When most of us feel ill, we go to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment. We instill a lot of trust in our physicians and expect them to give us the highest level of care. They are human and make medical mistakes, though.
Not all scenarios prospective clients bring forth to a Lexington medical malpractice attorney like the one at Peterson Law Office involve negligence. However, ones in which doctors breach the duty of care they owe their patients do. Our law office team has a long track record of aggressively fighting for personal injury incident victims so that they can recover compensation to pay for their medical expenses and other incident-related costs. We’re eager to do the same for you.
If you’re curious about how a medical malpractice lawyer in Lexington, KY supports you as their client, it starts with building your case. Securing your medical records and medical bills and reviewing them is central to those efforts. This allows us to determine precisely whether any medical negligence occurred, which is key for us to know who to hold liable for your health decline, injuries, or loved one’s wrongful death. Once we sort out liability, you can expect us to try and negotiate a settlement with insurers or, if impossible, take your case to trial here in Fayette County.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
All instances of medical malpractice share one detail in common. They all involve a breach of a duty of care. All Kentucky doctors and medical professionals are subject to that duty of care standard. It centers around these health care professionals needing to exercise caution, use their skills and training, and otherwise exhibit professionalism when treating patients.
Our legal team is often presented with cases in which patients suffered adverse outcomes stemming from their care or treatment, such as a worsening of a patient’s illness or their contracting of a new one or an injury. You can count on our firm’s experienced legal team to assess whether that healthcare professional breached their duty of care when treating you.
To do this, your attorney at Peterson Law Office will identify what a similarly trained health care professional in this part of Kentucky would have done in a like situation or under parallel circumstances and whether the care you received deviated from those norms. If it did, Lexington attorneys might conclude that you have a valid medical malpractice claim worth pursuing.
Medical Malpractice Matters Our Lexington Lawyer Handles
There are various examples of negligence that fall into the category of medical malpractice. Cases our Lexington, KY law firm handles include:
Misdiagnoses or Delayed Diagnoses
Patients often enter a hospital emergency room in Lexington complaining of a myriad of symptoms after having been involved in car accidents and other incidents. There’s an expectation that doctors will ask the right questions to find out what led up to the onset of a patient’s condition, how long it has been going on, and the symptoms they’ve been experiencing.
Our legal team often sees where doctors’ failures to ask the right questions result in them misdiagnosing a patient. A misdiagnosis, and more specifically emergency room errors, can result in a patient receiving a delayed diagnosis of the condition that they’re actually suffering from.
The problem that stems from either of these scenarios is that patients suffering from a more serious condition than what they’re diagnosed with may suffer irreversible harm or die. This often happens because they receive the wrong diagnosis or there’s a delay in receiving the right treatment for what ails them.
Defective Medical Devices
From breast implants to hip replacement devices and pacemakers, these are just some examples of medical devices that patients have inserted into their bodies during a surgical or another medical procedure. While the expectation is that manufacturers carefully manufacture and test these devices to ensure they’re safe for implantation, that doesn’t always happen.
Situations also arise in which these manufacturers may only become aware of potential dangers associated with a device once there’s a larger body of patients who receive it later on down the line. Peterson Law Office can hold manufacturers liable for their oversight when situations like this affect Kentucky patients like you.
All surgeries, like most medical treatment options, come with certain risks. However, surgeons have a responsibility to take certain precautions, such as:
- Labeling the correct body part they plan to operate on so they don’t perform a wrong-site surgery
- Taking care to monitor a patient’s vital signs during the operation so they don’t cause brain injuries or some other irreversible damage
- Removing medical tools before stitching up a patient
When these don’t happen, unexpected, adverse outcomes can occur.
The Lexington medical malpractice attorney at our firm can help you file an insurance claim or lawsuit when medical professionals fail to uphold these duties.
Pharmaceutical companies manufacture medications or drugs that doctors prescribe. Pharmacists dispense prescribed medications, and nurses administer them to patients in hospitals and doctors’ offices. Many hands are in the proverbial “pot” before a medication enters a patient’s body.
A Kentucky doctor who fails to check for drug interactions or a nurse who administers the wrong or too much or little of a drug are just two situations that can adversely impact a patient. Each of these scenarios may warrant you speaking with a Lexington medical malpractice attorney at Peterson Law Office to learn more about your right to fair compensation.
Obstetricians have an obligation to closely monitor their pregnant patients for signs of health problems that may complicate childbirth. Likewise, nurses and doctors must closely monitor both mom and baby during the labor and delivery process for any signs of distress. It’s their responsibility to take the initiative to perform a Caesarean section (C-section) or render any other necessary treatment or care if it’s in the best interest of the mom or baby to do so.
Birth injuries that most commonly affect babies include:
- Erb’s palsy
- Shoulder dystocia
- Cerebral palsy
While some of these injuries may heal in time or with surgery, others impact the child long-term. Childbirth injuries don’t just affect babies but moms as well. Filing a claim or lawsuit with the help of a Lexington medical malpractice lawyer may be necessary to recover funds to pay for any losses you’ve suffered or damages amassed.
Anesthesiologists are the physicians who administer epidurals to expectant moms during the labor process. They’re also the doctors who administer general anesthesia as you’re preparing to undergo surgery at a surgical center or hospital.
Patient information like age and weight and the nature of the procedure they’re undergoing affect the type and amount of anesthesia they receive. If the anesthesiologist gives too little of a sedative or the wrong medication altogether, a patient might wake up and feel the medical procedure. If they administer an improper medication or too much of the right thing, they may have difficulty waking a patient up, which could even result in them passing away.
Scenarios like these can be traumatizing, potentially life-altering, and result in a person’s preventable death. In speaking with Lexington medical malpractice attorneys, you may find that you have a valid claim for compensation for what you went through.
Informed Consent Concerns
Kentucky doctors have an obligation to consent or inform a patient before performing any medical procedures or surgery on them. They must:
- Tell you what your diagnosis is
- Provide you with details about the recommended treatment option and the pros and cons associated with it
- Let you know about alternative treatments you can pursue
- Discuss the implications of not seeking any further treatment at all
Your physician must ensure that you understand the information they’re conveying and allow you to ask questions about your options. Patients who suffer unanticipated outcomes due to doctors failing to secure their informed consent or by their Lexington, KY physician not carrying out this process correctly can hold them liable for any adverse outcome resulting from their actions.
Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
One additional instance in which the filing of medical malpractice lawsuits may be warranted is in the case of nursing home abuse. Medical malpractice lawyers like the one in our law office often let prospective clients know of their right to recover compensation on behalf of their elderly loved one when their ill-treatment resulted in them suffering harm.
Who You Can Hold Liable for Medical Malpractice
As you might have surmised, Kentucky allows you to hold more than just doctors liable for medical malpractice. You may file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit against a number of healthcare professionals, including:
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Nursing home caregivers
The list above is far from exhaustive, and the situations in which you might want to hold one of these health care providers liable for a medical error resulting in catastrophic injuries are endless. For example, a scenario may arise in which you end up needing to sue multiple doctors. Hospital negligence may center around the facility not hiring adequately trained talent for the role.
How Personal Injury Lawyers Prove Medical Malpractice Occurred in Kentucky
Every bad outcome doesn’t rise to the level of medical negligence. This is often why medical malpractice attorneys offer to provide you with a free case evaluation before agreeing to provide you with legal representation. Legal counsel wants to ensure they can prove that a medical professional who caused you serious injury, in fact, should be named in negligence claims.
You can expect Lexington medical malpractice lawyers like ours at the law firm of Peterson Law Office to explain the legal process during that initial free consultation before you establish an attorney client relationship.
The responsibility for proving a healthcare provider engaged in negligence resulting in medical errors belongs to a patient. Peterson Law Office can help you sort out whether you have a valid claim under Kentucky law.
Elements of a valid medical negligence claim in Lexington, KY include being able to show that:
- A doctor patient relationship existed, and the medical professional owed you a duty of care and that they violated it
- The medical provider inflicted some kind of harm by violating their duty to you
- They caused you to suffer losses because of their actions
Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 411.16 requires any plaintiff wishing to file a civil lawsuit against a health care or assisted living facility to first consult with a medical expert who can confirm negligence occurred beforehand. Medical experts must issue a Certificate of Merit confirming their review of your medical records.
Sometimes it’s necessary to bring in medical experts to confirm a breach of care occurred. Provided you meet these elements, our law office can help you file a medical malpractice claim demanding fair compensation for your economic and noneconomic damages such as:
- Current and future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Damages for pain and suffering
A cap does not apply to medical expenses, lost wages, or noneconomic damages you can recover in Kentucky if you have a successful medical malpractice case alone or with the assistance of personal injury lawyers like the one from our Lexington law office.
What To Know About Statutes of Limitations That Apply to Kentucky Medical Malpractice Cases
Like most civil matters, Kentucky has a statute of limitations that applies to medical malpractice cases filed in Lexington, which is documented in KRS 413.140. The filing deadline for medical malpractice claims in Kentucky is one year. However, there are some exceptions to this rule that apply to minors and those who become aware of a medical professional error at a later point in time.
Malpractice lawyers in Lexington at our law office often let their clients know what the filing deadline is in their case during the initial consultation. If you neglect to file by established deadlines, your right to do so is likely forever lost.
When To Consult With Lexington Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Individuals who’ve suffered one of the adverse outcomes above often have their health or lives significantly impacted by what they went through. Some aren’t able to return to life as they once knew it. They want to work with an attorney who understands the implications of that. Here at Peterson Law Office, we’re different from other firms. We pride ourselves on being high-touch, empathetic, and relentless in fighting to get the best results for our clients.
The primary way our Kentucky legal system allows you to hold a negligent healthcare professional responsible for their inferior medical treatment is by filing a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit against them. And, should insurance disputes arise over liability regarding medical negligence, you can count on your attorney from our law firm to bring in medical experts to further strengthen your case.
It’s important that you know that our legal aid knows no limits when it comes to medical errors. Peterson Law Office is more than willing to take medical malpractice lawsuits to court if that is what is necessary to ensure you receive maximum compensation.
A medical malpractice attorney at our firm is eager to review your Lexington case and advise you of your rights in it. There are many malpractice lawyers in Lexington; however, they’re not equally yoked. Contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation with one of very few Lexington attorneys who will aggressively fight for your medical malpractice claims.