Likely, most Kentucky residents who have visited a medical professional can understand the experience of trusting another person to correctly diagnose and treat their health concern. In many cases, patients are essentially putting their lives in the hands of a stranger and assuming that person has the appropriate medical training and professional experience to proceed correctly. However, physicians and other medical professionals sometimes make mistakes that can cost patients their lives or leave them with long-lasting or even permanent disabilities that significantly impact their quality of life. In fact, a recent study indicates that medical errors cause more than 250,000 deaths in the United States per year.
A lawyer will typically consider a few factors in. reviewing a particular case. First, it’s important to establish that a doctor-patient relationship existed. Asking a friend to ask a medical friend for advice probably does not count as this type of relationship. Secondly, it will be necessary to prove the doctor was negligent during the diagnosis and treatment of the medical issue, and conducted him or herself in a way that violates the standard of care to which health care professionals are held.
It will also be important to prove that the doctor’s negligence, rather than a preexisting condition, caused the injury. Finally, even if the evidence indicates the doctor had performed below the expected professional standard, it will be crucial to document that specific damages came from the injury. Such damages may include physical pain, mental anguish, additional medical bills and/or lost earning capacity.
Ideally, anyone requiring medical care is entitled to receive an appropriate level of care from their doctors and other medical professionals. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and medical errors happen more often than many believe. In Kentucky, as in all other states, anyone who feels he or she has been a victim of medical malpractice may be entitled to pursue the matter through the civil justice system. Attorneys experienced in this area of the law are available to discuss options.