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If you or a loved one have been the victim of a medical error, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim in Indianapolis. The premise behind all medical malpractice lawsuits is simple: negligence on the part of a medical professional.
Doctors and other medical professionals have a duty to their patients to practice medicine with the degree of skill, care, and diligence possessed by any reasonably competent physician under the same circumstances. These professionals breach their duty of care when they fail to live up to this standard.
A personal injury claim arises when the physician’s negligence causes an injury in the patient, and the patient suffers damages as a result.
Medical malpractice happens when a health care professional deviates from the expected standards of their profession, and when these actions cause injury, harm, or even death to a patient.
Proving that the medical professional was negligent in their treatment and holding them liable is the backbone to any medical malpractice suit. When you work with an experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice attorney from Wilson Kehoe Winingham, you’re taking the first step in working towards the compensation you deserve.
Depending on a case’s complexity, there is a broad range of parties who can be held liable in a medical malpractice case. Parties who are often held responsible include:
Not all injuries a patient suffers under the care of a healthcare professional are considered medical malpractice. To qualify for a medical malpractice lawsuit, victims must prove these four essential elements:
An experienced medical malpractice attorney can determine if medical negligence caused your injuries and help you build a strong medical malpractice case.
When selecting a medical malpractice lawyer, you want to find one with experience in the field—not a generalist—and preferably someone with experience that is specific to your case.
It’s also important to find a lawyer with a history of trial success in case a settlement can’t be reached. Wilson Kehoe Winingham was built on the foundation of “restoring lives,” so we will be with you every step of the way on your journey to recovery.
Your medical malpractice lawyer will perform a thorough investigation of your case, determining how the injury happened and where the blame lies. This will include reviewing medical records and other evidence.
Indiana Civil Code 34-18-2-18 defines medical malpractice as a “tort or breach of contract based on health care or professional services that were provided, or that should have been provided, by a health care provider, to a patient.” In your Indianapolis medical malpractice case, your lawyer will need to be able to link the medical provider’s actions directly to your injury.
As the victim, you will want to support your case by gathering documentation. Now is the time to get organized and pull all your information together. This includes:
For a medical malpractice case to move forward, it must be determined that the victim had an established relationship with the healthcare provider.
This is where you are likely to see the greatest value in working with an experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer—one who is familiar with the tactics used by insurance adjustors and won’t fall for their lowball offers. Our lawyers will look at not only the state of your injury today, but also future implications.
The medical malpractice attorneys at WKW will make every effort to reach a full and fair settlement. But if the parties are unable to come to an agreement, your case could go to trial. This is a long and arduous process with everything on the line. Our lawyers have the experience it takes to see your case through the trial process and will be with you every step of the way.
When both parties have reached a settlement, we’ll make certain that the liable parties are held accountable for making the agreed-upon payments. Since we work on a contingency basis, we take our percentage of the payout as our fee and then distribute the bulk of the funds to our client in a timely manner.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Patient Safety, between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die each year from preventable hospital errors.
The Diederich Healthcare Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis states that insurance companies paid out close to $4.5 billion in medical malpractice claims in the U.S. in 2019, including almost $67 million in the state of Indiana alone. The largest percentage of funds (28%) as a category was for payouts towards medical errors that resulted in death.
Whether you have suffered a surgical error, were incorrectly diagnosed with a disease, or acquired an infection during a hospital stay, our legal team has the necessary experience to help you obtain the financial compensation you deserve. Our Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers handle a wide variety of case types.
Doctors are human beings, and they sometimes make mistakes. However, diagnosis errors can have a lasting impact on the life of a patient. Inaccurate or delayed treatment could allow the condition to progress further, leading to severe or permanent injury.
Commonly misdiagnosed conditions include heart attacks, cancer, thyroid conditions, pulmonary embolisms, and strokes. If you were diagnosed with the wrong disease, had a delayed diagnosis, or a healthcare professional failed to diagnose you at all, you may have a medical malpractice case.
The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion, Unfortunately, medical errors during birth can cause lifelong physical pain or injuries for both mother and child.
Birth injuries include brachial plexus injuries, shoulder dystocia, intellectual disabilities, head trauma, oxygen deprivation, and even death. If a healthcare professional made a mistake during birth or prenatal care that injured your child, talk to a qualified personal injury attorney about building a strong medical malpractice lawsuit.
Medication errors, such as a doctor writing the wrong prescription or a pharmacist dispensing the wrong dose, can cause a patient to be given too much or too little medication, take the wrong medication, or have an allergic reaction to the drug. If a doctor, pharmacist, or any other healthcare provider made a mistake with your medication, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice case.
Anesthesia refers to the drugs used during surgeries and painful medical procedures to prevent patients from feeling pain. These drugs can be highly dangerous and—depending on the type of anesthesia administered—can have severe complications.
Errors on the part of an anesthesiologist or other medical professional responsible for administering and monitoring anesthesia can occur at any point throughout the process, from dosage errors and inadequate patient monitoring to aspiration and anesthesia awareness.
If you suffered from an anesthesia injury because of the careless or reckless actions of your medical team, our experienced medical malpractice lawyers can help.
Any surgery involves a certain level of risk; however, some surgical errors are avoidable and can be considered medical malpractice. Although unlikely, a retained surgical object or wrong site surgery (where, for example, a doctor operates on the left kidney instead of the right) is grounds for a medical malpractice case.
This example of medical malpractice is especially scary—the idea of someone making a mistake while you are on the table is deeply unsettling. You deserve care from a surgeon who is experienced, capable, and professional. If a critical error during surgery caused your injury, you should definitely consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
You go to a hospital to get treatment and care for an illness or injury. The last thing you expect is for your hospital visit to make you sick/worse.
Hospital infections, which are infections acquired two to three days after being admitted to a medical facility, can be caused by a variety of bacterial, viral, or fungal pathogens. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals have a responsibility to follow safety guidelines and practices that keep you and other patients from acquiring an infection at the hospital.
These infections can be serious, and in situations where your hospital infection was caused by the negligent action or inaction of a medical professional, you may be able to sue the individual or facility for medical malpractice to compensate you for your damages.
When we are sick or injured, we trust doctors to help us get better. However, sometimes doctors make mistakes—and these medical mistakes can have extreme consequences in the lives of their patients. If you or a loved one were injured due to the negligence of a doctor or other medical professional, our legal team can help you get the compensation you deserve.
The purpose of filing a medical malpractice case is to provide an injured patient with the opportunity to recover financial compensation for the damages caused by a medical professional.
For example, if a doctor fails to properly diagnose a disease or makes an error during surgery, the affected patient can recover money for the costs of additional medical treatment, lost wages or missed professional opportunities, and real instances of emotional pain and suffering. The goal is to make the victim’s life “whole” again and to prevent others from suffering the same fate.
First, the attorney will need to review the circumstances of the claim and resulting injury. There are reasons to deny the opportunity to represent clients. Some examples may include:
If it is decided that the claim is valid, then it’s time to begin gathering all documentation and evidence about the incident. This includes medical records and witness statements, which we will use to patch together what happened and what went wrong.
The evidence is then reviewed by a medical professional who is a network partner to our law firm. They can help shed light on where and how either the error occurred or the protocol of established care was not followed.
If our review of your file indicates that you have a valid claim, we will encourage you to move forward with that claim. But that’s not the next step. Indiana’s medical malpractice statute requires cases to be presented to a medical review panel before going through the court system, which adds another layer of time and complexity.
After the medical review panel’s decision, and no matter the outcome, if our lawyers and the client believe in the merit of the case, we would now proceed with filing a lawsuit. Significant trial prep would begin to build as strong a case as possible. Of course, there is still the opportunity for a settlement offer to be presented for client consideration.
It’s not unusual for a medical malpractice case to take two to three years to work its way through the process. Knowing this, with any medical malpractice cases, only a significant injury or damage warrants the time and energy required to endure such a difficult process.
In medical malpractice cases—as well as in other types of personal injury lawsuits—the term damages refers to compensation.
There are three types of damages recoverable from medical malpractice lawsuits: special damages, general damages, and punitive damages.
Regardless of the severity of the injury, the amount of money awarded in a medical malpractice lawsuit is capped in several states, including Indiana. Beginning in 2017, the medical malpractice damage cap was raised from $1.25 million to $1.65 million. Then, in 2019, the cap was raised again to $1.8 million.
Types of damages:
Special damages are economic. They’re objective, quantifiable, out-of-pocket expenses incurred from the malpractice, such as loss of wages, medical expenses, or mobility equipment (like a wheelchair).
General damages are non-economic. They boil down to putting a price tag on an otherwise subjective injury, such as loss of enjoyment or a lower quality of life, pain and suffering, or emotional distress.
Punitive damages can only be sought if the malpractice was undeniably negligent or outrageous—these cases are quite uncommon.
Medical malpractice cases have a limited timeframe in which they can be filed, known as the statute of limitations. In the state of Indiana, that limit is two years after the date of the incident. There are certain exceptions to this rule, such as if the patient only learns of the medical error a given time after the actual procedure, but it’s best to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as you think you may have a case.
Medical malpractice cases are doubly complex, requiring both legal and medical knowledge.
Finding yourself the victim of medical error can be stressful. You may have lost your quality of life or be unable to work as your bills continue piling up.
When you’re researching lawyers to work with, you’ll want to seek a lawyer who is specifically experienced in medical malpractice cases, especially one who has the experience that is relevant to your case. This is vital to a successful outcome.
Finding yourself or a loved one the victim of medical error can be traumatic and leave you swimming in unfamiliar waters. Our experienced team of medical malpractice lawyers are here in Indianapolis to help you navigate the process and secure you a full and fair settlement. We limit the number of cases we take on to ensure you get the attention your case deserves.
The Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham have extensive experience handling cases just like yours. If you or a loved one have been impacted by medical malpractice, contact the lawyers at WKW.
We can help you get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on getting your life back on track. Call 317.920.6400 today or fill out our online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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