St. Louis Missouri Medical Malpractice: What is the Certificate of Merit?

By April 1, 2014 Medical Malpractice

In 2005, Missouri passed tort reform laws that changed the process of medical malpractice claims. These laws were passed in response to tort reform efforts. Those in favor of tort reform argue that there is a need to make it harder for patients to sue doctors in order to keep medical costs down, despite the fact that researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that malpractice expenses are not driving up healthcare expenditures.

When the laws changed in Missouri, a new rule went into effect mandating that victims of medical malpractice must obtain and file a Certificate of Merit with the court. The Certificate of Merit generally must be filed within 90 days of the original medical malpractice claim.  Under certain circumstances, it may be possible for a plaintiff to get an extension and get a longer period of time. However, to avoid potential problems with your case, it is usually a good idea to file the Certificate of Merit when you make your original claim with the court.

The Certificate of Merit is just one of many complex requirements you need to fulfill in order to successfully make a claim for medical malpractice. Because there are so many procedural requirements for malpractice claims, you should be represented by an experienced St. Louis Missouri medical malpractice attorney. Carey, Danis & Lowe has a long track record of helping patients harmed by medical negligence, so give us a call or contact us online today to learn how we can represent you.

Your Certificate of Merit in Your St. Louis Missouri Medical Malpractice Claim

The Certificate of Merit must be prepared by a licensed medical doctor. That physician ideally should be a specialist in the field of medicine that the malpractice claim involves. For example, if you are suing your cardiologist, you should have an expert in the field of cardiology complete the certificate of merit.  The Certificate of Merit must contain information from the physician attesting to the fact that more likely than not the defendant doctor did something unreasonably careless when providing care.

In other words, the licensed medical professional must certify that he has reviewed the medical records and treatment information and found that the doctor failed to provide adequate, professional medical treatment.  It can sometimes be difficult to find a medical expert and licensed physician who is able and willing to complete this Certificate of Merit and make allegations of malpractice against a peer in the medical community.  An experienced St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer can help you to find an expert who is willing to review and attest to your claim.

At Carey, Danis & Lowe, our extensive experience in the field of St. Louis Missouri medical malpractice has allowed us to build a network of physicians who can testify for you. Give us a call or contact us online today to learn more about how we can help build your case.