We trust that due to their years of experience and professional degrees, that the doctors, surgeons and nurses who are treating us know what they are doing. Unfortunately, there are times where medical professionals make mistakes.

It is important for people in West Virginia and Kentucky to understand when these mistakes constitute medical malpractice, so they can determine what their options are moving forward.

There are several factors that must be met for an act to constitute an unlawful medical mistake. First, the medical professional must have breached their standard of care. Medical professionals must exercise the medical care that a reasonably prudent medical professional in same or similar circumstances would provide. If this standard of care is breached due to a medical error, this constitutes one of the elements of a medical malpractice claim.

Second, to pursue a medical malpractice claim, the damages suffered must have been caused by the negligence of the medical professional. This means that the injury the patient suffered would not have taken place if the medical professional was not negligent. Poor outcomes on their own are insufficient to meet this element if the damages were not caused by negligence.

Third, the injury caused by the negligence of the medical professional must have caused the victim to suffer significant damages. This may necessitate the testimony of medical experts to prove. For example, to prevail a patient may need to show that the injury resulted in a disability, that there was a loss of income due to the injury, that the patient suffered extreme pain and suffering or that the patient has accumulated not only past medical expenses, but also faces significant future expenses associated with their injury.

Medical malpractice claims may seem straightforward, but they are in actuality very complex, and not everyone will prevail. Those wishing to pursue a medical malpractice claim should not base their filing on the information provided in this post. Instead, they will want to consult with a personal injury professional who can determine whether they have a viable claim.