Lexington, KY Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Doctors, nurses, technicians, surgeons, dentists, pharmacists, and other medical professionals and their teams have a legal obligation to treat patients with a certain standard of care to help them to the best of their abilities and ensure mistakes do not happen. If you or a loved one has suffered because of an error made in any type of medical setting, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the professional or institution.
In the state of Kentucky, you can do so with the help of a Lexington, KY medical malpractice lawyer. Filing a claim may allow your family to recover from a painful incident that shouldn’t have happened. Whether you were prescribed the wrong medication and suffered as a result, neglected in a hospital or emergency room, or suffered after a surgical mistake was performed on you, you should know that legal help is available.
Filing a medical error lawsuit may let your family receive financial compensation that can go towards recovery costs, loss of wage costs, pain and suffering costs, and more. In addition, it helps sends a message our state’s hospitals and doctor’s clinics cannot ignore. Patient safety must be made a priority. Mistakes by medical professionals should not be tolerated.
Why Does Medical Malpractice Happen?
It’s a simple fact that most hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other medical clinics are woefully understaffed in the state of Kentucky and throughout the United States. Understaffing comes with consequences, unfortunately, and so do other poor hospital/hiring procedures and policies such as inadequate employee training and supervision.
When hospital employees are overworked due to understaffing, it becomes easier for mistakes to happen. Understaffed medical facilities also tend to cut corners in other ways such as staff supervision, training, and one-on-one patient care. When a conversation between a patient and doctor only lasts 2-5 minutes, it becomes easier for a doctor to omit vital details or fail to ask questions regarding medication history, allergic reactions, etc. This makes it possible for information to slip through the cracks.
If a medical error happens due to poor training procedures, for example, or a nurse who fails to check if a patient is allergic to a medication, these errors are the type that are 100% preventable. If a surgeon amputates the wrong foot due to a nurse or technician failing to mark the right limb, this is a mistake that is easily avoidable. Cases like this are prime examples of medical malpractice and are a direct result of medical negligence.
Negligence is a term we use to describe careless, reckless, or otherwise wrongful actions that do not follow the expected standards of care. In a medical setting, all medical professionals and team members are expected to pay proper attention to their patients and make sure they’re doing everything to help them make a recovery. To do otherwise is negligent—and unprofessional.
If a hospital staff member becomes distracted, for example, and makes a mistake or performs actions which lead to a mistake, we say this is an example of negligence. If a pharmacist gives a patient the wrong dosage of medication despite the prescription stating the correct amount, this is also negligence. Errors that result from negligence are preventable.
According to a study performed by the Institute of Medicine, more than 95,000 people die every year from medical errors that are preventable. During the study, one in three Americans said that they or a family member has experienced a medical error. Some errors may be minor or caught at the last second, but others can cause grave injuries and irreversible health conditions. These are the errors which we should absolutely fight against. They should not occur. The U.S. legal system lets us fight back.
Examples of Medical Malpractice
The scope of potential medical malpractice claims is rather wide. Essentially, any type of error or mistake which results in injury, harm, or lasting suffering may count as malpractice. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice cases we see include the following situations:
- Surgical errors
- Failure to treat/diagnose
- Medication errors
- Emergency room delays
- Birth injuries
- Defective medical devices
- Incorrect treatment/diagnoses
- Failure to conduct the proper medical tests
- Anesthesia errors
- Premature hospital releases
What Must be Proven in a Kentucky Medical Negligence Claim?
Medical malpractice claims differ from state to state. In the state of Kentucky, the following points will need to be proven before a claim will be accepted by the court:
- A patient-doctor relationship or similar duty of care was established. When you go to the hospital, you must first see a doctor before a concept called “duty of care” can apply to your case. This is when a doctor meets with you, tells you their plan of care, and establishes what should happen next. If this step never happens, a medical malpractice claim may not be possible.
- That duty of care was breached. This is where you prove the malpractice occurred. If, for example, you’re admitted into the hospital and unknowingly given a prescription that triggers a serious allergic reaction you had warned your doctor about, your attorney will need to prove that the doctor failed to make note of the reaction or that a nurse failed to see your record.
- The breach of duty caused direct injury. This is often the most difficult part to prove in a medical negligence case. Your malpractice lawyer will need to prove that the complication or injury you’re experiencing is directly tied to the mistake that happened. Your case will require expert testimony to succeed.
- The injury was serious enough to have lasting effects. Injury lawsuits like medical malpractice lawsuits require the victim to have suffered from a serious loss in quality of life. It must be proven that you and your family suffered before you will be rewarded with damages. The damages (compensation) you receive will go towards improving your quality of life.
Todd W. Burris: A Lexington Medical Malpractice Attorney You Can Trust
Medical malpractice claims are incredibly complex and often difficult to fight in court due to their complicated nature and the fact that most hospitals and medical facilities boast powerful legal departments that will try and heavily dispute any claims brought forward. Todd W. Burris, Lexington, KY medical malpractice lawyer, is prepared to handle complex injury claims and can help you and your family get the compensation you need to move forward.
We handle every case on a personal basis and understand that compassion is often just as integral to a personal injury claim as proven legal experience. We’re proud to offer both. To learn more, get in touch today.