Medical professionals have a duty to provide adequate care for their patients. Failure to adhere to the appropriate standard of care is a type of negligence known as medical malpractice. Malpractice can occur as the result of a wrongful action taken, or when an appropriate action is not taken; a medical condition might be misdiagnosed, not diagnosed at all, treated improperly, or simply left untreated.
An experienced attorney can be an invaluable asset in determining the appropriate course of action to take regarding a medical malpractice issue. Because the provision of medical care is a highly technical and specialized field, expert testimony is often required to establish the connection between the actions of the medical practitioner and the resulting injury. Cases brought under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act are subject to special rules regarding how the case proceeds and the extent of recovery available. Important factors to consider regarding medical malpractice in Indiana include:
Statute of Limitations
Victims generally must bring any action within two years of the negligent act or omission. This statute of limitations may be hard to define in cases where the fact of the negligence was not discovered until months or even years after the negligence occurred. An experienced attorney will know how to determine the applicable period, but it is essential that you contact an attorney as soon as you become aware of the negligence in order to protect your rights. Note: Limitations periods in other states may be as short as one year.
If the patient was at all negligent, for instance in not providing accurate information or following doctor’s orders, and that negligence contributed to the patient’s injuries, the patient may not be able to recover against the doctor. Much depends on the level of the patient’s negligence and the manner in which the case is brought to court. Victims should fully explore these issues with a qualified medical malpractice lawyer to determine their impact on a potential recovery.
Recovery for medical malpractice includes economic damages such as the cost of medical treatments and therapies and time missed from work, as well as non-economic damages such as pain and suffering and emotional distress. Moreover, different entities may be liable for medical malpractice, such as:
- Provider – the doctor, nurse or other healthcare professional who breaches the standard of care and causes injury to the patient.
- Facility – the hospital or other facility where the negligence occurred may be liable for the negligent actions or omissions of its employees.
- HMO – health maintenance organizations may commit malpractice by refusing to pay for necessary tests or treatment.
Regardless of who is at fault, medical malpractice can be intensely personal and deeply emotional to the injured party. Our lawyers are here to assist you through this difficult period, help you attain the compensation you deserve, and ensure that the malpractice you suffered is not repeated on other innocent victims. If you sustained an injury due to medical malpractice, contact Ramey & Hailey today for assistance.