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Kentucky Enacts New Medical Malpractice Law After Medical Review Panels Ruled Unconstitutional

In 2017, Kentucky enacted a law that required any medical malpractice claim to be reviewed by a panel of experts and an attorney before the claimants could file their suit in court. This caused a mandatory delay, contradicting Kentucky's own constitution that states every person has access to the courts without delay. At the end of 2018, this law was declared unconstitutional. Cases in Kentucky can move forward much faster now.

However, a new medical malpractice law was passed after collaboration between plaintiff lawyers, nursing homes, hospitals, and doctors. Under this new law, victims of medical negligence will be required to file a "Certificate of Merit" from a medical expert before bringing a lawsuit.

The certificate requires that complaints against the medical provider be reviewed by a medical professional to see if there was negligence. This medical expert must state that the lawsuit has a reasonable basis.

The new law does have some exceptions. For example, if a person thinks they have a case but cannot find an expert to review the case, or doesn't have time to find one and get the review before the statute of limitations (time limit to file a suit) runs out, they may be able to avoid having to get the certificate. Also, if the case involves a specific medical specialty where there are not many experts available to testify, the review requirement may be waived. It may also be waived if the plaintiff can prove that he or she has attempted to have three different experts review the case and each one was unable to.

If you believe that you've been harmed by a medical professional due to malpractice or negligence, including abuse or neglect from a nursing home, contact Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP. There is no charge to speak with someone about your matter, and we offer contingency fee arrangements to handle cases with merit (in other words, you don't pay unless we recover). Kentucky has a short statute of limitations (deadline) so we encourage you to contact us promptly if you believe you have a case against a nursing home in Kentucky.

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