A plaintiff pursuing compensation for medical malpractice in the state of Missouri is required to provide a Certificate of Merit within 90 days of filing the claim with the court. The purpose of this Certificate of Merit is to make sure that a qualified physician with expertise in the field believes that the plaintiff’s case is a legitimate one. Tort reform advocates argue that requiring the Certificate of Merit will make it harder for plaintiffs to file frivolous claims against physicians.
The effect, unfortunately, is to make it more difficult for you to make a claim against any healthcare provider, even if you have legitimately been damaged by the provider’s sub-par care. To make a malpractice claim, you now must find a qualified and experienced physician within the right field to review your medical records and certify that your claim is a legitimate one. An experienced St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer at Carey, Danis & Lowe can help you to find a physician who can help.
Medical Malpractice in St. Louis Missouri: Finding a Physician to Review Your Claim
When you suspect medical malpractice has occurred, your attorney will help you to obtain your medical records. You then need to have them reviewed by a person in the same field as the doctor who you believe was negligent (for example, finding a surgeon if your claim has arisen from a botched surgery). That doctor needs to carefully review the treatment you received in order to certify that he or she believes more likely than not that the physician who treated you was negligent.
Doctors and care providers can be reluctant to get involved in malpractice claims because they don’t necessarily like to speak badly of a peer in the medical profession and because assessing whether medical negligence occurred is, to some extent, a matter of opinion. Plaintiffs also need a doctor and medical expert to testify in court when proving a malpractice claim (unless the case settles) and physicians may not want to spend their time tied up in court giving testimony.
Trying to find a doctor on your own to complete the Certificate of Merit and to testify on your behalf is thus very difficult. At Carey, Danis & Lowe, we can not only help you to find someone who is willing to look at your records and assess your case, but we also ensure that we have a network of credible medical experts with solid experience.
Many malpractice cases come down to a battle of the experts: is the person who testifies for you more credible than those who testify on behalf of the doctor? The St. Louis medical malpractice lawyers at Carey Danis & Lowe know that your expert needs to be top-notch and we have access to physicians who can help you make your case.