Do you know patients only have a certain amount of time during which they will be allowed to file a claim or lawsuit citing physician negligence, doctor error, or medical malpractice? Do you know that if you fail to pursue legal action within this time limit, your right to seek damages could be denied?
Each state has a time limit for potential claims, known as a statute of limitations. These statutes are designed to encourage swift justice and prevent legal cases from being drawn out to the point where evidence no longer exists, memories have faded, and fault can no longer be accurately established.
Missouri’s Statute of Limitations for Malpractice
Under Missouri Revised Statutes, Statutes of Limitations, Section 516.106.1 Actions Against Health Care Providers (Medical Malpractice), victims have two years in which to file a claim seeking damages for instances of negligence, errors, mistakes, or malpractice related to their healthcare. If the same healthcare provider continues to treat you for the same condition for which you allege they were negligent, the two years runs from the last day of continuing treatment for that condition. Certain exceptions to this rule do exist. In cases where a foreign body was introduced into a person’s body and allowed to remain, statutes of limitations allow claims to be filed within two years from the date that the health issue was discovered.
In addition, if the act of medical negligence involved a doctor’s “failure to inform the patient of the results of medical tests,” the patient has two years from the date the alleged negligence was discovered – or the date it should have been reasonably discovered – in which to file a claim.
An exception also exists for children who are victims of medical malpractice. When a minor child under the age of 18 becomes the victim of malpractice, that child will have until he or she turns 20 years old to file a claim seeking damages. Damages cannot be pursued after 10 years from the date the negligence allegedly occurred.
Patient Rights under Missouri Law
Unless you know your rights under Missouri law and act quickly to protect those rights, you could be left financially responsible for covering costs relating to physical injuries, pain and suffering, and the emotional anguish you suffered due to no fault of your own.
While it is true that medical mistakes can and do happen, medical and healthcare professionals need to be held responsible for their negligent actions, particularly when it results in serious injury, harm, or death. Why should you or your family have to bear the physical, emotional, and financial burden that goes along with a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis? Why should your child suffer for the rest of his or her life due to an error that could have been avoided? Shouldn’t you have the right to seek compensation for the injuries you have been forced to endure at the hands of the medical professional in whom you placed your trust?
Legal Representation for Victims of Medical Malpractice
At Carey, Danis & Lowe, we believe malpractice victims have the right to an experienced legal advocate on their side, fighting to help them pursue maximum damages. If you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice, or you have questions about whether the statute of limitations on your case has passed, call our firm today and schedule your free consultation with a St. Louis medical malpractice attorney.