How Missouri’s negligence law affects medical malpractice cases

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

In Missouri, the outcome of medical malpractice cases depends on the state’s negligence rules. Unlike most states, it follows the ‘pure comparative negligence’ rule. This rule helps figure out who’s at fault during the medical mistake and how much compensation you can receive. It looks at both your actions and those of your chosen health care provider.

As a patient, knowing how these laws can influence your claim is important.

An example of how it works

Imagine undergoing surgery and complications come up after the operation. The nurses might not have followed the doctor’s post-operative care instructions properly. At the same time, you might not have given complete information about any allergies to certain medications. In this scenario, both you and the hospital could share the blame for the complications that occurred afterward. Fortunately, if the assessment finds you at any level of fault, you could still receive some compensation thanks to the pure comparative negligence rule.

However, your degree of fault will reduce the amount you receive. For instance, if you’re found to be 30% or even 75% at fault, your compensation would be reduced by that percentage, potentially leaving you with 70% or 25% of the total damages, respectively.

How it affects your case

The pure comparative rule promotes responsible behavior in both medical professionals and patients. Even when the injured party is partly to blame, offering compensation ensures everyone involved owns up to their actions. The goal is fairness – the compensation should mirror the level of each party’s role in the incident. It pushes health care providers to reduce medical errors and motivates patients to be transparent and honest about their health to avoid further issues.

Ultimately, this rule encourages everyone to exercise care in the health care process.


FindLaw Network