Medical malpractice happens when a medical professional deviates from the standard of care, causing harm, distress, injury, or even wrongful death to a patient. It occurs when a health care provider neglects his or her duty of care and a misdiagnosis (failure to diagnose properly), medication error (wrong prescription), surgical error, or improper treatment took place that may lead to a devastating and serious injury. Any act of professional negligence or malpractice may lead to brain damage, spinal injury, paralysis, nerve damage, and other related injury cases.
The medical professionals at fault must be held liable for any negligent care, medical mistake, or substandard medical treatment done to the patient. These kinds of incidents are preventable if the healthcare provider will not neglect his or her duty to provide proper medical care at all times.
In Kentucky, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is a complex process that involves an in-depth evaluation of standard operating procedures in the medical field. According to Louisville Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys, there are procedural rules that are required to be strictly followed, detailed medical records have to be checked, and evidence from the plaintiff must be substantial.
The medical malpractice law may vary from state-to-state. Louisville Kentucky medical malpractice lawyers follow certain guidelines in filing a medical malpractice lawsuit including the statute of limitations and “medical review panel” requirements.
Statute of limitations refers to the law that indicates the maximum time frame during which legal proceedings shall be initiated by the plaintiff. According to the Kentucky Revised Statutes section 413.140(1)(e), a medical malpractice lawsuit shall be filed in less than one year “after the cause of action accrued”. In this law, the one-year limit will start from the date of occurrence of the malpractice incident. Once you have discovered the injury or medical error, you need to file the malpractice case immediately. In case you did not discover the medical negligence until a later date, the clock will start from the date of your diagnosis.
There is a “statute of repose” that will allow you to pursue the medical malpractice lawsuit for five years starting from the incident date. Beyond this period, you no longer have the legal rights to file for medical malpractice lawsuits. Even though you attempt to file a lawsuit, the defendant has the right to request the court for case dismissal.
According to Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 216C, the injured plaintiff can file a medical lawsuit against a medical provider as long as the complaint shall be reviewed first by a Medical Review Panel. The panel shall include one Kentucky medical malpractice lawyer and three competent health care providers or medical experts. They are responsible to review all medical records, consider the testimony of expert witnesses, and evaluate other evidence. They need to investigate the details of the incident then make a verdict on whether there is sufficient evidence to support the complaint.
The panel’s report will be considered as “expert opinion”; however, it is not conclusive as to either the injuries of the patient or the liabilities of the defendant. They are given nine months to do the review and investigation. If they fail to submit it before the deadline, the plaintiff will already be allowed by the court to pursue the medical malpractice lawsuit even without the review report from the panel.
It is possible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit without undergoing the review of the panel as long as it meets certain conditions. For instance, all parties, including the defendant to be sued and the plaintiff, must provide a written statement stating that they agree to go through the legal process. Furthermore, you may also file a lawsuit if both parties decide to submit the dispute to binding arbitration and if the malpractice lawsuit filing was done earlier than March 2017.
In other states, there is a particular limit or “cap” on the maximum compensation amount to be granted to the plaintiff. This rule is not applicable in Kentucky. The injured plaintiff can recover from all the financial losses, such as lost wages, accumulated medical bills, and other expenses caused by the medical negligence of the defendant.
Medical malpractice lawsuits shall be filed according to the malpractice law of the state. The requirements should be complete and the evidence should be sufficient enough for the malpractice case. For legal help, do not hesitate to consult with our experienced Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys at Farmer and Wright, PLLC. We are ready to be with you every step of your way as you win your battle against medical malpractice cases.