Springfield, Missouri, Medical Malpractice Lawyers Help You Recover From a Serious Medical Mistake
Holding health professionals accountable for their mistakes
We rely on doctors, nurses and other health care providers to help us get better. When negligence causes further harm, the Springfield personal injury firm of Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law, LLC can help you hold medical professionals responsible for their errors. Our experienced attorneys understand the complexities of medical malpractice actions and work diligently to help victims and their families obtain the compensation they deserve.
Medical mistakes can take many forms
Medical errors account for nearly 100,000 deaths in the United States every year, while thousands more are injured. Some of the most common types of medical negligence include:
- Surgical mistakes — Examples include performing surgery on the wrong site and failing to remove foreign objects from the body after surgery. These errors may result in infection, delayed recovery or repeat surgery.
- Birth injuries — Examples include misuse of forceps, failure to diagnose a maternal medical condition or failure to order a timely cesarean section. Common injuries include brachial plexus injuries, cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy.
- Misdiagnosis and treatment errors — Examples include misinterpreting lab results, improper cancer staging or failing to acknowledge patient complaints. Mistakes may result in delayed treatment, poor prognosis and even death.
- Failure to obtain informed consent — Examples include failing to explain the potential benefits, risks and alternatives associated with a medical procedure prior to treatment.
- Medication errors — Examples include prescribing a wrong medication, administering an incorrect dose or failing to account for drug interactions. Pharmaceutical errors can lead to serious complications, particularly in small children.
- Hospital negligence — Examples include insufficient staffing, lack of safety controls or inadequate training. Health care facilities are also liable for incompetent care provided by their employees, including nurses, medical technicians and other staff members.
- Medical device errors — Examples include human errors, such as failing to respond to alarms and failing to properly insert an IV as well as defects with the device itself. Depending on the circumstances, patients may pursue a medical malpractice or product liability suit.
Proving liability in a medical malpractice claim
Medical malpractice generally involves a negligent act or omission by a doctor or other health care professional, resulting in injury or harm to a patient. To prove negligence, patients must satisfy the following four elements:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to the patient — This element rarely presents an obstacle given that doctors, nurses and other health care workers owe a duty of care to all patients.
- The defendant violated the relevant standard of care — Patients can use a variety of sources, including medical journals, hospital policies, state and federal regulations and expert testimony, to establish the appropriate standard of care.
- The patient suffered a compensable injury — Injuries, such as surgical complications and infections, are generally readily ascertainable. However, poor prognosis because of delayed diagnosis or improper treatment can be harder to prove.
- The injury was caused by the incompetent conduct — Proving the substandard care led to the patient’s condition can be difficult. Medical professionals will often argue that other non-preventable factors caused the patient’s condition.
Medical malpractice suits can be complex and costly. As one of the largest law firms in Springfield, Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law, LLC has the resources and experience to aggressively pursue your medical malpractice or wrongful death case from investigation to trial.
Obtaining financial recovery for your ordeal
A successful Missouri medical malpractice case may include both economic and non-economic damages such as lost wages, medical bills and other life-care expenses, pain and suffering, or reduced enjoyment of life due to disability. Punitive damages are designed to punish the medical professional and are awarded only in cases of wanton and reckless conduct. Unlike many other states, Missouri does not currently place a cap on non-economic damages.
Protect your legal rights by contacting a Springfield medical malpractice lawyer
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a medical mistake, contact an experienced injury attorney at Lowther Johnson Attorneys at Law, LLC today. We can guide you through the legal process, while you focus on getting better. Call our offices today at 417-866-7777 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.