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Five Good Reasons to Hire an Attorney for a Medical Negligence Claim

Steve Wagner

A study by Consumer Reports reveals that a majority of hospitals have substandard safety practices. This information brings up the issue of claiming compensation for personal injury or wrongful death due to medical negligence as a result of these substandard practices. While pressing charges or claiming compensation for medical negligence, awareness of what’s involved will help you contest your case successfully. But for the average person, or a person who is already suffering from injury or illness resulting from medical negligence, this information and the process of a lawsuit can seem overwhelming. Here are a few reasons you should always have an attorney at your side when fighting a medical negligence lawsuit:

  1. Victims of medical malpractice cannot sue in court automatically. Victims have to first approach the Indiana Department of Insurance, who will appoint a three-member medical review panel to asses the case. The panel’s conclusion is not binding nor conclusive, but admissible in the subsequent lawsuit, if the victim chooses to challenge the panel’s conclusion. Success in a subsequent lawsuit would depend on an Indiana medical malpractice lawyer demolishing the findings of the review board, if not favorable to the patient.
  2. When claiming damages for medical negligence, multiple laws apply. Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act caps damages for medical negligence at $1.25 million. The Wrongful Death Act specifies the grounds under which compensation may be claimed. Knowing the specifications of these laws can help you achieve the maximum amount of compensation. Having an attorney who is familiar with these laws in invaluable in this case.
  3. A thorough knowledge, of case laws, helps. For instance, personal injury claims have to be made by the patient or the legal representative. However, in cases of wrongful death, the Indiana Supreme court has decreed that the representative filing the case need not be the legally appointed personal representative of the victim. Knowing when and how to file your case is often one of the most important factors in a medical negligence suit. Having an attorney assist you with the timing can be hugely beneficial to you when it comes to securing compensation.
  4. Suing for a malpractice claim is bound by the statute of limitations. Normally the statute is two years from the date of incident, rather than the date of death. However, depending on the arguments put forth, the courts may allow filing the claim even after the set time limit but you will need an experienced attorney to help you determine how to best pursue a case that has passed the statute of limitations.
  5. Securing compensation depends on a thorough knowledge Indiana medical insurance. The law does not require medical practitioners or hospitals to have insurance, but most of them do. In most cases, the hospitals or the practitioners are responsible only for the first $250,000. The state Patient’s Compensation Fund pays up any excess, increasing the possibilities of extracting higher payouts, without having to seize the practitioner’s or hospital’s assets, to cover the shortfall in insurance. Having an attorney who understands how the insurance process work and who can research the specific circumstances around your practitioner or hospital will make it all the more likely that you will receive the compensation you deserve.

Wagner Reese has a team of skilled and competent Indiana medical malpractice attorneys, and a track record of pursuing medical negligence claims to deliver compensation to victims. Contact us at (888) 204-8440 for a free evaluation of your case.


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