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Understanding medical review panels for nursing home and neglect

When a Kentucky resident believes a loved one who had been placed in a nursing home was injured or died because of nursing home and neglect, they will immediately consider the possibility of a legal filing for compensation. In many cases, this is a viable and wise option to hold facilities responsible for their mistakes, negligence, abuse or any other error that led to the person suffering when it could have and should been avoided. However, the law can be complex and one factor that must be considered is the law regarding medical review panels. A decision on a recent court appeal is important in this circumstance.

The Medical Review Panel Act made it necessary for some medical malpractice claims to be assessed by a review panel to determine if a lawsuit was warranted and could move forward. The appeal stemmed from the trial court stating the law was unconstitutional. The appeals court determined that the decision was correct and the Kentucky Constitution is violated by the need for review-panels. The enacting of this law made it a requirement that cases filed after June 29, 2017, be reviewed except in cases where there was an agreement for binding arbitration. The claims would be subject to a stay until the review was done or nine months had passed after the filing and there was no opinion from the review-panel.

The review-panel is deciding based not on evidence, but on the case's merits. The parties can bypass the medical review if all parties agree to do so. The case that sparked the decision and appeal centered around a child who had brain damage and cerebral palsy because of medical malpractice. Since the goal of any civil claim - including medical malpractice - is to right wrong that have been perpetrated, there cannot be a decision as to the viability of a case based on how elected officials view it and enact laws to do so. Agreement from the other side as to whether the case is viable hinders the attempt on the part of a victim to seek justice. Based on the interpretation by the court, there can be no regulation of limitation for these cases.

When a family believes that a loved one has been subjected to nursing home neglect and abuse, it can cause lasting, permanent and even fatal damage. The decision to allow people to file a claim without going through the uncertainty of a medical review panel is fundamental to a case. A law firm that is experienced in medical malpractice and nursing home and neglect cases will understand this legal decision and help those who are seeking compensation to move forward with litigation.

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