Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyers

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In Indianapolis, if you or a loved one has been the victim of a medical error, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim. The premise behind all medical malpractice lawsuits is simple: negligence by a medical professional.

Doctors and other medical professionals have a duty to their patients to practice medicine with a  degree of skill, care, and diligence. This level should be equivalent to what is expected from any reasonably competent physician under the same or similar circumstances. These professionals breach their duty of care when they fail to meet this standard.

A personal injury claim arises when the physician’s negligence causes an injury to the patient, and the patient suffers damages. The Indiana malpractice lawyers at Wilson Kehoe Winingham can help you recover damages to help you put your life back together after a medical error.

Call us at (317) 689-0654 for your free consultation.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

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.

The backbone of any medical malpractice suit is proving that the medical professional was negligent in their treatment and holding them liable.  At Wilson Kehoe Winingham, we built our foundation on the belief of “restoring lives,” which means we will accompany you on your path to recovery. 

Depending on a case’s complexity, a malpractice victim could hold a broad range of parties liable in a medical malpractice case. Parties who are often held responsible include:

  • Doctors—including surgeons and anesthesiologists
  • Nurses
  • Technicians or assistants
  • Dentists
  • Medical facilities, such as hospitals or clinics
  • Nursing homes.

Do I Have a Case for Medical Malpractice?

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:

  1. Duty: There was an established relationship between the healthcare professional and the patient.
  2. Breach: The healthcare professional breached that duty of care.
  3. Injury: The victim suffered injuries or harm that resulted in economic or non-economic damages.
  4. Causation: The healthcare professional’s breach of care directly caused injury or harm.

An experienced medical malpractice attorney can determine if medical negligence caused your injuries and help you build a solid medical malpractice case.

How Can an Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help Me?

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 essential to find a lawyer with a history of trial success in case both parties cannot settle. Wilson Kehoe Winingham has a long history of successfully resolving medical malpractice cases, both through settlement as well as at trial. 

Help Prepare and Organize a Case

Your medical malpractice lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case, determining how the injury happened and where the blame lies. In the process, they will review 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 healthcare 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.

You will want to support your case by gathering documentation as the victim.  This documentation may include:

  • Dates of appointments and treatments
  • Procedures performed
  • Any diagnoses given and when they occurred
  • Details on any prescription medications prescribed
  • Doctor names and contact info
  • Description of illness or injury that led you to seek care

Prove the Victim Was Owed a Duty

For a medical malpractice case to move forward, it is necessary to establish that the victim has had an established relationship with the healthcare provider.

Negotiate with Insurance Companies

Working with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Indianapolis can offer great value, particularly when negotiating with insurance companies. A knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate tactics used by insurance adjusters and avoid accepting inadequate settlement offers.  Your medical injury lawyer will look at the state of your injury today and future implications.

Provide Representation in a Court Case 

The medical malpractice attorneys at WKW will work diligently 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.

Ensure Settlements are Paid Properly

When both parties have reached a settlement, we’ll ensure 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.

Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Statistics

3 Different Medical Malpractice Statistics

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 nearly $4.5 billion in medical malpractice claims in the U.S. in 2019, including almost $67 million in Indiana alone. The largest percentage of funds (28%) was for payouts for medical errors resulting in death.

Examples of Medical Malpractice in Indianapolis

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.

Diagnosis Errors icon Diagnosis Errors

Doctors are human beings, and they sometimes make mistakes. However, diagnosis errors can have a lasting impact on a patient’s life. 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. You may have a medical malpractice case, if you were diagnosed with the wrong disease, had a delayed diagnosis, or a healthcare professional failed to diagnose you at all.

Birth injuries icon Birth Injuries

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 solid medical malpractice lawsuit.

Medication Errors icon Medication Errors

Medication errors can cause a patient to take too much or too little medication, take the wrong medication, or have an allergic reaction to the drug. These errors may happen because the doctor miswrote the prescription or the pharmacist incorrectly filled it. Suppose a doctor, pharmacist, or any other healthcare provider made a mistake with your medication. In that case, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice case. 

Anesthesia Errors icon Anesthesia Errors

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 can have severe complications depending on the type of anesthesia administered.

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 your medical team’s careless or reckless actions, our experienced medical malpractice lawyers can help. 

Surgical Errors icon Surgical Errors

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 terrifying. The idea of someone making a mistake while you are on the operating table is deeply unsettling.  You deserve care from an experienced, capable, and professional surgeon.  If a critical error during surgery caused your injury, you should consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Hospital Infections icon Hospital Infections

You go to a hospital to get treatment and care for an illness or injury. The last thing you expect after a  hospital visit is to become sick or worse.

Hospital infections, which are infections acquired two to three days after being admitted to a medical facility, can be caused by various bacterial, viral, or fungal pathogens. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are responsible for following safety guidelines and practices that keep you and other patients from acquiring an infection at the hospital.

These infections can be serious. In situations where a medical professional’s negligent action or inaction caused your infection,  you may be able to sue the individual or facility for medical malpractice to compensate you for your damages.

Call us at (317) 689-0654 for your free consultation.

How Does Medical Negligence Happen?

We trust doctors to help us get better when we are sick or injured.  But sometimes doctors make mistakes.  And these medical mistakes can have extreme consequences for the lives of their patients. Our legal team can help you receive the compensation you deserve if you or a loved one suffered an injury due to the negligence of a doctor or other medical professional. 

How to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Indianapolis

Filing a medical malpractice case allows an injured patient to recover financial compensation for the damages caused by a medical professional. 

3 Steps to Pursue a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Indiana

For example, if a doctor fails to diagnose a disease properly or makes an error during surgery. In that case, the affected patient can recover money for the costs of additional medical treatment, lost wages or missed professional opportunities, and real emotional pain and suffering. The goal is to make the victim’s life “whole” again and to prevent others from suffering the same fate.

Evaluation

First, the attorney must review the circumstances of the claim and resulting injury. There are reasons to deny the opportunity to represent clients. Some examples may include:

  • The injury was disclosed as a possible resulting complication from surgery.
  • It’s not likely that the injury can be directly linked to the procedure.
  • It’s too close to when the statute of limitations will expire, and there needs to be more time to pursue a case. 
  • Lastly, being unhappy with the results of the surgery is not grounds for a claim.

If the claim is valid, it’s time to gather all documentation and evidence about the incident. This documentation includes medical records and witness statements, which we will use to patch together what happened and what went wrong.

Then a medical professional who is a network partner of our law firm reviews the evidence. They can help shed light on how the error occurred or the protocol of established care was not followed.

Review from a Medical Panel

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 presenting cases to a medical review panel before proceeding through the court system. This requirement adds another layer of time and complexity. 

Optional Litigation

After the medical review panel’s decision, and regardless of the outcome,  if our lawyers and the client believe in the case’s merit, we would now proceed with filing a lawsuit. Significant trial prep would begin to build as strong a case as possible. Of course, we can still present a settlement offer for the client’s consideration.

It’s not unusual for a medical malpractice case to take three to four 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.

What Types of Compensation Can You Recover in an Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Case?

In medical malpractice cases and 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. In 2017, the state raised the medical malpractice damage cap from $1.25 million to $1.65 million. In 2019, the cap was further raised 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.

Indiana Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice

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. This rule has certain exceptions,  such as if the patient only learns of the medical error a given time after the actual procedure. Still, it’s best to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as you think you may have a case.

Choosing the Right Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Law Firm

Medical malpractice cases are doubly complex, requiring both legal and medical knowledge.

Finding yourself the victim of a 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 researching lawyers to work with, it’s important to find someone with experience in medical malpractice cases, especially relevant to your case. This is vital to a successful outcome.

Working With WKW | Experienced Malpractice Lawyers in Indianapolis

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 is here in Indianapolis to help you navigate the process and secure a full and fair settlement. We limit the number of cases we accept to guarantee you receive the attention your case deserves.

Contact Our Indianapolis Medical Negligence Team

The Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham have extensive experience handling cases 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 complete our online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.


Contact Us

Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.

Or, call us today at (317) 920-6400

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