Kentucky, like other states, has legal requirements for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Meeting these procedures is essential for a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit when doctors or health care facilities provided substandard care. Otherwise, there may not be financial reckoning for medical harm.
Plaintiffs must comply with the time deadline, the Kentucky statute of limitations, for filing a lawsuit. It is one year from discovery of medical harm or five years from the date of injury.
State law also requires expert testimony to prove that the health care practitioner did not meet appropriate standards of medical care for the patient. A relative, the deceased patient's relative or a personal representative may file a wrongful death lawsuit. The deceased patient's spouse, child, parent sibling or someone acting under a power of attorney may serve as the personal representative.
Plaintiffs filing the lawsuit bear the burden of proof at a trial. They must prove that the practitioner had a duty of care to the patient, negligently breached that duty, the patient suffered an injury and that the practitioner negligence was the uninterrupted cause of that injury.
Kentucky had 18.526 licensed physician among a population of 4.4 million residents in 2016. This equaled 418 physicians for every 100,000 people. Family medicine or general practice, internal medicine and pediatrics were the three most common medical specialties practiced in the state in 2014.
There was a total payout of $42.8 million in medical malpractice lawsuits in Kentucky in 2015 which was a 20.63 percent drop from 2014. The state ranked 26th in the nation in these lawsuits in 2015.
Practitioners do not have to hold medical malpractice in the state. There are no malpractice damage caps which means that plaintiffs can seek larger compensation awards than litigants in other states.
Victims of medical malpractice or their families may be entitled to compensation and damages when practitioners or health care facilities do not meet the reasonable standard of care and patients suffer harm. An attorney can help obtain evidence of negligence and expert testimony and assure that a lawsuit meets legal procedures.