"Although no doctor wants to cause harm to a patient, the law requires hospitals and physicians to treat their patients with the standard of care required by their profession. When the medical care rendered is substandard and a loved one is seriously hurt, then the law dictates fair compensation."
- Todd Barsumian
Malpractice means a tort or breach of contract based on health care or professional services that were provided, or that should have been provided, by a health care provider, to a patient. Medical errors have been reported to be the third leading cause of death in the U.S., leading to at least 250,000 deaths every year. Common cases brought by medical malpractice attorneys include allegations of a missed diagnosis or failed diagnosis, birth injuries, medication errors, surgical mistakes, and anesthesia errors.
Medical malpractice lawsuits can involve medical providers at every level: doctors, specialists, nurses, support staff and even hospitals, medical practices or healthcare clinics. Some of the most common cases handled by a medical malpractice attorney arise from surgery, OB/GYN and women's health, otolaryngology, urology, orthopedics, plastic surgery, radiology, emergency medicine, gastroenterology, and anesthesiology.
A medical malpractice attorney bringing a lawsuit on behalf of the injured or deceased patient must prove that they were owed a duty (e.g., that a physician-patient relationship existed), that the defendant breached that duty, and that the breach of that duty proximately caused harm. To establish negligence, a patient must show that a doctor failed to exercise the degree of skill and care ordinarily possessed and exercised by a reasonably skillful and careful practitioner under the same or similar circumstances. The best medical malpractice attorneys recognize that expert testimony is almost always required to establish a failure to comply with the applicable standard of care. Consequently, those attorneys will almost always consult early on with a physician qualified to evaluate the injured or deceased's care before bringing a negligence or wrongful death claim.
Even the best medical malpractice law firms recognize that medical malpractice claims can be some of the most difficult to prosecute, especially in Indiana in light of the protections afforded healthcare providers under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act. The Indiana Medical Malpractice Act requires that medical malpractice lawsuits against qualified healthcare providers first be submitted to a medical review panel before the lawsuit can be prosecuted in court. Unlike other claims, damages and monetary compensation for acts of malpractice are capped, the statute of limitations is shortened in some cases, and contributory fault applies.
The best medical malpractice attorneys must be able to:
- Gather the appropriate medical records and other evidence;
- Understand the potential medical issues involved;
- Research and review the medical records and other evidence, with the assistance of experts and medical literature, to establish a deviation from the applicable standard of care;
- Understand and be familiar with how medical malpractice claims in Indiana are prosecuted under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act; and
- Convince medical review panels and juries to hold the provider to the applicable standard of care no matter how accomplished, prominent or mistake-free the provider has been in the past.
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to treat
- Delay in diagnosis
- Surgical errors
- Botched cosmetic surgeries
- Plastic surgery malpractice
- Anesthesiology errors
- Emergency room errors
- Unnecessary procedures
- Defective drugs
- Prescription errors in the selection, dosing, and monitoring of a medication