Doctors, health care providers, hospitals and other institutions commit medical malpractice when their level of care falls below generally accepted standards and when an injury results from that failure to maintain the proper standard of care. A medical professional is referred to as a health care provider in Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act. Heath care providers include all doctors, nurses, hospital employees, chiropractors, podiatrists, and physical therapists.
Medical malpractice claims are extremely complex and it can be difficult to prove that the professional breached the standard of care and that the breach resulted in the claimed injury. Overall, the percentage of verdicts in favor of plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases is small.
In order to successfully pursue a medical malpractice claim, the attorney must have knowledge and experience handling the complex factual and evidentiary issues unique to such claims. Hovde Dassow + Deets attorneys have represented victims of medical malpractice for more than 30 years. This experience is a valuable asset to our clients. Our experience results in careful analysis of potential claims and meticulous case preparation.
Standard of Care as a Part of Medical Malpractice Claims
A bad result from a medical treatment or procedure does not always result from a failure to follow the standard of care. Bad results can occur without negligence on the part of the doctor. However, if the doctor did something a reasonable physician would not have done or failed to do something a reasonable physician would have done, then he was negligent and responsible for the bad result.
If the standard of care was not met, then you must determine what injuries and damages were caused by the negligence. Both defining the standard of care and determining the resulting injuries and damages caused by medical malpractice require experienced testimony from doctors qualified in and knowledgeable about the particular medical specialty. Our attorneys work with highly-credentialed medical experts to build a strong case in your favor with the goal of an advantageous outcome.
Types of Malpractice
Some examples of the types of errors that become the basis for medical malpractice claims include:
Improper diagnosis or delay in diagnosis
Failure to diagnose
Failure to properly treat a fracture
Surgical errors, such as damaging a nerve or blood vessel during an operation
Medical instruments, sponges, needles, or other foreign objects left inside a patient during surgery
Prenatal treatment errors
Failing to inform the patient of alternative treatments
Failure to treat an injury or disease in a timely manner
Failure to refer a patient to a specialist
Failure to properly treat an infection
Medical malpractice claims in Indiana are governed by state statute. This statute contains several procedural steps that must be followed, and there is a limitation on the amount of money one can collect from a claim.
Maximum Recovery Amount
The Medical Malpractice Act currently provides for a maximum recovery of $1,250,000 regardless of the extent of the injuries and damages. It also provides that the doctor or hospital is responsible for payment of the first $250,000 of this limit and the remaining balance, if any, is paid from a Patients’ Compensation Fund, a pool or money managed by the state of Indiana and funded by a part of the insurance premium paid by the doctor or hospital.
If a medical malpractice claim is not settled with the doctor or hospital and it goes to trial, a jury will decide if there has been malpractice (negligence) and the total amount of damages to be awarded to the plaintiff. Hovde Dassow + Deets has vast experience successfully trying medical malpractice cases and as a result, was ranked #1 In Indianapolis for medical malpractice litigation by Best Lawyers 2010.