Medical malpractice claims in the state of Indiana are some of the most difficult to navigate because they have a very specific set of statutes, rules and a medical review panel process that must be followed. If you wish to know more about the process itself, click here.
If you think that you or a loved one has fallen victim to medical malpractice, there are a few things you should know about deadlines.
Every injury-based claim or lawsuit has deadlines. They are called statutes of limitation that limits the amount of time between the date of the alleged injury and when you must file suit against any parties who may have caused you harm. As a general rule, Indiana’s medical malpractice statute of limitations is two years from the date of alleged first injury. This means that, if your loved one has a stroke causing injury or death due to an unreasonable delay in diagnosis, the statute of limitation expire two years from the date the diagnosis should have been made
If it has been longer than two years since the date the first alleged malpractice occurred, we still recommend you contact an attorney immediately to discuss your case as there are several exceptions to the general two year rule.
Indiana’s two-year statute of limitation is by no means clear-cut because there are a number of exceptions.
One of the more obvious exceptions has to do with children; the statute of limitations in cases of medical negligence for children younger than 6 extends to their 8th birthday. In other words, a child under the age of 6 years always has until his or her 8th birthday to file a claim before it is barred by the statute.
Another common exception to the general two-year rule involves delayed discovery. In some instances of malpractice, if you discover a malpractice-related injury after two years, an exception may apply to your case. This is particularly helpful in instances where misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis lead to injury that could have otherwise been prevented. The bottom line is, if a patient reasonabley discovers that malpractice occurred past the two year statute of limitations by no fault of their own, it is possible that the claim is not yet barred. Again, it is crucial to consult an experience medical malpractice attorney on these issues.
Some medical malpractice claims are discovered or realized more than two years from the date of the first alleged malpractice. However, the health care provider continued to treat the patient for a period of time following the first alleged malpractice and, therefore, the statute of limitations could be extended by the Doctrine of Continued Wrong.. An example of a situation where this doctrine would apply is this:
A doctor misdiagnosis a patient or failed to tell a patient about an abnormal test result. The doctor continues treating the patient for another 3 years. The statute of limitations would not begin to run until last time the patient was treated by the doctor, thereby extending the deadline to 2 years from the date the patient was last treated by the doctor.
Another exception stems from the Fraudulent Concealment Doctrine. This can be Active or Passive but occurs when a provider by deception or other efforts conceals material facts from a patient that prevents discovering a wrong. When this occurs, the patient must file within a reasonable time after discovery of the malpractice. If the doctor is under a duty to inform a patient of facts and somehow conceals them, the statute begins to fun at the end of the doctor-patient relationship. After the relationship terminates, the patient must discovery the malpractice and file suit within a reasonable time.
Do not give up hope! Determining whether exceptions apply to Indiana’s two year medical malpractice statute of limitations requires sound legal advice. We strongly encourage you to immediately call and consult with a member of our legal team today. Our firm has a long track record of success helping families recover fair compensation due to medical malpractice.
Indiana medical malpractice claims can be complicated, and there are strict time limits on how long you have to file a claim in order to be eligible for compensation. It is advisable to seek legal advice early so that you understand your and your family’s options for compensation.
At Wagner Reese, our compassionate medical malpractice lawyers can guide you through the complex process to pursue compensation for a stroke misdiagnosis. We can review your claim for free with no obligation. Call us today!