Since this page was posted, Indiana lawmakers have enacted changes in Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Law. To learn more about changes that benefit Indiana’s residents, visit our blog, 2016 Update on Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act.
Take Action When Medical Professionals Fail to Provide Proper Care
When you seek care at a hospital, clinic or other medical facility, you expect medical professionals to provide you with the proper care to help you recover. That does not always happen, and if you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice, speak with the skilled medical malpractice lawyers in Indianapolis right away. At Ward & Ward, we have years of experience in medical malpractice law and are ready to help you seek compensation for your injuries or medical conditions.
Dealing with a Medical Malpractice Issue
The emotional, mental and physical impact of medical malpractice can be devastating to you or a loved one, yet the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act places a cap on malpractice claims in an effort to keep insurance rates low. This law also includes the following stipulations:
With few exceptions, medical malpractice claims must be filed within two years from the alleged act.
The law does not require physicians to have malpractice insurance, but they must have it to qualify for the capped liability law.
Patients must file their complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance and have their cases reviewed before they can sue. This panel determines if the case will go to court.
Medical malpractice can take a number of forms, so you should seek the advice of an attorney withWard Ward to find out more about your particular case and if you might be eligible to pursue compensation.
Recovering from Errors, Injuries and Neglect
Since 2006, the Indiana State Department of Health has used a robust medical error reporting system to track and record mistakes occurring in the field of medicine to study current practices and find out if there are ways to improve the level of care provided to patients. If you need to move forward with a medical malpractice lawsuit, state law mandates that the total compensation provided through the final claim cannot exceed $1.25 million. The result of your case may depend on the specific medical professional who made the mistake and the person’s history, per the Indiana database. See Charlie Ward’s blog explaining Medical Malpractice Tort Reform in Indiana.
Other Important Medical Malpractice Issues
Birth injuries are another major form of medical malpractice. The most common types of birth-related injuries and resulting illnesses include the following:
In addition, elderly individuals may suffer injuries or worsened conditions due to neglect, medication errors, physical or sexual abuse when hospitals and nursing homes fail to provide proper care. In many cases, these patients cannot defend themselves and are unable to report the abuse themselves. The state of Indiana has statutes in place that require medical professionals to report nursing home abuse issues to Adult Protective Services authorities immediately.What Happens When a Patient Is Discharged from the Hospital Too Soon?Most people who end up in the hospital usually cannot wait to get home. After all, when you do not feel well, you just want to be in your home, in your own bed. But when a person is hospitalized, it is usually because they are very sick and need treatment or have had surgery and need to recover. These patients need to be monitored by medical professionals to make sure there are no medical complications that arise as they are being treated.Experienced medical malpractice lawyers know that one major issue today is that far too many patients are discharged from the hospital too soon. There are several reasons why this happens. In many facilities, there are serious issues with understaffing and overcrowding. This leads to a lower standard of care than a better run facility. These issues not only lead to discharging patients too soon but can also affect where emergency vehicles are forced to bring trauma victims. It is not uncommon for EMTs to have to bypass these facilities to ones that are further away. This delay in treatment can put a victim’s life at stake.Staffing and too many patients are not the only reasons why patients are sent home too early. This can also happen because medical staff make a mistake or are negligent in their discharging of the patient. Many of these patients end up being readmitted because their conditions worsen, or they develop medical complications. Examples of this can include:
An infant who is discharged before testing has been completed to determine if the baby has suffered a birth injury or an infection.
An adult who has undergone a procedure and is released before full monitoring or testing has been completed.
In order to prove malpractice in these cases, there are four factors that a malpractice attorney must prove. Without all four factors present, the party who is accused of malpractice can claim they were not negligence, just that they made a mistake. The four factors are:
The physician owed a duty of care to the patient.
That duty of care was breached.
That breach was resulted directly by the actions, behavior, or conduct of the physician.
The patient suffered harm as a result.
It is the breach of duty factor that can be the most difficult to prove in an early discharge malpractice case. The patient’s attorney must show that another physician with the same amount of experience and expertise as the physician who is accused of malpractice would not have discharged the patient as early as this physician did.
Speak with a Compassionate Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyer
These can be complex cases to prove and require the legal skill and knowledge of a seasoned medical malpractice attorney. If you believe you suffered injury or illness because you were discharged too early, don’t wait to speak with a knowledgeable and attentive attorney after medical malpractice impacts you and your family.Contact Ward & Ward Law Firm to find out what your legal options may be. Call our office today to set up a free case evaluation with one of our medical malpractice lawyers Indianapolis, IN clients recommend. Our Indianapolis, IN office is open during normal business hours, but we’re also available 24/7 if you need us.