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Lexington Personal Injury Law Blog

Lawsuit questions the constitutionality of medical review panels

Kentuckians with medical malpractice claims have been fighting an uphill battle since the rollout of a new law aimed to protect physicians.

In 2016, Kentucky passed a law that sought to reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits against medical providers. The impetus of the Medical Review Panel (MRP) Act was the rising cost of medical malpractice insurance for providers. To cut down on the number of lawsuits, patients pursuing a medical malpractice case would first have their case screened by a panel of experts. The panel would then advise the patient, who would be able to move forward regardless of the panel's advice.

Boating accidents and civil liability

If you are like many people here in Kentucky, summer means getting out on the water. Perhaps you have been looking forward to this time of year since winter. Now that you are out on the water, soaking up the sun with family and friends, you couldn't be happier.

Then, out of nowhere, disaster strikes. Another recreational boat slammed into yours. Not only was your boat damaged, but you also suffered serious injuries. Sadly, this happens more often than you would think. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 4,158 boating accidents occurred in 2015. In those crashes, 2,613 injuries occurred and 626 people died.

Can you prevent 'wrong site, wrong surgery' injuries?

You've probably heard horror stories about patients who have been victims of "wrong site, wrong surgery" injuries. Those are situations where something happens like the surgeon operates on a patient's left elbow instead of the right, or performs a knee replacement on a patient who was supposed to have a hernia repaired.

Unlike many modern horror stories and urban legends, these kinds of stories are actually true -- and they happen far more often than most people think. While it's supposed to be the job of the hospital and surgeon to get things right, patients are wise to do everything they can to avoid falling victim to this type of negligence.

Senate tackles issues with nursing homes for veterans

Most people don't associate soldiers with nursing homes -- but that's exactly where many older veterans and wounded warriors end up when there's no one available to care for them.

Unfortunately, investigations into the method that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) uses to judge the quality of its nursing homes revealed some pretty dismal information. Almost half of the nursing homes maintained by the VA throughout the nation received only one out of five stars possible in the ranking method -- meaning that they were performing at the lowest possible standard. These ratings have always been kept private from public view.

A civil jury case becomes a landmark for car accident victims

Most Americans understand certain cases change the way we look at the law; these cases are often referred to as landmark cases. Americans often use the same examples for landmark cases, such as Brown v. Board of Education or Gideon v. Wainwright.

However, many state-level supreme courts address issue landmark opinions of their own. According to the Kentucky Trial Court Review, the most significant case for a civil jury verdict in Kentucky was Bill Garmer's Margie Montgomery Hilen's case against Keith Hays.

The difference between wrongful death claims and survival actions

An unexpected death is always tragic -- but it's even worse when the death could have been prevented.

Those deaths often occur through things like truck accidents, injuries on construction sites and surgical mistakes. When the victims of these devastating events don't live long enough to bring their own personal injury claims to court, their survivors can take action. They sometimes file two different type of lawsuits related to a victim's death: a wrongful death claim and a survival action.

Having surgery? You will want to read this first

Any number of circumstances could land you in one of Kentucky's hospital operating rooms. You might be one of many who have scheduled elective surgeries -- perhaps cosmetically-based or because you've been told that a particular surgery may help improve your health in some way. Then again, you may undergo surgery in a much more urgent situation, such as those that often occur following motor vehicle accidents. 

Regardless of what prompts your surgery, you, like all other Kentucky residents, have the right to reasonably assume that all the doctors, nurses and other licensed professionals caring for you will conduct themselves according to accepted safety standards and protocol regulations set forth in the medical industry. Sadly, surgical errors are one of the most common types of situations that often lead to medical malpractice litigation

Drowsy truckers asleep at the wheel

Tracy Morgan-the actor and comedian best known for his work on 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live-just about lost his life in an accident. Back in 2014, Morgan was a passenger in a limo van on the New Jersey Turnpike when a Wal-Mart tractor-trailer crashed into the van. The impact flipped the Mercedes with Morgan and five other passengers onto its side and smashed it into other vehicles. The crash involved a total of 21 people and 6 vehicles.

Even though Morgan spent two weeks in a coma after the accident and suffered a broken leg, nose, ribs and a traumatic brain injury, he fared better than his friend, James McNair, who died in the impact. It's only been recently that Morgan has been able to return to performing.

Ford Ranger trucks recalled due to air bags

Kentucky truck owners may be interested to learn that Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have declared 2006 Ford Ranger trucks unsafe to drive. Tests have determined that the trucks have defective Takata air bag inflators that pose an "immediate risk" to drivers and passengers.

In January, a West Virginia man was killed when the air bag in his Ford Ranger exploded. Ford then studied the air bags in 2006 Ranger trucks and found that they have a higher risk of rupturing than air bags in other model years. According to the company and the NHTSA, the vehicles are not safe to drive. As a result, Ford dealers will arrange to have them towed to a service center to have the airbag inflators replaced. The recall involves 33,428 Ranger trucks built between Aug. 5 and Dec. 15, 2005. It also includes 2006 Mazda B-series trucks, which were built by Ford.

Parents awarded $42 million in birth injury case

Many Kentucky parents depend on doctors to safely deliver babies. However, medical professionals sometimes make mistakes during a child's delivery that can result in serious birth injuries.

For example, the federal government recently agreed to pay $42 million to a Pennsylvania couple whose son suffered brain injuries from the use of forceps during his birth. According to court documents, the boy was delivered at federally-supported Keystone Women's Health Center in February 2012. During the delivery, an obstetrician used forceps to pull on the boy's head, allegedly causing skull fractures and bleeding in his brain. As a result, the boy, now age 5, is unable to speak, read or write. He will also likely be confined to a motorized wheelchair for the rest of his life.

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