Medical Malpractice in Kentucky
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, hospital, or other health care professional neglects to provide proper treatment or take appropriate action, causing an injury to a patient or compounding the patient's condition.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
Some common examples of medical malpractice or negligence include:
- Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis;
- Improper medication or dosage;
- Ignoring or misreading laboratory results;
- Premature discharge;
- Unnecessary surgery;
- Surgical errors;
- Poor aftercare or follow-up;
- Failure to recognize symptoms; or
- Failure to conduct proper testing.
Statute of Limitations
Generally speaking, under Kentucky's statute of limitations, an action to recover damages for medical malpractice against a doctor, dentist, or hospital must be commenced within one year after the patient discovers or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have discovered that they've been injured due to the alleged negligent act or mistake. There are sometimes exceptions to this rule that can be evaluated by an attorney based on full knowledge and understanding of the facts specific to your claim.
Who Can Be Sued For Medical Malpractice
Not only can doctors be sued, but others may also be responsible for medical errors rising to the level of malpractice. Depending on the surrounding circumstances, there are a number of different healthcare professionals and organizations that may be held liable, including:
- A hospital or healthcare facility;
- Pharmaceutical companies;
- Hospital medical staff; and
- Urgent care centers.
A medical malpractice lawsuit may be filed against any of the aforementioned individuals or entities when their negligent actions, recklessness, or omissions result in an injury or medical complication.
Certificate of Merit
Under Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 411.167, injured parties are required to file a "certificate of merit" along with their complaint. The certificate of merit is an affidavit that legally declares the following:
- The injured party has reviewed all the facts of the case and consulted with a qualified medical expert; and
- A medical expert has certified that the claimant has a reasonable basis to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Basic Elements of a Claim
To establish that medical malpractice occurred and seek damages in Kentucky, the plaintiff must prove the following elements:
- The doctor or medical provider deviated from the accepted medical standard of care, meaning that the responsible party failed to act as a reasonably prudent provider would have acted under the same or similar circumstances; and
- The deviation resulted in the victim's injuries or medical complications; and
- The injury caused physical pain, mental anguish, additional medical bills, or missed time at work.
Potential Damages Available
In a successful medical malpractice claim, the plaintiff will be awarded monetary compensation for his or her injuries. The following damages may be available in a medical malpractice claim:
- Special Damages — Medical expenses, lost wages, and benefits;
- General or Noneconomic Damages — Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life, loss of future earning capacity, and physical and mental pain and suffering; and/or
- Punitive Damages — Additional compensation to punish the willful or grossly negligent party.
There is no cap on medical malpractice claims in Kentucky, including noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. Claimants are allowed to recover the amount awarded by the jury.
How Experienced Attorneys Can Help
Negligent actions and omissions of doctors, nurses, and hospitals are known to cause serious complications and lifelong consequences for patients and their families. If you believe your medical condition or injury was caused or complicated by a medical professional's negligence, you may be entitled to seek financial compensation by filing a medical malpractice claim. An experienced personal injury attorney can advocate for your legal rights and determine how best to pursue your rightful compensation.
At Grossman Green PLLC, we're dedicated to offering comprehensive legal guidance, support, and vigorous representation to medical malpractice victims and their loved ones. As your attorneys, we can:
- Fight to protect your rights and best interests;
- Review every aspect of your case;
- Work to prove fault and establish liability;
- Outline an aggressive legal approach to pursue your case;
- Handle all communications and help negotiate with insurance providers; and
- Take additional legal action, where required.
Our attorneys will guide you through the entire process and help you pursue fair financial compensation to cover medical expenses, lost income and benefits, future medical treatments, loss of enjoyment of life, and any pain and suffering you must have experienced. Having our team on your side can improve your chances of getting a favorable result in your medical malpractice case.