What Compensation Is Available After a Surgical Error?

Surgical errors are a type of medical malpractice in Kentucky. Surgical errors can include but are not limited to:

  • Operating on the wrong area;
  • Amputating the wrong limb;
  • Perforating an organ during surgery;
  • Improperly administering anesthesia;
  • Operating on the wrong patient;
  • Damaging a nerve during surgery; and
  • Leaving a foreign object behind after surgery.

While difficult to believe, the National Center for Biotechnology Information reports at least 4,000 surgical errors occur every year in the United States.

What Compensation is Available for a Surgical Error in Kentucky?

Victims of provable surgical error in Kentucky qualify for compensation under Kentucky law. Compensation in medical malpractice and other personal injury cases is meant to make the victim “whole again” or restore them as close to the pre-injury state as possible. 

Depending upon individual case circumstances, a victim may be awarded economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages are losses with an attachable dollar value or a fixable amount.

Economic damages can include but are not limited to:

  • Medical costs, current and future;
  • Corrective surgeries;
  • Occupational and rehabilitative therapy;
  • Lost income;
  • Lost earning capacity; and
  • Loss of household services.

Non-economic damages are subjective losses. They have no affixable costs and include:

  • Pain and suffering;
  • Scarring and disfigurement;
  • Mental and emotional trauma; and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

Rarely courts award victims of surgical errors punitive damages. Punitive damages are a monetary punishment leveled by the court for intentional, reckless, or egregious behavior or negligence on behalf of a medical provider. 

While Kentucky does not place limits or caps on medical malpractice awards, a victim’s award may be reduced if they were partially at fault for their injuries.

Kentucky Follows the Doctrine of Comparative Fault 

Kentucky follows the doctrine of comparative fault. This means that victims of personal injuries and medical malpractice who are partially to blame for their injuries or the worsening of their conditions will have their injury awards reduced by their percentage of fault.

For example, if a patient fails to follow care instructions or causes their injury to worsen in another way, they may be assigned a percentage of fault for their damages from 1% to 100%. Any monetary award they receive will be reduced by that percentage.

A patient assigned 10% fault for their damages who is awarded $100,000 in total damages will have their award reduced by $10,000. This would leave them with $90,000.

Comparative fault can be confusing. For more information about this or qualifying for compensation in a Kentucky medical malpractice claim, contact an experienced Louisville medical malpractice attorney today.

Contact an Experienced Louisville Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you suspect you suffered a surgical error, do not suffer silently. Reach out to the experienced Louisville surgical error lawyers at Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC. Our skilled attorneys will review your surgical error claim at no cost and advise you if you qualify for injury compensation. 

At Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC, we want to make a difference in our clients’ lives. That is why we have represented the innocent and injured for more than 30 years.

Contact our law firm in Louisville today at (502) 369-0616 to learn more.