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What is Medical Malpractice Law & How is It Different From Other Cases?

Injury Attorneys | Restoring LivesTM

May 19, 2017 | Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury |

medical malpractice law confused couple

When a medical malpractice attorney proceeds with a case, they have two main goals in mind: getting compensation for their clients and holding healthcare providers accountable for their actions. These cases are often complicated and time-consuming, which is why most clients who are interested in seeking compensation often turn to medical malpractice attorneys like the ones at Wilson Kehoe Winingham to help them through their cases.

Medical malpractice law is different from other civil law cases. Because of the inexact nature of medicine as well as the protections surrounding healthcare providers, medical malpractice cases can be challenging.

Before you make a decision about whether to pursue a case, you need to understand what medical malpractice law is and what makes it different from other areas of law.

What is Medical Malpractice Law?

Medical malpractice is one branch of personal injury law which covers accidents and injuries. In personal injury cases, one party must be negligent in their behavior or practices that result in the plaintiff becoming injured. For medical malpractice cases, this means a doctor or other healthcare professional failed to live up to the medical standard of care their patient required and they were capable of providing, resulting in injury or harm.

This field of law is designed to enforce standards for medical care and allow victims to receive compensation for their injuries and medical expenses.

What Makes a Medical Malpractice Case?

Each medical malpractice case is as unique as the patient and the doctor who treated them, but there are three things that must be proven in any case of medical negligence, in Indiana or otherwise:

  • A health care provider was negligent in the course of your treatment
  • You were injured while being treated
  • Your injuries and related damages were the result of the malpractice or negligence, rather than any outside factors or preexisting conditions

These three factors can apply to a number of situations and fields of medicine. For example, any of the following examples of negligence could lead to a medical malpractice case:

  • Errors in diagnosis
  • Not getting informed consent from a patient
  • Not acting in time to prevent a mistake
  • Mistakes in prescribing medication
  • Many surgical errors
  • Mistakes in childbirth and delivery
  • Improperly monitoring a patient at any stage of treatment

Medical malpractice cases are not solely limited to the above examples. Talking to a medical malpractice attorney is a good way to figure out if your case qualifies.

Special Medical Malpractice Laws

In Indiana, you typically have two years from when the medical malpractice was committed in order to file your claim. If the symptoms related to your injury don’t show up right after the malpractice incident, the statute of limitations begins when you should have discovered your symptoms, or when you do. Parents and guardians of patients who were younger than six years old at the time of their treatment have until the child is age eight in order to file a claim.

Suing for less than $15,000 in an Indiana medical malpractice case means that there are no special pre-suit requirement. Suing for a greater amount means your complaint needs to be submitted to a medical malpractice review panel before it can go to court.

If you realize your case is worth more than you sued for, it’s possible to drop the case within the first two years of suing and start over again with the review panel.

Indiana medical malpractice damages are limited to no more than $1,250,000 total.

Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys

It takes an expert to know medical malpractice law. Not only will having someone familiar with medical malpractice and state laws help you pursue your case correctly, but it also provides emotional support, knowing someone is on your side and is willing to fight for the justice you deserve.

For medical malpractice victims looking for an attorney in Indiana, WKW can help. Our 30 years of experience with medical malpractice law can be put to good use in finding and using the facts to help you fight for compensation. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call 317.920.6400 or contact us online.

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