Kentucky Medical Malpractice: Laws, Claims and Damages
UPDATED: March 7, 2012
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KENTUCKY MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
In Kentucky, medical malpractice, or “med mal,” occurs when a health care professional is medically negligent and injures a patient. Medical negligence results from acts or omissions that fall below the industry standard of care for medical professionals. Care below the industry standard is defined as treating a patient in a way that a reasonable professional in the same industry would not. Such substandard treatment is actionable in Kentucky when it results in injury to a patient. A Kentucky health care provider may have acted with medical negligence if they:
- Fail to diagnose or misdiagnose;
- Fail to treat or unacceptably treat;
- Prescribe the wrong medication;
- Cause birth injuries during treatment.
If you believe that you have been injured as a result of a Kentucky health care professional’s medical negligence, consider contacting a Kentucky medical malpractice attorney today for an evaluation of your claim.
Who Can Be Sued in a Kentucky Medical Malpractice Case?
Any health care provider that is licensed or certified to perform treatment or to provide medical services may be held liable for medical malpractice in Kentucky. This includes both individuals and entities, such as nurses, surgeons, doctors, psychologists, dentists, clinics, medical groups, social workers, and hospitals.
Kentucky Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
An injured patient must file a claim against a Kentucky health care professional within one year of the date of the negligent act that resulted in injury. If the injury was not discovered until a later date, the injured patient must file their claim within one year from the date the injury was, or reasonably should have been, discovered. Filing within this time period is a must to ensure your claim will not be barred, which will lead to partial or complete loss of recoverable damages for your claim. If a health care provider has injured a minor, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until the date of the minor’s eighteenth birthday. Meeting the statute of limitations is extremely important to the viability of your Kentucky medical malpractice claim.
Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims in Kentucky
In an action for medical malpractice, Kentucky law allows recovery for economic damages, noneconomic damages, and punitive damages, and does not place limits on the amount recoverable for each. Economic damages are just what they sound like: damages that account for all financial losses incurred by the injury. Noneconomic damages account for the losses that are hard to put a value on – such as disfigurement, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship. If the defendant has acted with malice when they injured the plaintiff, the plaintiff may also recover punitive damages, which are available primarily to punish the malicious defendant.
Filing a Kentucky Medical Malpractice Claim
There are a number of procedural details that accompany filing a Kentucky medical malpractice claim. In many instances, there are multiple defendants in a medical malpractice suit. Listing all defendants in the complaint is essential to enable the plaintiff to obtain the maximum recovery from all responsible parties. Filing a Kentucky medical malpractice claim also entails meeting the appropriate deadlines, interviewing expert witnesses, and scheduling and taking depositions. The health care provider is likely to have a team of medical malpractice insurance attorneys that are trained to defend these types of claims. Because negotiating and litigating a medical malpractice claim is so complex, it’s important to hire an experienced Kentucky medical malpractice attorney to assist you in handling these tasks. Any mistake along the way can be detrimental to your case and will substantially lower your chances of recovery.
Kentucky Medical Malpractice Laws
- Insurance Code: Health Care Malpractice Insurance: Definitions: Chp. 304, Subtitle 40, §260.
- Statutory Actions and Limitations: Limitation of Actions: Actions to be brought within one year: Chp. 413, §140.