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Frequently Asked Questions

If you believe you may be a victim of medical negligence, you can potentially sue the responsible medical provider and the organization where the individual worked, such as a hospital. Nursing homes are also commonly subject to medical malpractice claims, too.

Generally, the only way to know if medical negligence occurred is if the lawyer and team of medical experts review the evidence and medical records to determine if a claim was valid.

Yes, medical negligence suits are commonly brought because of a failure to identify and diagnose medical conditions. Failure to do so could result in devastating consequences.

Medical Malpractice in St. Louis

When you place your health, well-being, and life in the hands of a nurse, doctor, hospital, or nursing home, you expect to be treated with the utmost care and professionalism possible. If you were a victim of medical negligence, you have a right to receive compensation for your suffering.

In past years, more than 30 percent of medical malpractice claims filed in Missouri involved the death of a loved one. More than 20 percent of medical malpractice claims involved a serious injury suffered by a loved one. Have you been the victim of medical negligence at a St. Louis area hospital or healthcare facility? When you or a family member has been injured as a result of the negligence of another, it may be confusing to know where to turn next. An experienced St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer from TorHoerman Law is here to help.


Defining Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is defined as any act or omission by a physician during the treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes injury to the patient, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Medical errors rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States according to a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins. Based on their estimates, more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors. According to the Medical Malpractice Center, “in the United States, there are between 15,000 and 19,000 medical malpractice suits against doctors every year.” In past years, more than 30 percent of medical malpractice claims filed in Missouri involved the death of a loved one. More than 20 percent of medical malpractice claims involved a serious injury suffered by a loved one.


Medical Malpractice Laws in Missouri

A hospital, doctor, or other healthcare provider is not responsible for all harm a patient experiences, such as in the case of extenuating pain from a surgery that was expected. However, if a patient experiences “harm or injury because the health provider deviated from the quality of care that is normally expected in similar situations,” the health provider is wholly responsible. Typically, there are three characteristics that must be evident in a malpractice lawsuit:

  • A violation of the standard of care
  • An injury was caused by the negligence
  • The injury resulted in significant damage


Missouri’s statute of limitations deadline allows for an individual to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for up to two years from the date on which the underlying medical error occurred, for most injuries.

Missouri also has a special law intended to prevent illegitimate medical malpractice lawsuits. An affidavit of merit to the court must be submitted within 90 days of filing a claim for medical malpractice. The affidavit of merit must prove that the plaintiff consulted with an expert regarding the potential malpractice claim and that the expert determined it was a viable claim.

As part of Missouri’s laws, plaintiffs can recover damages for a number of reasons – medical costs, such as the cost of corrective surgery, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, wages lost while being unable to work due to recovery, and many others. The part of the malpractice lawsuit that will determine the damages you suffered will be conducted during discovery, or an investigation into what occurred and the results.


Common Types of Malpractice

Patients can be victims of medical malpractice and negligence in many ways. Regardless of the circumstances, when errors or negligence occurs, the responsible party should be held liable. The following are examples of types of medical negligence:

  • Failing to provide proper care in the emergency room resulting in errors
  • Failing to recognize serious illness or misdiagnosis
  • Causing further injury following surgical procedure by medical negligence
  • Unexpected damage to the body during surgery
  • Potentially fatal infections acquired in the hospital
  • Prenatal or birthing injuries to an infant
  • Unexpected or premature death
  • Prescribing the wrong prescription or wrong dosage
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Anesthesia error


If you or a loved one suffered from any one of the above, it is important to contact a St. Louis injury lawyer as soon as possible because, as mentioned above, there are certain laws in place that can limit the time frame you can file a claim. For more information, call 314-325-1369.


Can I Still File a Lawsuit if I Signed a Waiver?

Every medical procedure has a certain level of risk, including surgery. Hospitals require a signed consent form acknowledging those risks. But, that does not eliminate responsibility for any malpractice or negligence that occurs. If a doctor or hospital failed to properly provide care that is normally expected in medical situations, they can still be held liable for their actions.

While the waivers do not prevent medical negligence cases from being filed, they do make them more complicated because of the protections put into place through the waiver. In any case, it is important to consult with a St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer to guide you through the process. If you or a family member were injured due to medical negligence, you have a right to compensation for the losses you suffered.


How Long Does a Medical Malpractice Case Take?

It is very important to know that there is no right answer to the question. Each case is different and such, different timeframes can apply. A medical malpractice lawsuit can be resolved in as short as a few months or as long as a few years. With that being said, the factors that can help to determine the timeframe of the case include:

  • The extent of the injuries sustained
  • The availability of expert witnesses to support your claim
  • The amount of time it takes to thoroughly investigate the case and gather evidence
  • The willingness of the insurance company to negotiate a settlement


Medical malpractice claims often involve severe claims and large amounts of money and as a result, insurance companies vigorously defend them. Because of that determination, medical malpractice lawsuits are rarely settled quickly, however, as your lawyers, we will fight for a positive outcome for you, no matter the timeframe.


Filing a St. Louis Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

The civil lawsuit process can be overwhelming for those without extensive knowledge of the legal system. TorHoerman is here to aid you and make this process as easy as can be. Additionally, it is crucial for you to be able to show that you attempted to mitigate any injuries that you suffered to the best of your ability.  When filing a St. Louis medical malpractice lawsuit, it is important to submit your claim before the statute of limitations has expired. Most personal injury cases result in a settlement, but if an agreement cannot be met, the case will go to trial. In that instance, a judge or jury will decide the outcome. Reach out to an experienced St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer at TorHoerman law today to find out how we can serve you.


Hiring a St. Louis Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Hiring a legal representative is a decision that should not be taken lightly. There is no downside to enquiring about your lawsuit eligibility. Your St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer will be there to guide you through complicated legal proceedings. An experienced St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer will help you gather evidence that supports your claim and proves liability for any injury. Once the discovery phase has been completed, your lawyer will meet the defendant to discuss a settlement for the damages.


St. Louis Medical Malpractice Lawyers

TorHoerman Law

Although no amount of compensation can undo the lasting effects of the medical error or turn back time to prevent the injury from occurring, we will fight for the compensation you deserve to alleviate the stressors of dealing with an injury or death. Our team of expert attorneys specializes in St. Louis medical malpractice lawsuits. TorHoerman Law has won more than $4 billion in verdicts and negotiated settlements for our clients. We operate on a contingency fee basis. Therefore, you do not owe any payment until you have been compensated.


Allen, Marshall, and Olga Pierce. “Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause Of U.S Deaths, Researchers Say.” NPR, NPR, 3 May 2016,

Nordqvist, Christian. “Medical Malpractice: What Does It Involve?” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 5 Apr. 2017,

Bal, B. (2009, February). An introduction to medical malpractice in the United States. Retrieved December 30, 2020, from

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