Patients can file a medical malpractice lawsuit when a doctor, medical professional, or health care center fails to provide adequate care. Medical malpractice can take many forms from misdiagnosis to inaction based on a patient’s symptoms.
To prove medical malpractice, you and your attorney will start with proving that the medical professional failed to meet the standard of care based on the circumstances.
We’ll explain what the standard of care is and the various phases of a medical malpractice lawsuit to provide an overview of what to expect during this type of case.
What Is the Standard of Care?
When evaluating whether the medical professional failed to provide the standard of care or not, the courts will likely examine national standards of care. These can come from medical journals, testimonies from other practicing professionals, educational materials from medical school, and even clinical trials.
Over time, the standard of care will change and adapt based on new findings. The basis of the standard of care is to evaluate your medical provider’s actions based on what other skilled health care professionals would do if presented with the same situation.
If your medical provider failed to take actions that other reasonable professionals would have, this could demonstrate an inadequate standard of care.
Stages of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
After going through a traumatic event and suffering due to a medical professional not providing adequate care, you will likely want to try to return to life as normally as possible. Going back through the experience by filing a lawsuit might not be your top priority.
However, you’ll still have medical bills for the poor care your medical professional provided and others could face the same challenges as you if you take no further action against that medical provider.
Here’s a look at what’s involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit to help inform your decision of whether to pursue a caset.
1. Meet with an Attorney
The first phase of a lawsuit is to meet with an Indiana medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your case. Your attorney will gather information and review the evidence to see if you might be a medical malpractice victim.
We’ll get access to your medical records for all relevant care to build a case. Our medical experts will examine the information and provide insights into whether the medical professional met the standard of care. This includes evaluating if you would have received the same care from another medical professional had that professional would have been presented with the same information.
2. Medical Review Panel Submission
Before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Indiana, you must submit the evidence to the Medical Review Panel. The panel will review your complaint and notify the named health care provider (case defendant) of your claims.
You must wait until the Medical Review Panel responds to your case before you can file a lawsuit. Their response is admissible in court and your attorney might call upon members of the panel to provide expert testimony.
Now you can file a formal lawsuit and begin the court proceedings. During this process, the insurance company for the health care provider might contact your attorney about a settlement.
Negotiating a settlement before your case’s trial can help immensely in speeding up the process and closing out the lawsuit. Your attorney will work hard to negotiate fair settlement terms to allow you to return to living your life.
Stewart & Stewart is a team of skilled medical malpractice attorneys. We’ll help you navigate the Indiana legal system for these types of claims and ensure a fair settlement. Schedule a free consultation now to learn more.