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Medical Malpractice FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice in Missouri

Answers from an experienced St. Louis lawyer

Since 1991, the Guirl Law Firm has fought on the side of injured patients to win compensation for the harm done by negligent healthcare providers. We appreciate the suffering malpractice causes, from both the physical injury and the betrayal of trust. If you suspect that a poor medical outcome is due to substandard performance by a doctor, surgeon, dentist, nurse, or other healthcare provider, we are determined to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. If you’ve come to our site searching for answers to your medical malpractice questions, we hope this short list of frequently asked questions is helpful.

Medical malpractice cases are complex and fact specific. For a thorough assessment of your case based on your unique circumstances, please schedule a free consultation.

Contact a knowledgeable St. Louis attorney for medical malpractice representation

For reliable and determined assistance with your medical malpractice claim, call the Guirl Law Firm. Someone is here to answer 24 hours a day at 314-391-2585, or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation.

Do I have a medical malpractice claim for my doctor’s failure to diagnose my cancer at an early stage?

The answer depends on the facts of your case. If your early symptoms were such that a reasonably prudent doctor would have ordered diagnostic tests, but your doctor failed to do so, you may have a case. If your test results were such that a reasonably competent doctor would have recognized that cancer was present, but yours did not, you may have a case.

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What time limits do I need to be aware of if I’ve been injured as a result of medical malpractice?

Generally, the statutory time limit for a medical malpractice claim in Missouri and Illinois is two years from the date of the error that caused the harm. However, since the harm from a medical error is not always readily apparent, the time limit may be extended. The discovery rule gives you two years from the time when a reasonable patient would know that harm had been done. Juvenile patients get a significant extension: the two-year statutory period does not begin until they turn 18.

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I signed a consent form before my doctor performed surgery. What did it mean?

A consent form means you understand the inherent risks of surgery, and are willing to accept those risks. However, the consent form does not immunize the doctor or the hospital from liability for negligent harm. You still have a right to sue if the surgical team gave you substandard care.

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What if I’m just not satisfied with the results of my surgery? Do I have a malpractice case?

Not necessarily. Many factors determine whether surgery will be successful; negative outcomes do occur even when the surgical team is highly proficient. To win a medical malpractice lawsuit, you must prove that the poor outcome was caused by a deviation from the accepted standards of surgical care.

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How does a jury determine if a doctor’s actions were within the standards of good medical practice?

Because medical malpractice cases are so complex, each side presents testimony from qualified medical experts to help the jury understand what level of performance was expected, and whether the doctor’s actions fell below the accepted standards. Cases often turn on which experts the jury find more credible.

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