Medical Malpractice Lawyer Serving Paintsville & Ashland
A seven year study by the Public Citizen’s Congress Watch garnered some interesting findings about medical malpractice in Kentucky. While it found that the overall payout amounts of medical malpractice suits has declined over the years, it also found that the bigger problem is that many doctors do not have suits brought against them. The study found that 5% of doctors in Kentucky are responsible for 49.9% of total malpractice payouts. Furthermore, only 9.9% of doctors who made repeated malpractice payouts were disciplined by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure.
That means the doctors were allowed to continue practicing, even though they had had several claims of malpractice against them. This alarming statistic proves that medical malpractice suits must be taken more seriously. A doctor takes an oath to “do no harm.” When that oath is violated, there needs to be consequences.
Kentucky Laws Governing Medical Malpractice
Speak with an attorney if you believe you are the victim of medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is a serious issue in Kentucky. There are several laws which medical malpractice suits follow. Like all personal injury cases, there is a statute of limitations on medical malpractice. If the malpractice resulted in injury or death, the statute of limitations is one year from when the injury was discovered. The term discovered is used because some injuries may not manifest immediately.
Once you do discover the injury, or when you should have discovered it, the clock starts to tick. Kentucky also does not require that you notify the other party of your intent to sue. You do not need to file additional paperwork or have an affidavit signed by a witness, as is the case in many other states.
No Caps on Non-Economic Damages
Some states have a cap on damages in a medical malpractice suit. Kentucky does not. That means there is no limit to how much compensation you can receive for non-economic damages. Damages are divided into two categories: economic and non-economic. They are defined as follows:
- Economic damages are those which are finite and can be easily measured. For example, medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage can all be measured by looking at bills, income, etc.
- Non-economic damages are less tangible and must be estimated instead. Pain and suffering, both mental and physical, is an example of a non-economic damage. If you have suffered emotional and physical scarring, anxiety, loss of enjoyment, or any other type of damage, you can claim pain and suffering.
Medical Malpractice and Negligence in Kentucky
A medical malpractice suit will hinge on the concept of negligence. If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, you will need to prove the doctor or medical staff was in some way responsible. Under Kentucky’s comparative negligence clause, you can still receive compensation, even if you are somewhat responsible for the injury. However, proving negligence is the tricky part.
Your doctor will have an experienced defense attorney through his liability insurance. The defense attorney will try hard to increase your responsibility in the accident while decreasing his client’s liability. Speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to begin building your malpractice case. He or she will collect medical records, witness accounts, background information, and other evidence to build and strengthen your case.
Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Contact the Salyer Law Office in Paintsville, Kentucky, to speak with a skilled personal injury attorney. We have a long history of working with clients on medical malpractice suits of all sizes, and we have the resources to go after large healthcare facilities and doctors.