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 with Ward 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.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers Indianapolis, IN Can Trust
Indianapolis, IN medical malpractice lawyers understand there is an incredible amount of trust that is required to put your life in the hands of any medical professional. When that trust is violated and you sustain an injury as a result of negligence, you deserve to be compensated. Ward & Ward Law Firm is prepared to help you through this incredibly difficult process. Our medical malpractice lawyers Indianapolis, IN understand the emotional and physical toll that such an ordeal can have on an individual. In our many years of experience we have learned it is imperative to support our clients while holding negligent medical professionals responsible. The team at Ward & Ward Law Firm has extensive knowledge in medical terminology and the process that medical malpractice claims must endure. Ward & Ward Law Firm has put together some basic information to help you understand the legal requirements for a medical malpractice claim. Contact us for a consultation.A medical malpractice claim does not just refer to surgical errors. Negligent treatment can occur in the many stages of medical care. The following list encompasses some possible errors from diagnosis to aftercare. While not complete, this list includes the most common medical malpractice circumstances.
Failure to order or incorrect interpretation of lab results
Failure to conduct a complete history on the patient
Surgery on the wrong patient
Surgery on the wrong body part
Incompetent follow-up care
Unfortunately, there are many false medical malpractice claims that are made annually. In an effort to weed out the frivolous accusations, many states adhere to a system that requires certain basic criteria for a claim to move forward. Most jurisdictions agree that in order for a medical malpractice case to have any chance of seeking compensatory damages it must have the following four conditions:
A relationship between the medical professional and the patient must exist.
The medical professional was negligent and violated the standard of care - the standard is the benchmark of professional treatment of the patient. Ward & Ward Law Firm will find an appropriate medical witness to explain the standard and how it was not honored.
An injury must have been sustained.
There must be a direct link between the violation of the standard of care and the injury that occurred.
If the claim has all of the above mentioned conditions and you feel that you have a medical malpractice claim, you may be entitled to compensation. Common examples of compensatory damages include but are not limited to:
Mental and emotional distress
Additional medical bills
Lost wages and earning potential
If you or a loved one are the victim of negligence in your medical treatment, it is imperative that you contact medical malpractice lawyers Indianapolis, IN immediately. Not only is it important for your mental state to know that you have someone working to help you seek compensation, but there are time frames and deadlines in these cases. Ward & Ward Law Firm will set up a consultation, go over the materials of your case and determine the next step with you. If you’re ready to speak with a skilled team of medical malpractice lawyers in Indianapolis, IN then call Ward & Ward Law Firm today.