Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Negligence & Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Indiana
If you or a loved one has suffered from a medical or surgical error, you might need an Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer to help you file a medical malpractice claim. In your pursuance of a medical malpractice claim, you will have to prove that a medical provider breached the standard of care and caused an avoidable injury or death.
You will want to consult a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who has experience handling medical malpractice claims.
At Hovde Dassow + Deets, our malpractice lawyers in Indiana have represented victims of medical malpractice for more than 50 years.
Our Indianapolis medical malpractice law firm has been selected as one of seven Tier 1 law firms in Indiana for medical malpractice law due to our careful analysis of potential claims and meticulous case preparation. Our medical malpractice lawyers in Indiana are ready to help however we can and will put our experience and skill to work for you.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
And When Do I Need a Malpractice Lawyer in Indiana?
Medical malpractice occurs when doctors, healthcare providers, hospitals, or their staff provide care that is below accepted standards, resulting in injury or death. Note that a poor outcome following medical treatment does not necessarily indicate that medical malpractice has occurred.
Rather, an individual must prove that the treating provider failed to act in a manner one could reasonably expect from another healthcare provider, acted in a way that another provider would not have, or was otherwise negligent to have a medical malpractice case. One must also prove that the act of malpractice led to physical injury, death, and/or measurable damages.
Some of the most common examples of medical malpractice include:
- Delayed diagnosis
- Failure to diagnose
- Birth injuries
- Prenatal treatment errors
- Delivery errors
- Emergency room errors
- Hospital negligence
- Medication errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Failure to properly treat a fracture
- Surgical errors, such as the damage of a nerve or blood vessel
- Medical instruments or other foreign objects left inside a patient during surgery
- Failure to properly treat an infection
- Failing to inform the patient of alternative treatments
- Failure to obtain informed consent
- Failure to treat an injury or disease in a timely manner
- Failure to refer a patient to a specialist
- Nursing home injuries
- Poor follow-up or aftercare
- Premature discharge
- Failure to obtain a patient’s medical history
Is Medical Malpractice the Same as Medical Negligence?
For all intents and purposes, the phrase “medical malpractice” and “medical negligence” refer to the same thing: the failure of a medical provider to uphold the standard of care. However, there is a subtle difference between medical malpractice and medical negligence.
Generally speaking, medical negligence refers to any conduct by a medical provider that falls short of the standard of care. Medical malpractice, on the other hand, occurs when a medical provider’s negligence causes injury, illness, death, or other types of harm. Medical negligence alone does not serve as grounds for a medical malpractice case; instead, you must prove not only that the medical provider failed to uphold the standard of care but also that this was what led to your injury and/or damages.
Proving a Medical Practitioner’s Negligence in Indiana
A medical practitioner can be found guilty of medical negligence in cases involving a medication error, improper treatment of infection, failure to properly refer a patient to a specialist, misdiagnosis, a delay in diagnosis, or another act of negligence or malpractice with an investigation into the patient’s medical history. In addition, you will have to prove that the medical practitioner’s negligence was directly responsible for your injuries.
To prove negligence in your medical malpractice claim, testimony from experts qualified in and knowledgeable about the particular medical specialty is almost always required. Our Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys at Hovde Dassow + Deets work with highly credentialed medical experts to build a strong case with the goal of obtaining a significant recovery in meritorious cases. We know how to prove medical provider negligence and are committed to maximizing your settlement or verdict. To date, we have secured more than $300 million in compensation for our clients.
Compensation in Medical Malpractice Claims
The types of damages covered in medical malpractice cases vary. For example, when medical negligence involves surgery, victims are likely to be compensated for long-term medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent disability and care, and mental and emotional anguish. In cases that involve prenatal or delivery errors, compensation for parents may be for the long-term care of their child. Medical negligence can lead to a child’s long-term disability, a mandatory cesarean section, and maternal or fetal distress, which can lead to the death of the child or the mother.
It is important for you to discuss your specific case with an attorney to identify your options for compensation. Only a thorough review of the details of your case will provide a picture of what types of damages you may be entitled to receive, as well as the potential overall value of your claim.
That being said, many medical malpractice cases allow plaintiffs to seek compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses related to treating the injury or condition caused or worsened by the medical provider’s negligent or wrongful conduct
- Physical pain, emotional suffering, and mental anguish related to the victim’s injury, illness, or the death of a loved one
- Lost income, wages, and other employment benefits for victims who are unable to work temporarily or permanently due to their injuries
- Diminished quality of life/enjoyment of life due to temporary or permanent impairment, disability, injury, or mental distress
At Hovde Dassow + Deets, our Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys can review the details of your case during a free initial consultation. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and can provide our professional counsel regarding your legal rights and options.
How to Report Medical Malpractice
Suspected medical malpractice should be reported to the proper authorities so that the involved parties can be properly investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted. By reporting medical malpractice, you can help ensure that others do not suffer the same fate that you and your family have.
First, if you suspect that you or anyone else is in imminent danger, call 911. In all other instances, you can report alleged medical malpractice in Indiana to the Office of the Attorney General.
You can do this online (click here to visit the Attorney General Office’s consumer complaint form) or by calling 1-800-382-5516 or (317) 232-6330. If possible, you should submit copies of documents you have supporting your claim, such as copies of your medical records.
An attorney from Hovde Dassow + Deets can assist you in reporting medical malpractice to the appropriate parties if you believe that you or someone you know has suffered due to substandard medical care. Reach out to us today to learn more.
Is There a Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages in Indiana?
The Indiana Medical Malpractice Act currently provides for a maximum recovery of $1.25 million for acts of malpractice occurring before July 1, 2017, and $1.65 million for acts of malpractice occurring after July 1, 2017, regardless of the extent of the injuries and damages. The payment of medical malpractice settlements or judgments is a combination of a payment from the healthcare provider’s insurer and a payment from the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund, a pool of money managed by the state of Indiana and funded by a part of the insurance premium paid by the doctor or hospital.
We Provide Free Consultations with Malpractice attorneys in Indiana
If you were injured or if someone you love died due to a trusted medical provider’s negligence, turn to the team at Hovde Dassow + Deets. We are here to help you get back on your feet and seek accountability from the liable party.
With more than 100 years of combined experience and a longstanding track record of success, our highly awarded and renowned firm has the resources, skills, and reputation to effectively advocate for you.
Contact our office for your free consultation with our Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers by calling (317) 576-3241 or by filling out our online contact form. There are no fees unless we win your case.
Medical Malpractice FAQs
What is the statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases in Indiana?
The general statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases in the state of Indiana is two years, meaning you have just two years from the date of alleged malpractice to sue the liable party for damages. However, the law recognizes that some injuries resulting from medical malpractice cannot be discovered right away.
In such cases, the statute of limitations may be extended from the date on which the injury was discovered or reasonably could have been discovered and the plaintiff knew or reasonably should have known that the injury was the result of medical negligence.
Additionally, in cases involving children under the age of six when the act of alleged malpractice occurred, the child (or a parent or guardian acting on their behalf) has until their eighth birthday to pursue medical malpractice litigation.
What is a “medical review panel” complaint?
In Indiana, most people who wish to file a medical malpractice lawsuit must first receive an opinion on their case from a medical review panel. To receive such an opinion, you will need to file a medical review panel complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance prior to initiating litigation.
Once you have submitted your proposed complaint, you will have the opportunity to present evidence supporting your claim. The defendant will also be allowed to submit evidence supporting their side of the case. The panel, which consists of three healthcare professionals and one attorney, will then review all submitted evidence to determine if you have a viable case. Once you have received an opinion from the medical review panel, you have just 90 days to file your lawsuit.
Does everyone have to receive a medical review panel opinion to file a medical malpractice lawsuit?
Indiana has two exceptions to the medical review panel process. If you are seeking less than $15,000 in damages (as stated in your court complaint), or if you and the defendant have a written agreement stating that you both wish to forgo the medical review panel process (attached to your court complaint), you do not need to obtain a medical review panel opinion before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Can you sue a doctor for malpractice in Indiana?
Yes, you can sue an individual doctor—or any other healthcare practitioner, such as a surgeon, anesthesiologist, OB/GYN, oncologist, dentist, registered nurse, specialist, etc.—for malpractice in Indiana. You may also bring a lawsuit against a hospital or similar medical facility depending on the specifics of your situation.
Our Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys can review the details of your case and determine who is liable. Then, we can aggressively pursue the full and fair compensation you are owed.
Overview of How Indiana’s Malpractice Laws Work
Like some other states, Indiana has a fairly detailed process about how a patient has to go about suing her doctor for medical malpractice. While this process may not apply to every lawsuit involving a doctor, most medical negligence cases must go forward via this process. Otherwise, a patient risks losing his case out of the box for not following the correct procedures.
Two important features of the process are:
- First, a patient must submit a proposed complaint to the Department of Insurance before filing suit.
- Then, within 20 days, either the physician or the patient may ask for an independent review.
Both sides have a role in selecting the attorney who chairs the panel and the 3 medical providers who will be on the Medical Review Panel.
Once formed, the Panel considers only written evidence, such as medical records and reports and the like. The Panel may, however, examine sworn testimony from the doctor and patient as well as third-party witnesses.
At the end of the process, the Panel concludes whether or not the doctor involved failed to uphold the standard of care. A Panel costs over $3,000 to conduct; the doctor only pays in full for the Panel if the Panel holds that he or she fell short of the standard of care.
Although it will depend on the specific circumstances, the opinion of the Panel may be admissible in a later court proceeding if the patient goes forward with a lawsuit.
Preparing one’s case for review by a Medical Review Panel
The result of a Medical Review Panel can be critical to the outcome of a patient’s case. It is important for a person to prepare carefully for the Panel’s review. Likewise, a careful investigation is necessary if a case goes forward into litigation.
If you are going through a medical malpractice issue, don't hesitate to reach out to our Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers to discuss your options today.
Words can not express how exceptional Rick Hovde and Kelly Faulk are in the Field of Medical Malpractice- Bob D
You can tell we're just not a client but a family that they care about.- Steve H.
The best thing about working with Hovde Dassow + Deets was Nick's professionalism & knowledge.- Sarah S.
Our family very much appreciates the services we received from Nick Deets & his staff.- Teresa S.
Very professional, honest, upfront all throughout the case.- John H.