Updated April 13, 2020
At Wilson Kehoe Winingham, we are dedicated to restoring the lives of our personal injury clients. When you approach us with a medical malpractice case, we know you are overwhelmed, dealing with injuries or illnesses, and struggling with finances. Our goal is to help you navigate the complicated legal system and be with you every step of the way.
However, Indiana’s strict medical malpractice laws mean that we must first carefully assess your claim and determine if we can take on your case. We want to be as straightforward with you as possible so that if we must reject your medical malpractice claim, you can pursue other options.
There are several reasons why the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at WKW may reject your case.
In medical malpractice cases, the burden of proof is on you to show that the negligence of a healthcare provider caused your injuries. You must prove four things:
If any of these items are not substantiated, your case will probably be rejected.
Bad outcomes, worsening patient conditions, rude healthcare professionals, or untreatable conditions are not considered medical malpractice.
Additionally, medical malpractice cases tend to consider how a “reasonable” physician would act. If other doctors in the same position and with the same qualifications would have made the same decision, you likely won’t have a medical malpractice claim.
Indiana law requires medical malpractice victims to prove that their injuries were directly caused by the negligence of the medical provider in question. For example, your legal team must show that your injuries were due to the doctor’s negligence—not from the medical condition for which you originally sought treatment. In some instances, establishing a causal link is so difficult or impossible that your case may not be winnable.
Without significant evidence linking a doctor’s care or lack of care to your injuries, we cannot pursue your medical malpractice claim.
At WKW, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you are not charged for the services we provide unless your case is successful. In other words, we do not get paid unless we recover compensation for you.
Medical malpractice litigation is expensive. There are several costs associated with pursuing a medical malpractice case that we pay upfront, such as hiring healthcare professionals to review your records and serve as expert witnesses.
For medical malpractice claims with minor damages, the costs of litigation can far exceed the potential damages. If we determine that it does not make financial sense to pursue your case, we will not take on your claim.
In the most tragic of cases, we must reject your claim because there are no survivors eligible to receive compensation.
When a medical malpractice victim dies as a result of negligence, Indiana has laws in place determining who can recover on their behalf. For adults, a spouse or children under the age of 26 can seek compensation; for those under 26, their parents can also qualify.
If there are no survivors available to recover damages, we cannot pursue a medical malpractice case.
You can only seek compensation for damages in medical malpractice cases that actually occurred. Speculative damages—damages that might have occurred—do not qualify for compensation.
If, for example, a doctor acted negligently but you were proactive and took precautions to prevent harm, you will not be able to pursue a medical malpractice case.
Each state has its own set of laws dictating when medical malpractice cases can be filed. In Indiana, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases is two years. The clock generally starts when the healthcare provider acted negligently. There are some exceptions, but otherwise, the timeline is strict. We cannot pursue a medical malpractice case with an expired deadline.
Our legal team also needs enough time to review the claim and seek the opinion of our nurse consultants. With the tight turnaround and long assessment process, we may also have to reject cases that are too close to the end of the statute of limitations.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you and your family get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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