casket with woman holding lilies in the backgroundYour loved one had cancer, but it wasn’t cancer that caused her death. You have reason to believe that she died because of a preventable chemotherapy overdose. In other words, it wasn’t your loved one’s medical condition that killed her, but instead, it was an error by the doctor, nurse, or pharmacy that caused her death.

You are left mourning your loved one’s untimely death and wondering what, if anything, you can do about it.

Chemo Overdose Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Kentucky, like all states, has specific rules about wrongful death claims. Before you decide whether to pursue a wrongful death case, it is important to know the answers to the following questions:

Do You Have a Claim for Wrongful Death?

You might have a wrongful death claim if someone else’s reckless or negligent act resulted in your loved one’s death. To recover damages in a wrongful death case, you must prove that it is more likely than not that the defendant:

  • Owed your loved one a duty of care. Everyone on your loved one’s medical team—including, but not limited to, the oncologist, nurses, pharmacy, and medical technicians—owe your loved one a duty of care.
  • Breached the duty of care by failing to act as a reasonable person would. Everyone who owes your loved one a duty of care must use reasonable care to prevent her injury. That means acting as a reasonable person with similar training and skills would in similar circumstances.
  • Caused your loved one’s death. The breach in the duty of care must have caused your loved one’s death, which would not have happened when it did but for the negligence of the doctor, nurse, pharmacy, or another defendant.

Additionally, you must establish that you have a legal right to damages.

Can You File a Wrongful Death Claim?

In Kentucky, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the estate and the family. While the responsibility rests with the personal representative, any damages that are recovered in a wrongful death case belong to the estate and potentially to the decedent’s surviving spouse, children, and parents.

When Do You Need to File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Generally, you have one year from the date of your loved one’s death to file a wrongful death case in Kentucky.

How Do You File a Wrongful Death Claim?

A wrongful death case begins when you file a complaint and pay the required fee with the civil circuit division of the Kentucky courts. The complaint must identify the defendant who caused the chemo overdose, outline your case against the defendant, and explain the financial recovery you are seeking from the defendant. It is important that the complaint is thorough and accurate and that it is filed according to court rules so that your case is not dismissed.

Why Should You File a Wrongful Death Claim?

After a chemotherapy overdose, a wrongful death case can serve several purposes, including:

  • Recovering compensation for medical expenses incurred because of the error, funeral costs, lost income, pain, suffering, and other damages
  • Holding the person who caused your loved one’s death accountable
  • Encouraging safer practices in the future so that other families don’t suffer tragedies similar to yours

What to Do Before Filing a Kentucky Chemo Overdose Wrongful Death Claim

The overview of Kentucky wrongful death claims provided above may answer many of your important questions, but it likely doesn’t answer your most important question. To find out if a wrongful death claim should be pursued because of what happened to your loved one, contact the chemo overdose wrongful death team of Gray and White Law. Our law firm nurse and experienced attorneys will review what happened to your loved one and advise you of all of your legal options.

We welcome your call any time—24/7/365—and we look forward to answering all of your questions during a free, no-obligation consultation.

Mark K. Gray
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Louisville attorney serving the seriously injured in Kentucky

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