Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys
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Unfortunately, physicians and healthcare facilities make mistakes that lead to injury and sometimes death. When the mistake results in the standard of care being broken, there is a medical malpractice case. Typical medical malpractice cases include improper treatment, procedural mistakes, and improper diagnosis.
If you think you may have a medical malpractice claim, the attorneys at Goodin Abernathy LLP will speak to you. Click Here to schedule your free consultation with one of our Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers.
Medical Malpractice in Indiana
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is a situation where a healthcare provider, usually a doctor or nurse, fails to provide the correct standard of care to a patient, which results in injury or harm. Some examples of this are errors in diagnosis, treatment, or surgery, as well as failure to obtain informed consent. It also includes the failure to disclose the risks of the procedure.
Medical malpractice occurs in a variety of different settings. These include hospitals, cinics, nursing homes, and private practices. Injuries that are caused due to medical malpractice can range form minor to severe, and can include physical injuries, emotional distress, and even death.
When a patient is injured due to medical malpractice, they may be able to receive compensation for their losses. This can come from medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. In order to receive compensation a medical malpractice lawsuit must occur. This is a legal process handled by medical malpractice attorneys.
Proving Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases
Proving fault in a medical malpractice case is a huge part of the legal process. In order to receive compensation, you must be able to show that the healthcare provider was negligent and that this resulted in your harm.
This is where medical records and expert testimony come into play. In order to prove fault, medical records must be examined, and expert testimony must be used to establish the proper standard of care. These will be used to try and show that the defendant deviated from the standard. It’s also important to show that the healthcare provider had a duty of care to to the patient, they breached that duty, and it resulted in injury or harm of the patient.
In addition to all of this, it must be shown that the injury or harm of the patient caused by the medical professional was not an intrinsic part of the treatment process. It needs to be shown that it was preventable.
Is a Misdiagnosis Considered Medical Malpractice?
Misdiagnosis can be considered medical malpractice but it can be challenging to prove. In order for a misdiagnosis to be considered medical malpractice, it must be proven that the healthcare professional misdiagnosed an illness/condition that a reasonably competent provider would have diagnosed correctly under similar circumstances.
In addition to this, it’s necessary to show that the misdiagnosis caused harm to the patient. In some cases, delayed or incorrect treatment can be a result of misdiagnosis. This can result in serious harm to the patient. The condition may have worsened or new medical may have developed because of this. However, if the condition would have worsened regardless of the misdiagnosis, it may not be considered medical malpractice.
How Long Do I Have to Sue a Doctor or Hospital in Indiana?
In Indiana, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is usually two years from the date of the negligent act, or two years from the date injury should have been discovered. There are some exception to this rule. If the injured patient was a child under the age of 6, a medical malpractice case can be filed up anytime before their 8th birthday.
To make sure your case if filed within the applicable time frame, it is best to consult with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. It is also important to remember that the longer you wait to file a lawsuit, the harder it is going to be to gather evidence and build a strong case.
Indiana Medical Malpractice Act
Medical malpractice lawsuits are governed by the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act. The first step in a medical malpractice case is to submit a proposed complaint to the Indiana Department of Insurance. At that point, the IDOI sends the proposed complaint to the physician or healthcare facility and the appropriate insurance provider. The insurance company then hires defense counsel for the physician or healthcare facility.
Then the parties select a neutral attorney to act as a panel chairperson. The panel chair then assists the parties in selecting a panel of physicians or other experts to serve as the medical review panel.
Once the panel is selected, the injured person or the physician or healthcare provider has the opportunity to ask written or oral questions of each other. Eventually both sides submit medical review submissions to the panel that include statements from the parties, reports, medical records, articles or any other items that could assist the panel to render a decision.
The panel then meets and determines whether the evidence provided shows medical malpractice occurred. The panel then issues an opinion; however, if the panel’s opinion does not conclude malpractice occurred, the injured party can still file his or her lawsuit in state court.
If the panel does find medical malpractice occurred, the first $250,000 in damages are paid by the defendant and/or the insurance company. When there are damages above $250,000, the injured party and Indiana Department of Insurance will try to reach an agreement on the amount of damages. The remaining damages will be paid out of the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund up to $1,000,000.00.
If the medical malpractice lawsuit goes to trial, the same payouts are as listed, however, it is the jury or judge who determines the award up to a maximum of $1,250,000.00.
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
- Surgical errors: performing surgery on the wrong body part of leaving surgical tools inside the patient.
- Anesthesia errors: administering too much or too little anesthesia or failure of monitoring patient during surgery.
- Emergency room errors: failing to properly diagnose or treat a condition
- Birth injuries: failure in properly monitoring the mother and baby during delivery, misdiagnosis of a condition, failure to perform C-section when necessary.
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of serious illness (Example: Cancer)
- Negligence in nursing homes: failure to properly care for residents, failing to properly diagnose and treat conditions.
- Physical Therapy or other treatment errors: failure to properly administer treatment
- Failure to obtain informed consent from the patient before performing the procedure or treatment
- Failure to properly maintain and review medical records.
Your Medical Malpractice Case
Goodin Abernathy LLP is experienced in handling medical malpractice cases. If you think you have been injured due to medical malpractice, click here to schedule your free consultation with one of our Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers.
Attorneys with a Focus on Medical Malpractice