Kentucky does not have any significant medical malpractice tort reform in place. There is no limit on damages and no arbitration rule or review panel required in filing a lawsuit.
Compared to most states, Kentucky’s statute of limitation for medical malpractice lawsuits is strict. Patients have one year from the date the injury is discovered, or reasonably should have been discovered, to file a medical malpractice claim. The law also says that a claim must be brought within 5 years of the care or incident, but that rule has been overturned in court.
Most physicians carry liability limits of $1,000,000 per occurrence and $3,000,000 aggregate per one-year policy period. This limit is the standard limit in most states and is typically required for hospital privileges.
In 2003 the American Medical Association declared a medical malpractice liability crisis in Kentucky. At the time insurance premiums were high, physicians had trouble finding affordable coverage, and lawmakers considered it a threat to quality healthcare for the citizens of the state. Since that time much has changed in the malpractice insurance market in Kentucky. Claims have decreased in the last decade and more insurance companies have entered the market. The increased competition should help to keep insurance rates more stable, but there are still attempts to enact malpractice reforms by legislation. Many lawmakers feel that the climate is not good for physicians and that it hurts the state’s ability to attract new business and industry growth.
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