Every day, patients suffering from illness or injury count on medical professionals to help them recover. Unfortunately, some doctors, nurses, and hospital workers do not provide their patients with adequate care. As a result of this medical negligence, patients may fail to recover or suffer new illnesses or injuries.
Patients who suffer injuries or whose condition worsens due to a medical provider’s negligence have rights under Kentucky law. If a doctor or other healthcare professional caused you harm, you can file a medical malpractice claim to recover compensation for your medical bills and other damages. Scott Powell fights for those harmed by medical mistakes. Call 502-242-7000.
What constitutes medical malpractice?
All medical professionals are required to meet or exceed a standard of care when treating patients. Medical malpractice is the failure to meet the minimum requirements of the standard of care. Medical malpractice can take many forms, including:
- Errors in diagnosis – Misdiagnosis occurs when a physician diagnoses a patient with the wrong condition. A failure to diagnose occurs when a physician fails to identify the patient’s illness. A delayed diagnosis occurs when a patient’s condition worsens due to a failure to diagnose in a timely fashion. Learn more about the failure to diagnose a heart attack.
- Improper treatment – This occurs when a doctor administers a treatment inconsistent with the standard of medical care and the patient’s condition worsens or the patient suffers new injuries as a result. Learn more about nursing errors.
- Performing medical procedure without informed consent – Failure to provide the patient with adequate information so he or she can make an informed decision regarding their treatment, or failure to seek consent altogether, could constitute malpractice.
- Surgical errors – Making mistakes during surgery (e.g., puncturing an organ) or leaving a surgical instrument inside the patient’s body may be forms of medical negligence.
- Prescription errors – Medication errors occur when a medical professional administers the wrong dosage or wrong medication altogether and the patient’s condition is negatively affected. Some cases involve prescription of medication that adversely reacts with other medication the patient is taking.
- Pregnancy and childbirth errors – Mistakes during pregnancy, labor, or delivery can result in birth defects, hemorrhaging, and a number of other medical problems affecting both the mother and child.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice
According to Ky. Rev. Stat. Sec. 413.140(1)(e), patients in Kentucky have one year from the date of injury to file their medical malpractice suit. A successful medical malpractice case hinges on proving liability. To do so, the patient must prove the following elements:
Duty: Medical professionals have a duty to provide adequate care to the patients they treat. To prove that the defendant owed you this duty, you will have to establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed between you and your doctor.
Breach of Duty: Proving the defendant breached the duty that they owed to you is more challenging. To prove a breach of duty, or negligence, your attorney can help prove your doctor did not adhere to the appropriate medical standard of care. We may consult expert witnesses and ask them to testify. The expert will likely discuss the medical standard of care and why the defendant’s behavior was negligent. Published medical guidelines may also help establish the applicable standard of care.
Causation: Third, you must prove your injuries were the result of the defendant’s negligence. The defendant may try to argue that your injuries were the result of an underlying medical condition rather than the doctor’s negligence. We can help build a case in your favor by presenting expert witnesses to show that your condition worsened or developed because of the defendant’s poor care.
Damages: Once you prove causation, your last step will be proving you suffered actual harm as a result. We can help you gather medical records, evidence of lost wages, and other evidence to establish the value of your damages.
Recovering Compensation for Medical Malpractice
If you can establish all four elements by a “preponderance of the evidence,” you may recover compensation for damages. The damages you receive may be economic and non-economic in nature.
- Economic damages cover past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of future earning capacity, as well as other financial losses or expenses. We help you calculate these damages based on medical bills, pay stubs, and other financial documentation. We may consult experts and establish your prognosis to prove the value of any future damages.
- Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and other damages that do not have a specific price tag. These damages can be difficult to calculate, and insurers often try to contest their value. We work with experts and build your case to establish the emotional and psychological effects of your injuries.
If a negligent medical professional caused you harm, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Attorney Scott Powell can help you file a claim against those responsible for your injuries. Call the Powell Law Firm at 502-242-7000 for help filing your medical malpractice claim.