Louisville, Kentucky Medical Malpractice Law
When you go to the doctor, have surgery, or have medical testing performed, you trust the medical professionals to treat or diagnose your condition appropriately. The failure to do so can cause devastating health consequences such as permanent paralysis or ongoing pain. Although a healthcare mistake can happen in seconds, the effects of it can last a lifetime.
Despite the dire consequences of medical error, malpractice claims are among the most challenging personal injury cases to prove and win. That is because the burden of proof lies with you as the injured patient to show a direct relationship between the actions of the doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional who treated you and your current symptoms or injuries.
The most severe cases of medical negligence or malpractice result in the death of the patient. At John H. Ruby & Associates, we treat these as wrongful death cases instead. Although the criteria to prove negligence can be similar, the amounts and types of damages paid to victims or their families can vary significantly between cases.
Steps Involved in Proving Medical Negligence
If you’re considering hiring a medical malpractice attorney and bringing a lawsuit against a medical professional, you must prove the truthfulness of four different statements as they pertain to your situation. These include:
- A doctor/patient relationship existed, and the healthcare professional owed you a duty of care. In other words, you entered into an implied contract with the provider that he or she would treat your illness or injury appropriately. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you expected the provider to be able to resolve it.
- The healthcare professional who treated you did not deliver a standard of care that you would expect from someone with his or her level of education and experience. That means that a provider with the same or higher credentials would likely have not made the same mistake.
- You can prove more than a casual connection between the standard of care you received and your subsequent injuries. It could be just a coincidence that you developed a life-threatening flu after your doctor treated you. However, you would be able to establish a much firmer connection if he or she operated on the wrong party of your body.
- You have current injuries caused by the medical professional’s actions that you expect to deal with long-term or for the rest of your life. If you became sick or injured due to a practitioner’s error and then recovered, you probably won’t have a strong case for medical malpractice.
It’s up to you as the plaintiff in this type of personal injury case to prove that the actions and behavior of the medical professional fell below a generally accepted standard. To do so, you would need to present a witness such as another medical expert in the same or similar medical specialty. It would difficult to impossible for you to do this on your own.
At John H. Ruby & Associates, we work with sick and injured patients to produce the best witnesses who can help to prove your version of events. While no one can expect perfection from doctors and other medical practitioners, our law firm holds them accountable to meet the medical oath they took to do no harm. A healthcare official obviously violates this oath when you as a patient end up in worse condition after your encounter with him or her than before it.
Most Common Categories of Medical Malpractice
A healthcare professional can commit medical malpractice in a variety of ways. One of the most devastating is when a newborn baby sustains an injury due to preventable birth trauma, oxygen deprivation, or reduced glucose. These situations typically occur due to an error in judgment, such as not performing a caesarean section in a timely manner or applying too much pressure to the baby’s head with forceps. Other common types of medical malpractice include:
Diagnostic mistakes: Failing to diagnose a medical condition promptly by not ordering the right tests, misinterpreting test results, or even disregarding your symptoms altogether can cause a delay in treatment that has a negative effect on your outcome. This is especially serious in cases of stroke, cancer, and heart disease.
Medication errors: A prescribing doctor, pharmacist, or pharmacy technician could all make this serious mistake. For example, your doctor could prescribe the wrong medication to treat your health condition. He or she could also write a prescription for a drug without checking your medical chart to see that you’re allergic to it or that it interacts poorly with a medication you already take. A pharmacist could prepare the wrong medication or dose while a pharmacy technician might give you a prescription meant for someone else. Obviously, any of these actions can have dire consequences.
Surgical errors: Checking into the hospital for surgery is nerve-wracking enough. Unfortunately, you could be the victim of errors such as a surgeon performing the wrong operation, operating on the wrong body part, leaving a surgical instrument inside of you, or causing an infection through improper hygiene.
This is not an all-inclusive list of potential medical errors that could cause serious consequences or a patient death. Even if you don’t see your situation described here, we’re happy to learn more about your case during a free personal consultation.
Speak to a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
The thought of suing a medical professional or a facility can be an intimidating one. You’re just one person up against a person or organization with extensive legal representation available to them. It’s not uncommon for them to try to intimidate you into dropping your case or to settle for a much smaller amount than what you deserve.
Our law firm has represented hundreds of people in your situation. We invite you to contact our office in Louisville, Kentucky locally at 502-895-2626 or toll-free at 888-367-1969 to request your free, no-obligation appointment. The attorney you meet with will review your medical malpractice case and let you know if you stand a good chance of winning a personal injury lawsuit.