At Wagner Reese, we hold the medical profession in high regard. But, when a physician, nurse, or medical facility does not perform up to professional standards, legal accountability may become necessary.
Since 1997, our firm has been earning recognition throughout Indiana and the nation as a personal injury law firm that focuses on medical malpractice cases. If you or a family member were the victim of medical malpractice which resulted in injuries or death, please contact our medical malpractice attorneys in Indianapolis to discuss your rights and legal options.
We can be reached online or by phone at (888) 204-8440. Contact us today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or hospital causes injury to a patient by failing to provide them with acceptable care. In general, if a healthcare provider deviates in care for a patient—either failing to act or acting differently than how others with similar training would have reasonably acted—the provider may be liable for any damages that result. In most cases, medical malpractice involves a medical error that was either a negligent act or failure to act.
The premise behind all medical malpractice lawsuits is simple: negligence on the part of a medical professional. Doctors and other medical professionals owe a duty to their patients to practice medicine with the degree of skill, care, and diligence possessed by any reasonably competent physician under the same circumstances. These professionals breach their duty of care when they fail to live up to this standard.
Negligence occurs at every stage in the treatment process and may involve many types of health care providers, including doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, pharmacists, lab technicians, physical therapists, or dentists.
Examples of medical malpractice include:
- Medication errors
- Misdiagnosis or delayed treatment
- Lack of informed consent
- Medical record mistakes
- Surgery errors
- EMT and emergency room mistakes
- Failure to diagnose breast cancer
- Birth injuries
- Fatal medical mistakes/wrongful death
This list is by no means exhaustive; there are many other examples of medical negligence and malpractice. Additionally, medical malpractice can result in a wide range of injuries and complications, including cerebral palsy, meningitis, group B strep, shoulder dystocia, Erb’s palsy, paralysis, and much more.
How Medical Malpractice Occurs
Medical errors in the U.S. are a leading cause of preventable injuries and death. According to the Diederich Healthcare 2015 Medical Malpractice Payout Analysis, insurance companies paid out $3,891,743,050 for medical malpractice claims in the U.S. in 2014. Insurers paid out about 30 percent of those funds for medical errors resulting in death. Significant permanent injuries accounted for 18 percent of the payouts, major permanent injuries accounted for 17 percent, while brain damage, quadriplegia, and lifelong-care injuries accounted for 13 percent.
So, how does medical malpractice happen? Common causes include:
- Lack of resources
- Doctor/nurse fatigue
- Out-of-date health records
- Intentional actions
How to Prove Medical Malpractice
In general, four facts are needed to prove medical malpractice in Indiana:
- An injury was suffered
- Medical facility or doctor caused the injury
- Medical facility or doctor provided the care
- Medical facility or doctor did not provide care that was consistent and acceptable by medical standards
If you can prove these four things, you may be able to collect damages in a med mal case. Remember that there is a statute of limitations on these types of cases, so you must act quickly and contact an attorney for a free consultation right away. In Indiana, the statute of limitations for a medical injury is two years from when the act occurred. However, there are exceptions in cases involving young children, who have until their eighth birthday to file a claim. Additionally, if the damage was not discovered until a much later date, exceptions can be made.
Contact Wagner Reese for a Free Consultation
To learn more about the medical malpractice claims process, how much your case may be worth, and which damages you may be able to recover, reach out to our Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys. With more than 120+ years of combined legal experience, our attorneys are prepared to answer all of your questions and address any concerns you may have regarding the legal process.
Call (888) 204-8440 for a free consultation. We offer contingent fees, meaning there is absolutely no upfront cost for you and you only pay if we win your case.