do not want to take chances with your case. A dedicated attorney could ensure that your case is filed on time and meets the appropriate requirements. Call today to get your medical malpractice case started.