If you receive medical treatment that results in further illness or injury, you may be able to recover monetary damages for any harm you suffer as a result. Should you or a loved one ever face this unfortunate situation, reach out to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Kentucky to protect your rights and to ensure the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Mistakes happen. That is an unavoidable truth. Usually, there is no bad intent when someone makes a mistake that harms another person, and in many situations, mistakes can be fixed. Unfortunately, however, this is almost never the case in healthcare. Even a minor error in medical treatment can cause death or injury, changing the course of a person’s life as well as that of their entire family.
The sad fact is that injuries caused by medical malpractice are often devastating, sudden, and costly. On top of that, medical malpractice cases are complex. To address them effectively, you must understand the exact science of the medical care at hand as well as intricate litigation strategies.
At a time when you and your loved ones are already struggling to recuperate and cope with unexpected injury, you may need an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to represent you.
When a Kentucky medical professional of any kind—whether they be a surgeon, physician, nurse, midwife, or other technician or specialist—makes a mistake and harms someone because of negligent care, we at Wilt & Klausing, PLLC, seek to hold these individuals accountable in Kentucky’s civil courts.
Our firm takes the responsibility of representing individuals harmed by medical negligence very seriously. We speak loudly for those who have been wronged by irresponsible medical caregivers. This work is important and has a broad impact. We believe accountability leads to fewer mistakes and better patient care for everyone in Kentucky.
In every case, our goal is to arm our clients and their families with the tools they need to get back to living. We want our clients to realize the best version of their new normal. To do so, we determinedly pursue adequate and fair compensation.
Furthermore, we accept only the number of cases for which we can devote personal time and attention. You can rest assured that if Wilt & Klausing, PLLC, takes on your medical malpractice claim, your best interests are our top priority, and our skills will maximize your potential recovery.
Read on to learn more about medical malpractice claims in Kentucky and, if you have reason to believe you or a loved one are a victim of a medical mistake, to see if a Kentucky medical malpractice lawyer at Wilt & Klausing, PLLC, can help you.
Understanding Medical Negligence in Kentucky
There are four elements in every medical negligence claim: standard of care, breach, causation, and injury (also called damages). Put simply, in order to have grounds for a claim of medical negligence, you must prove that your injury was caused by the medical treatment at hand and that that medical treatment fell below the standard of care. (Lawyers also refer to this as “breaching” the standard of care.)
The “standard of care” is a legal term that refers to the level of care and judgment that a medical professional with similar training, education, experience, and skill level would provide under similar circumstances.
Put another way, the standard of care applies to every medical professional in the healthcare industry and measures the level of competency and care a skilled healthcare provider would and should provide to a patient.
In practice, this means you must establish how the average, reasonable healthcare provider, with similar training and under similar circumstances, would have and should have managed your medical treatment. Kentucky’s law requires expert testimony to establish the standard of care in each malpractice case.
“Breach” is a legal term that identifies whether the medical care being discussed—the care that caused the injury—fell below the standard of care. You must prove that your healthcare provider’s medical treatment did not meet the standard that a reasonably experienced professional would have provided in the same situation.
The failure to provide treatment that meets the standard of care is a breach of the healthcare provider’s duty to their patient. Expert witnesses are also required to testify that a medical provider breached the standard of care in order for a medical negligence claim to be successful.
“Causation” is a legal concept that requires proof that the breach of the applicable standard of care caused your injuries. Kentucky applies the “substantial factor” test in matters of causation in medical malpractice cases. This means you must prove that your treater’s breach of the standard of care was a substantial factor in bringing about the injuries you claim resulted from the breach.
Again, expert testimony is also required to establish causation in a case. Experts must testify they believe the subject breach caused a plaintiff’s injuries and that this belief is within a reasonable degree of medical probability. Anything less won’t establish a claim of medical malpractice.
“Injury” is a common-sense concept that requires proof of actual harm resulting from a breach of the standard of care. “Damages” is a legal term that identifies the types of injuries recoverable in a lawsuit.
You and your malpractice lawyer must present evidence of every type of injury you believe you suffered as a result of a provider’s breach of the standard of care. You must also identify an amount that will compensate you for those injuries. The types of damages available in a medical malpractice claim in Kentucky include the following:
- medical expenses
- pain and suffering
- lost wages
- the loss of the power to earn income
A spouse and minor children may also recover damages for the loss of their relationship with the injured party when the loss occurred as a direct result of the injury in question.
Common Medical Errors in Malpractice Claims
Some of the common errors that result in medical malpractice claims include the following:
- Leaving surgical instruments in a body cavity
- Giving a patient the wrong medication
- Giving the wrong dose of medication
- Failing to order appropriate tests
- Failing to take a patient’s medical history
- Failing to provide follow-up care
- Failing to treat a patient
- Misdiagnosing a patient
- Making a mistake during surgery
- Discharging a patient prematurely
- Misinterpreting medical test results
- Operating on the wrong part of the body
- Providing unnecessary surgery to a patient
If you have been injured by any of these common mistakes or have reason to believe any other mistake was made during medical treatment you received in Kentucky, reach out to our office so we can further discuss the individual details of your potential medical malpractice claim.
Certificates of Merit and Kentucky Malpractice Claims
As of June 28, 2019, a Kentucky plaintiff filing a medical malpractice action against a healthcare provider must submit a certificate of merit that affirms that an expert has reviewed the relevant issues and has concluded on the basis of review and consultation that there is a reasonable basis to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Only a single certificate of merit is required, even if there are multiple defendants.
Kentucky Medical Malpractice FAQ
If you are considering a medical malpractice claim, you likely have many unanswered questions about what to expect. We answer some of the most frequently asked questions below so you can better prepare yourself for a medical malpractice lawsuit in Kentucky. If you have additional questions, please reach out to our office directly to set up a free consultation where we can discuss the individual details of your case.
How long do I have to file a medical malpractice claim in Kentucky?
“Statute of limitations” is a legal term that means the absolute deadline by which a claim must be filed. If a claim is not filed before this deadline, the court will dismiss it, because the claim is effectively expired. The Kentucky statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit is one year from the date that a medical error occurred or one year from the date a person should have reasonably expected their injury was caused by negligent care.
If you have any suspicion medical malpractice has occurred, the quicker you contact a skilled medical malpractice attorney, the better.
What damages can I recover in my malpractice claim?
The damages that you may seek recovery of in a medical malpractice lawsuit are quite similar to those of any other type of personal injury claim. Recoverable damages include things like your medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of income, damage to your earning potential, diminished quality of life, and loss of companionship and love.
What is informed consent?
“Informed consent” is a legal term that refers to the discussion you and your treating medical professional should have prior to your going through medical treatment like surgery, taking new medication, or undergoing procedures.
By law, your physician is required to describe the risks of the treatment, any possible adverse reactions or side effects you might experience, and the benefits of moving forward with the suggested treatment. After discussing these details with your healthcare provider, the provider will ask you to sign a form indicating your informed consent to move forward with the treatment.
By signing, you indicate that the caregiver has provided you with all relevant information involving your treatment, including risks, benefits, and side effects, and that you have consented to the treatment with this knowledge. In some cases, when an adequate informed consent exchange does not take place, you may have a claim of informed consent separate and apart from a medical negligence claim.
Meet with a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Kentucky
If you have reason to believe that you or a loved one are a victim of medical malpractice and you are interested in learning more about how a qualified Kentucky medical malpractice lawyer at Wilt & Klausing, PLLC, could help you, schedule a free consultation with our firm as soon as possible.
We review all types of medical malpractice claims across the state of Kentucky at no cost to those who contact us. You can take advantage of this opportunity by filling out the quick contact form we have provided at the bottom and on the side menu of this page, by using our live chat feature, or by giving our office a call at 502-253-9110.