Civil lawsuits are very common in the U.S.; as an industry, they generate $239 billion annually according to the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. Still, many people navigating the complicated waters of a malpractice lawsuit or wrongful death case are often overwhelmed by the legal complexity of the legal system.
For those in Kentucky who are looking for malpractice help, things recently became more complicated.
This past march, the Kentucky legislature passed SB4, a bill that fundamentally changes the way that medical malpractice lawsuits are carried out.
In order to help those seeking malpractice help, we’ve put together a five minute guide to understanding the changes to malpractice law — although there is no replacement for a Malpractice lawyer.
- Medical Review Panels
According to the new law, every malpractice case is required to be reviewed by a medical review panel: three doctors led by an attorney chairperson. While the attorney is technically in a position of power, they are unable to vote.
- Standards Review
The Job of the review panels to go through all medical records, witness and expert testimony, and the proposed complaint to determine if a case has merit. By reviewing the materials of the case, the panel is charged with determining if there was a failure to meet the standards of care, and if that failure had a significant effect on the patient’s health.
- All Decisions Are Preliminary
While this is a system of vetting cases, a decision by the panel that a medical professional failed to meet a standard of care and that had a negative effect on the patient is not a legally binding judgment. You will still need to go to court in order to have an official ruling. That being said, you will be able to use the assessment of the medical review panel as evidence, even calling the members as witnesses.
- A Failsafe
The review panel has nine months in order to reach a decision. If they fail to do so, then you will be free to file your complaint, although the panel will continue their review. Additionally, the statute of limitation has been adjusted to allow individuals up to 90 days after the panel’s decision.
Malpractice law in Kentucky is a changing and evolving practice. That is why it is so important for victims of malpractice to find a local attorney who is familiar with the new regulations.
The Golden Law Office is a collective of local and experienced attorneys. If you are looking the malpractice help, call us today for the Malpractice attorney Lexington KY trusts.