You may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim if you or a loved one are the victims of a medical error. Medical malpractice—sometimes called medmal—is a term used to describe when the actions of a medical provider result in harm to a patient. These medical errors can happen just about anywhere, including in the city of Terre Haute, Indiana.
Terre Haute is a city in and the county seat of Vigo County, near the state’s western border with Illinois. The city is home to both Indiana State University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Nearly 60,000 residents call Terre Haute home and enjoy the many amenities the city has to offer.
Terre Haute has worked to revitalize the businesses and culture in its downtown district. The city boasts many festivals, museums, restaurants, shops, and the addition of multiple hotels as part of its revitalization. These efforts were recognized in 2010 when the Indiana Chamber of Commerce named Terre Haute Indiana’s Community of the Year.
Medical malpractice describes when a medical professional deviates from the expected standards of their profession, resulting in an injury—or even fatality—to the patient. Proving that the medical professional was negligent in treatment and holding the provider liable is at the core of any malpractice lawsuit. Working with an experienced medical malpractice attorney at Wilson Kehoe Winingham in Terre Haute, Indiana can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Malpractice claims can take many forms. They may occur during surgery if the doctor operates on the wrong body part—say, the left hand instead of the right. It’s also been known for surgical instruments to be left inside of the victim’s body. Other examples include prescription drug errors, failure to diagnose, or anesthesia problems. Birthing errors are another tragic example of medical malpractice. A doctor may be found to be negligent or a medical facility can also cause a medical error to occur.
Your claim could be the result of any number of negligent acts by a medical professional. More common medical malpractice injuries result from the following actions:
There are two main types of damages recoverable from medical malpractice lawsuits: general damages and special damages. Punitive damages can only be sought if the malpractice was undeniably negligent or outrageous. These kinds of damages are quite rare.
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.
Each medical malpractice case is unique, so there is no set answer to this question. The dollar amount sought will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the situation/injury and any long-lasting impacts. The experienced medical malpractice lawyers at WKW have served as counsel on all types of these lawsuits and will not leave money on the table.
There are typically two ways to determine a monetary value: settlement value or trial value. Most medical malpractice cases end in a settlement and avoid going to trial. A settlement value will typically be much lower than a trial value, as you are guaranteed payment once a settlement is reached. In a trial, you may walk away with nothing if you lose, so the stakes are higher.
Indiana Civil Code 34-18-2-18 defines medical malpractice as a “tort or breach of contract based on healthcare or professional services that were provided, or that should have been provided, by a healthcare provider, to a patient.”
Medical malpractice claims vary significantly case by case. Your claim may be filed against an individual, multiple parties, or an institution, depending on which party is shown to have acted in a negligent manner. Examples of potentially liable parties include doctors, nurses, medical assistants, medical facilities, or nursing homes, to name a few.
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 Terre Haute, IN, medical malpractice lawyers are here to help navigate and secure you a full and fair settlement. Medical malpractice cases are especially complex, as they require both legal and medical knowledge. And because we work on a contingency basis, there is no out-of-pocket cost to you.
Each medical malpractice case has a limited timeframe in which to file a claim, known as the statute of limitations. In Indiana, the statute of limitations is two years, which is counted from the time you were injured by a medical professional or hospital. An exception can be made if the victim did not realize they were injured until a later date, but we recommend that you reach out to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
If you are the victim of a medical error, you are likely already under duress and feeling financial strain if you’re now unable to work. The experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham will fight to get both your health and your life back on track. Being local to Terre Haute, Indiana, and limiting the number of cases we take on allows us to develop a personal relationship with each of our clients and to be by your side every step of the way.
Wilson Kehoe Winingham’s team of experienced medical malpractice attorneys offer a no-obligation, free consultation so you can learn more about our services. Don’t go it alone. Reach out to us today at (317) 669-9983.
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Am I allowed to represent myself in a medical malpractice case?
Legally, there is nothing that requires you to hire an attorney to file a claim in the state of Indiana. But if you choose to go it alone—although, why would you?—on pursuing a medical malpractice claim, you are almost guaranteed to leave cash on the table. Why? Because medical malpractice cases are especially complex, requiring both legal and medical knowledge. It’s also notoriously difficult to find medical providers to serve as “expert witnesses” against fellow doctors if they don’t already have an established, trusted relationship with you. Lastly, our lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning there is no out-of-pocket expense to you, so there’s really no reason to not work with an experienced lawyer from WKW.
Am I allowed to sue because I don’t like the results of a surgery?
Malpractice claims can take many forms. Medical malpractice suits happen when a doctor either failed to act or acted in a negligent way that caused harm to a patient. There are certainly times when the result of a surgery can lead to a medical malpractice claim. One example is if the surgeon operates on the wrong body part—for example, the left hand instead of the right. It’s also been known for surgical instruments to be left inside of the victim’s body, which can also be grounds for a case.
But when you decide to have surgery, there is no guaranteed outcome, so simply not being happy with the results is not grounds for a medical malpractice case. Negligence on the part of the doctor must be shown.
How long does a medical malpractice case typically take?
Medical malpractice cases are, by their very nature, complicated. This is initially due to the fact that there are complex medical issues to dissect in addition to legal issues. Also, Indiana’s medical malpractice statute, unfortunately, requires cases to be presented to a medical review panel before going through the court system, which adds another layer of time and complexity.
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 case, only a significant injury or damage warrants the time and energy required to endure such a difficult process.
Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.