Medical malpractice in Indiana is defined as a legal wrong, whether by act or omission, that is committed by a healthcare provider against a patient. Medical malpractice is different (and sometimes trickier) than other types of personal injury claims like slip and fall accidents.
This type of injury suit traditionally has to do with procedures or treatments that were diagnosed and administered by a medical professional that did not turn out as planned. Those who commit medical malpractice may unintentionally cause serious pain and trauma to victims.
Victims of medical malpractice in Indiana often struggle for years with pain and discomfort, stress and worry, expensive medical bills, and lost time from work (or inability to perform work as they did in the past).
Often, the only way to pursue justice is by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. Below, we’ve collected some information that can help you better understand your potential case and prepare you to speak with an attorney.
Indiana Medical Malpractice Laws
The state of Indiana features some of the most restrictive medical malpractice laws in the country. The state uses the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act to govern all related incidents, which often creates challenges for many types of claims.
The Indiana Medical Malpractice Act limits the amount of time in which a patient may file a lawsuit. Furthermore, every complaint which is filed by a victim must be reviewed by a Medical Review Panel before the lawsuit may be heard in a court of law.
Consequently, the state does cap the amount of money a victim of medical malpractice may recover, as well as the amount an attorney can receive for representing a patient suffering from medical malpractice.
Nonetheless, medical malpractice lawsuits are serious, and you need a skilled lawyer who is willing and ready to fight on your behalf. Despite strict state laws that make it difficult to pursue a medical malpractice accusation, it is still worth it to evaluate your options and the strength of your case.
In general, filing a lawsuit is the only means to secure financial compensation for your damages. Pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit with Stewart & Stewart may help you receive an award for your medical bills, ER visits, lost time from work, and emotional damage. Contact us today for more information.
Indiana Compensation Act for Patients (INCAP)
Medical malpractice laws vary depending on the state. As we mentioned, Indiana has some of the most restrictive medical malpractice laws in the nation. Despite this opposition, there are still many in the state who have successfully pursued medical malpractice lawsuits since the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act was passed in 1975.
Indiana was the first state in the country to adopt a series of laws that protect both patients and doctors from medical malpractice lawsuits. Consequently, the state created the Indiana Compensation Act for Patients (INCAP) as an alternative to pursuing a lawsuit.
The Indiana Compensation Act for Patients strives to provide adequate financial support for patients that were wronged during a procedure or type of treatment. INCAP does limit the amount you may receive from a medical malpractice case to $1.25 million, but it is absolutely still worthwhile to look into if you have been wronged by a medical professional.
Indiana uses INCAP to refund victims of medical malpractice where the negligent party must only cover a portion of the damages out of their own pocket. The rest of the money is taken from the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund (PCF), which is reserved exclusively for this type of lawsuit.
It is important to remember that the statute of limitations for medical malpractice and INCAP in Indiana is two years from the offense. Children under six have until their eighth birthday for a medical malpractice lawsuit to be filed on their behalf. There are a few exceptions to this rule, however, so be sure to consult an attorney for further clarification on the issue of children harmed in a medical setting.
Steps for Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Indiana
Here are the steps you should follow if you are considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Indiana:
- Consult an experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Indiana. Stewart & Stewart has an outstanding reputation regarding this type of malpractice civil lawsuit.
- Gather medical records and other evidence that helps build your case.
- Obtain an expert review to further assess your case.
- File a copy of the proposed complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance.
- Request the formation of a Medical Review Panel and wait for a verdict.
- Decide how you wish to move forward and if you still want to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit based on the findings from the medical review.
Speak With a Knowledgeable Medical Malpractice Lawyer
The consequences of medical malpractice can stay with you for years after the event. You shouldn’t be forced to endure your pain and suffering alone—Stewart & Stewart is on your side. We want to represent your case and secure the compensation to which you are entitled. We’ll put our considerable years of experience to work on your behalf. Contact us today for a free consultation.