Answers To Your Questions About Medical Malpractice In Indiana
The attorneys of Park Woody Vaughan, P.C., have years of focused experience in medical malpractice litigation in cases across Indiana. We address some common questions in the FAQ below, and we invite you to schedule a free consultation to discuss your specific situation.
What is medical malpractice?
A medical malpractice lawsuit is a civil action against doctors or medical professionals. It seeks monetary damages for medical negligence that caused harm or failed to protect the patient from harm. Examples of common medical malpractice claims include a surgery error, a birth injury, a medication mistake or failure to diagnose a life-threatening medical condition.
So I have to sue my doctor?
While most people like their doctors, surgeons and nurses, they are human and they make mistakes. Those medical professionals are legally accountable when those errors or omissions hurt people. That is why physicians and hospitals have medical malpractice insurance.
How do I prove medical malpractice?
Doctors and hospitals are not always forthcoming when they screw up. You will need the help of a medical malpractice attorney to uncover the truth and document a lawsuit. We must prove four elements: (1) That the medical professional owed a duty to the patient and (2) breached that duty, (3) which caused a lasting injury (4) that resulted in quantifiable losses (damages).
What is a ‘Medical Review Panel’?
Some Indiana providers pay extra malpractice insurance premiums to be “qualified” under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act. Qualified Providers have the right to get their case presented to three independent healthcare providers before the patient can file a lawsuit in state court. There is also a non-voting member on the medical review panel who is an attorney. The group of three independent healthcare providers who review the evidence is called the medical review panel. The panel looks at medical records and other evidence for a case before publishing an opinion concerning whether the healthcare provider committed medical negligence in the case they are considering. The opinion of the medical review panel is admitted in any future lawsuits as evidence. The medical review panel opinion is admitted into evidence as an expert opinion for the judge or jury’s consideration.
What if we can’t afford a lawyer?
The good news is that anyone can afford a malpractice lawyer. At Park Woody Vaughan, P.C., there is no up-front cost to engage our firm to represent you. We provide a free initial consultation. We cover the costs of having your case evaluated. If we do pursue a lawsuit, we represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means you owe attorney fees only if we recover compensation for you.
What is the statute of limitations on medical malpractice in Indiana?
Generally, Plaintiffs have two years from the date of medical negligence to bring a medical malpractice claim. There are exceptions to the two-year time limit, but those exceptions are applied on a case-by-case basis. It is best to contact a lawyer as soon as you suspect that you are the victim of medical negligence.
What damages can we recover?
A medical malpractice lawsuit seeks compensation for:
(a) Economic damages such as lost wages, lost earning capacity, costs of medical intervention, and future medical expenses
(b) Noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering, permanent impairment, disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life
(c) Wrongful death of a spouse, child, adult child, or parent
Does Indiana have a cap on medical malpractice damages?
Indiana does limit the total compensation for medical malpractice. For negligence that occurred after June 30th of 2019, the maximum recovery is $1.8 million, even if actual damages greatly exceed that cap. The damages limit for the death of an adult with no dependents is set by a separate statute.