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Knowledge is power, as the old saying goes, and that’s certainly true about medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider—such as a doctor, physician, surgeon, or anesthesiologist—fails to follow the appropriate standard of care in a medical situation as well as the same care another reasonable provider would have provided. Proving that medical malpractice has occurred is difficult, and legal cases tend to be complicated.
Here are five things you should know about medical malpractice lawsuits in the state of Indiana.
There is a specified window of time, called the statute of limitations, in which medical malpractice suits have to be filed. In Indiana, this period is two years. After that time frame, a case cannot be brought, even if you feel you have been injured and want to pursue legal action. (There is one exception: Minors under six years of age have until their eighth birthday to file.)
Indiana places a cap on medical malpractice case awards. The cap was $1.25 million until July 1, 2017, when changes led to an increase.
Any damages are paid jointly by the physician and a state fund established for the purpose. The physician is liable for the first $250,000 for any act, and no more than $750,000 in the annual aggregate. The remainder, not to exceed $1 million for one case, is paid by the Patient’s Compensation Fund (PCF), run by the state of Indiana.
Filing a complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance is a necessary preliminary step before a medical malpractice case can proceed to court. The case is then evaluated by a three-person medical review panel. At least two panel members must practice in the same specialty as the defending physician.
After the Indiana Department of Insurance panel issues its report, the patient and their attorney can then decide the best course of action. In addition, the panel’s report is admissible as evidence.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of a medical malpractice, you are urged to contact the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.