Most people trust their healthcare provider’s advice and recommendations when making decisions about care and treatment. Unfortunately, sometimes the trust is misplaced. Whether due to poor judgment, inadequate training, or a simple mistake, doctors might occasionally harm their patients. If that happened to you, contact a capable personal injury attorney who will stand up for your rights.

A Beech Grove medical malpractice lawyer could file a lawsuit against your healthcare provider, seeking damages for the harm you suffered under their care.

Defining Medical Malpractice

Negligence determines whether a party is liable for another party’s injuries, and refers to the failure to use reasonable care or caution to prevent injury to others. When a Beech Grove attorney considers a medical malpractice case, they must assess whether there is evidence the healthcare provider was negligent.

In the medical context, a healthcare provider must meet the “standard of care” to avoid negligence. To meet the standard of care, a healthcare provider must use the same degree of judgment and skill as a similarly credentialed provider would use in a similar situation.

The standard of care varies depending on whether the provider is a physician, pharmacist, nurse, surgeon, or specialist. A particular healthcare provider must uphold the professional standards that someone with the same credentials and experience would employ. The care need not be the best care available, merely that it conforms to the standards.

Procedure For Bringing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

When a patient approaches a Beech Grove attorney about bringing a malpractice action, the legal professional usually asks a doctor with similar training to review the patient’s medical record. If the doctor agrees that the patient received treatment that did not meet the standard of care, the attorney files a proposed medical malpractice complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance.

A panel of three healthcare providers then reviews the patient’s records and other evidence each side submits. Each side could conduct depositions of the other’s witnesses and submit them for the panel to review. After the panel examines the evidence submitted, the panel provides its opinion about whether the healthcare provider committed malpractice.

The panel’s finding is only an opinion, and an injured plaintiff could file a lawsuit even if the panel does not agree the healthcare provider committed malpractice. However, it could be challenging for a patient to prevail at a trial if the panel found that the healthcare provider met the standard of care.

Damages in Medical Malpractice Actions

Indiana has a unique system of paying damages to patients whose doctors committed malpractice. According to Indiana Code § 34-18-14-3, most healthcare professionals are liable only for the first $500,000 of a patient’s damages. When the patient’s losses exceed that amount, they must apply to the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund for the funds.

The fund pays a maximum of $1,300,000 per case, so the law effectively caps a patient’s recovery at $1,800,000 for a case against one professional. If more than one professional committed malpractice, the patient could collect up to $500,000 from each liable professional but no more than $1,000,000 from the Patient Compensation Fund. A Beech Grove medical malpractice attorney could explain the limits that would apply in a specific case.

A healthcare professional must have liability insurance to get the protection of the cap. Almost all healthcare providers have insurance, but when a provider is liable for a patient’s injury and has no insurance, they could be personally liable for the full amount of the patient’s damages. However, the doctor would need sufficient personal assets to pay the damages and most doctors with substantial assets buy insurance to protect themselves.

Consult a Beech Grove Medical Malpractice Attorney About a Potential Claim

Medical malpractice cases are more complex than standard negligence cases but that does not mean you must accept a healthcare professional’s mistake without seeking recourse. A Beech Grove medical malpractice lawyer could pursue compensation if you suffered injuries because you did receive an appropriate standard of care.

Call today to speak with a local malpractice attorney.