Florence, KY Medical Malpractice Attorney
As a patient in Kentucky, you have every right to trust your doctor and medical team. You have no reason to doubt their abilities and expertise…until, that is, you suffer a serious injury or illness from a practitioner’s preventable mistake. If you believe medical malpractice is at the heart of your injury or a loved one’s unexpected death, please contact us at the Law Offices of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery for a free discussion about your legal rights. The doctor or facility may owe financial compensation for your damages.
What Sets Us Apart?
- Our medical malpractice lawyers are in it for the clients, not for glory. We focus on people, not profits, in everything we do on behalf of our clients.
- Our past case results showcase more than $1 billion won for clients collectively, including one $50 million award collected for victims of a defective medical device.
- Our clients do not have to pay a dime for our services unless we win their medical malpractice claims in Florence, KY.
What Does a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Do?
A medical malpractice lawyer in Florence could help you demand justice for the preventable negligence of someone in health care. A lawyer will know all the steps it takes to pursue compensation for malpractice in Kentucky, including:
- Identifying the at-fault party
- Collecting evidence
- Filing a claim before the state’s deadline.
- Hiring a medical expert to testify
- Interviewing witnesses
- Negotiating with an insurance company
- Representing you in court, if necessary
Your attorney can handle difficult legal matters for you while you focus on healing from your malpractice-related injuries. A personal injury lawyer will help you demand the case outcome that you deserve for a serious illness or injury caused by medical malpractice.
What Is a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Medical malpractice is a serious breach of professional duty that can cause life-threatening patient injuries. It describes the failure of a party in the health care industry, such as a physician or hospital, to meet the required standards of patient care. It can refer to both medical negligence, the careless breach of duty by a health care provider, or a willful and wanton disregard for a patient’s safety. A medical malpractice claim is a type of civil lawsuit against the perpetrator of malpractice for causing or contributing to a patient’s injuries. It seeks financial compensation from the at-fault party for the injured patient’s tangible and intangible losses.
What Compensation Can I Recover from a Medical Malpractice Claim in Florence?
Filing a medical malpractice claim in Kentucky gives you the opportunity to seek fair financial compensation for the myriad losses you suffered due to a doctor’s negligence or mistake. You have the right to demand a monetary award for the full value of your past and future damages as a victim. If your claim succeeds, the doctor or health care provider will be required to pay a settlement or judgment award for an amount deemed appropriate based on the severity of your injuries, the circumstances of the event and other factors.
In general, three categories of financial compensation are available to medical malpractice victims in Florence:
- Economic damages: also known as special damages or tangible losses, these refer to the monetary losses the victim suffered because of the malpractice. They may include medical expenses, disability costs, travel or transportation, attorney’s fees, lost wages, lost capacity to earn, and any out-of-pocket expenses.
- Noneconomic damages: also known as general damages or intangible losses, these are the losses that do not have a monetary value but still affect the victim. They can include physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, diminished quality of life, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, and grief.
- Punitive damages: rather than compensating a victim for medical malpractice, these damages punish a defendant for acting with malice, fraud or oppression. This is an additional amount that is only awarded in rare medical malpractice cases when the victim can prove that the defendant committed one of these acts.
The best way to understand the potential value of your medical malpractice claim is by consulting with an attorney. Our lawyers will carefully review your case and analyze your losses to give you an accurate estimate of its value. Then, we will work relentlessly to negotiate for just financial compensation. Unlike an insurance company, we will be motivated to secure the best possible results on your behalf. With our fee arrangement, we don’t get paid unless you do.
What Are Common Examples of Medical Malpractice?
When a doctor or health care center is negligent or willfully guilty of misconduct, the outcome can be severe. Any form of medical malpractice could be detrimental to the health and safety of a vulnerable patient. Our Florence medical malpractice attorneys are capable of litigating any type of claim against a physician, nurse, surgeon or health care defendant in Kentucky. We understand how to navigate the different types of medical malpractice lawsuits.
- Failure to communicate
- Lack of informed patient consent
- Surgical mistakes
- Anesthesia or intubation errors
- Misinterpreted test results
- Failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis
- Birth injuries
- Medication/prescription mistakes
- Patient neglect or poor follow-up care
- Premature discharge
Medical malpractice can cause major patient injuries, including infections, organ damage, nerve damage, internal bleeding, brain damage, spinal cord injuries and declines in health. The lawyers at Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery can help patients with all types of injuries from any kind of malpractice, including defective medical devices. We also help families with medical malpractice wrongful death claim in Florence.
What Is Needed to Prove Medical Malpractice?
In a medical malpractice claim, as is the case in all personal injury claims, the burden of proof rests with the filing party or plaintiff. This means if you file a lawsuit, it is up to you or your attorney to prove the claim being made. The legal burden of proof is a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means proving your claim is more likely to be true than not true. Your lawyer must establish each element of your case as true with at least a 51 percent certainty.
The elements of a medical malpractice claim are:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed. Your relationship with the defendant must have been professional. The defendant must have been treating you in an official capacity as your doctor or health care provider.
- The doctor or defendant breached the standard of care. All medical practitioners must abide by strict standards of care when treating their patients. Any act or omission that a prudent health care provider would not have made in similar circumstances could be a breach of this duty.
- The breach is what caused you harm. You must be able to establish causation, or proof that the defendant’s act or omission caused your injury, illness or infection. If you would have had the same health outcome regardless of malpractice, you may not have grounds for a claim.
- You suffered real and compensable damages as a result. Finally, you must have proof of losses, such as a physical injury, emotional distress, lost wages or medical expenses.
Proving a medical malpractice claim can be difficult. These cases require strong evidence, often in the form of medical expert testimony. This is when a person with years of experience in the same or a similar medical field as the defendant testifies as to the appropriate actions and standards of care for the situation. Other types of evidence include medical records, doctors’ notes, lab reports and treatment plans.
How Long Will a Medical Malpractice Case Take to Settle?
Medical malpractice cases are notoriously complex. They often take longer than standard personal injury claims to be resolved due to the complicated nature of the subject matter. Each case is unique. A medical malpractice claim that reaches a settlement, meaning an out-of-court agreement between the plaintiff and defendant, can take around six months to a year or longer. If a medical malpractice case turns into a lawsuit that has to go to court, expect the legal process to take longer – approximately two to three years, on average.
While this may seem like a long time to be dealing with a claim, your lawyer can help you pay for medical expenses and get the care that you need in the meantime. Your lawyer can file a Letter of Protection, for example, to assure your medical providers that you will pay for the care you have received out of a settlement or jury verdict once your malpractice claim is resolved. An attorney will guide you through each step of the legal process so that you are never left in the dark about the status of your case.
It is important not to rush a medical malpractice settlement. While you may be eager to resolve your claim and receive a check, rushing the settlement process can lead to a financial outcome that is less than you deserve. Once you accept an insurance settlement, you cannot reopen your case or renegotiate for a different amount – even if you discover your injuries are more serious than you initially thought. Taking your time and negotiating with an insurance company with assistance from an attorney is the best way to protect your future.
What Kentucky Medical Malpractice Laws Do You Need to Know?
Before you file a claim, it can be helpful to have at least a basic understanding of Kentucky’s medical malpractice laws and statutes. Each state has different rules for filing. Making a mistake could hurt your ability to recover compensation. Working with an attorney from the Law Offices of Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery from the very beginning of your case can help you correctly navigate Kentucky’s malpractice laws.
Statute of Limitations
A statute of limitations is a legal limit on the amount of time a claimant has to bring a civil cause of action to the court’s attention. According to Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 413.140(1)(e), medical malpractice claimants have just one year from the date of the act of malpractice to file a claim, in most cases. This is one of the shortest statutes of limitations in the country. The clock will start ticking on the date that the cause of action accrued, meaning the date that the defendant committed the wrongful act.
If you did not discover your injury immediately, however, you will have one year from the date of discovery or from the date that you should have discovered your injury if exercising reasonable care. There is also a five-year statute of repose, meaning no more than five years can pass from the date of the act of malpractice, regardless of the discovery date. It is important to contact an attorney right away about a potential claim, as missing your statute of limitations typically means being barred from compensation.
Certificate of Merit
All medical malpractice claimants in Kentucky must file a certificate of merit along with their initial claims paperwork or complaint. Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 411.167(2) defines the certificate of merit as an affidavit or declaration that the claimant has reviewed the facts of the case and consulted with at least one expert who is qualified to give testimony on the relevant issues of the case and believes there is a reasonable basis to commence the action.
In lieu of the certificate of merit, a plaintiff can show that he or she was unable to obtain the required consultation with a qualified expert due to the approaching statute of limitations. At least three separate unsuccessful good-faith attempts to consult with three different medical experts can also waive the certificate of merit requirement, as long as none of the three experts contacted concluded that there was no reasonable basis to commence the action.
Contact a Florence Medical Malpractice Lawyer 24/7
Bringing a medical malpractice claim in Kentucky could reward you with financial compensation from the at-fault party. A successful claim could compensate you for many related losses. Most importantly, it can bring a wrongdoer to justice and shed light on negligent or dangerous health care practitioners in your community. Holding someone accountable for your injury or a loved one’s death could give you a sense of justice, closure and peace. Discuss your unique case with our medical malpractice lawyers in Florence, KY today. Call us 24/7 at (888) 606-5297 or describe your situation to us online for a prompt callback.