Louisville Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Lawyers
Losing a loved one is always difficult, but if someone you love dies due to negligence or misconduct on the part of a healthcare provider or facility, the loss can be especially traumatic. You and other surviving loved ones might feel betrayed, angry, and hopeless. It is normal to have difficulty coping with the loss and struggle with depression, anxiety, and other emotional and psychological issues.
In addition to the emotional toll the loss can take, you and your family might also suffer financially. You might’ve incurred significant expenses related to your loved one’s medical treatment and funeral and lost the income and benefits they once provided. While taking legal action can never bring someone back, you could seek compensation for the losses you suffered due to your loved one’s death, such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost income and benefits, and loss of companionship. Here, we’ll discuss medical malpractice, how it happens, and how one of our Louisville wrongful death attorneys could help you seek justice.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a legal term used to describe professional negligence by a healthcare provider, such as a doctor, nurse, or hospital, in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of care and results in harm or injury to the patient.
For a medical malpractice claim to be successful, you must prove the following:
- A provider-patient relationship existed
- The healthcare provider failed to act in a way that a similarly trained and reasonably prudent professional would have provided under similar circumstances
- The carelessness or failure to meet standards caused harm or injury to the patient
To prove medical malpractice if a patient is killed, the surviving family must show that the healthcare provider or facility failed to provide the appropriate standard of care and that this failure was the cause of the individual’s death. This typically requires expert testimony from a medical professional who can attest to the appropriate standard of care and how the healthcare provider or facility deviated from it.
If the lawsuit is successful, the court may award compensation for the losses they’ve incurred and the impact the loss will have on their lives. In some instances, the court might also order the healthcare provider or facility to make changes to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a serious problem, and efforts are being made to reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries. However, some of the most common causes of fatal injury due to medical negligence include the following:
- Surgical errors – Although surgical mistakes are relatively rare when they happen, they can have severe consequences. Operating on the wrong part of a patient’s body, damaging healthy organs during surgery, leaving instruments inside of a patient’s body, anesthesia errors, and failing to control the patient’s bleeding are all common surgical errors that could prove fatal.
- Labor and delivery errors (mother and infant) – Tragically, improper treatment for a new mother and infant could prove fatal for either or both individuals. Nurses, doctors, and technicians could be held liable if their negligence leads to the death of the mother or baby. Negligence could include improper methods during the delivery process, failure to use standard equipment, failure to notice fetal distress, forcefully yanking the baby out of the birth canal, and/or dropping the baby are typical claims.
- Misdiagnosis and delayed treatment -Sometimes, a doctor fails to diagnose a condition properly. A misdiagnosis could result in the patient’s condition progressing to a more advanced stage, leading to wrongful death. A misdiagnosis case involves a wrong diagnosis, a missed diagnosis, a delayed diagnosis, or a failure to recognize complications that change or aggravate an existing condition.
- Pharmaceutical errors – Medical malpractice can happen outside of a hospital as well. Pharmaceutical errors occur when a pharmacist gives the patient the wrong medicine, wrong dosage instructions, wrong number of pills in the container, and/or fails to identify drug interactions or contradictions.
Is There a Time Limit for Filing a Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
Yes. In Kentucky, you must file a medical malpractice claim for a wrongful death lawsuit within one year from the date of your loved one’s death.
At Sampson Law Firm, we understand that you are going through a difficult grieving process. We also know that it is challenging to handle grief and legal proceedings simultaneously. However, it is crucial to note that you have a limited amount of time to take action, and failure to file your lawsuit within the allocated timeframe will result in the dismissal of your case. That’s why it is vital to contact an experienced attorney to handle your case while you focus on what’s essential – grieving and supporting your loved ones.
What Are the First Steps in Filing a Wrongful Death Suit For Medical Malpractice?
If you believe that your loved one’s death was caused by medical malpractice, you should take the following steps to file your wrongful death action:
- Consult with an attorney – An experienced medical malpractice attorney could review your case and help you understand your rights and legal options
- Gather and preserve evidence – You should obtain and keep any relevant medical records, including the death certificate, as well as any other evidence related to the case
- File a claim – Your attorney will need to file a claim with the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, which is required before filing a lawsuit in Kentucky
- Negotiate a settlement – Most wrongful death claims are settled long before a lawsuit and trial are necessary. Your lawyer will aggressively seek the full and fair amount of compensation you and your family are owed
- File a lawsuit – If the other side refuses to negotiate in good faith or offers a lowball offer, your attorney will likely advise filing a wrongful death lawsuit to seek compensation in court.
Who Can Bring a Claim for Medical Malpractice?
In Kentucky, medical malpractice wrongful death claims can only be brought by the personal representative of your loved one’s estate. This person will be named in your loved one’s will. If there is not a representative named, the court will appoint one.
What Compensation Can I Recover in a Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice?
In general, you and your family could recover compensation from the healthcare professional or facility that caused your loved one’s untimely death. This could include,
- Medical costs – Medical costs include medical bills, private autopsy, therapy for surviving family members, and other related expenses.
- Pain and suffering – This is designed to compensate those who have experienced emotional and mental distress after losing their loved one.
- Funeral costs – Funeral costs include the cost of the venue, burial or cremation, and other arrangements as necessary.
- Loss of future earnings – An unexpected death is also an unexpected loss of a household income. An award for loss of future wages will financially support you and your family while you all make new life adjustments.
Speak with a Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Lawyer in Louisville
At Sampson Law Firm, our experienced Louisville defense lawyers want to help you if you lost a loved one due to the carelessness of a medical professional or facility. Your loved one’s life matters, and we’ll be ready to demand answers and justice for you. Contact us today at (502) 584-5050 for a free consultation.