Modern medicine has revolutionized our lives. Many illnesses that were once fatal can now be managed or even cured thanks to the cutting-edge healthcare provided at facilities like Hammond’s Franciscan St. Margaret Health.
But while proper care can be a blessing, improper care can be a curse. Though no treatment is without risk, poorly executed medical interventions can inflict serious harm. When this happens, Indiana patients may be able to hold healthcare professionals financially liable for their negligent actions through a medical malpractice claim, but a positive result may not be easy to obtain.
Plaintiffs have a high bar to overcome to prove that a medical mistake constitutes negligence, and Indiana law places strict caps on claims of this type. For this reason, injured patients may benefit from working with knowledgeable legal practitioners, like the Hammond medical malpractice attorneys at Hensley Legal Group.
Hensley has been fighting for hardworking Indiana residents for over 25 years. It is our mission to make sure that everyone enjoys equal access to justice.
For a free case review with a Hammond medical malpractice lawyer, please call (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or complete the form below.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or caregiver provides substandard treatment that causes injury, harm, or even death. However, a negative outcome does not necessarily mean that malpractice occurred. A patient seeking care is usually suffering from an injury or illness already, and even the best course of treatment does not guarantee a beneficial outcome.
For a provider’s actions to rise to the level of medical malpractice, they must deviate from the established protocols of the medical community, known as “the standard of care.” Medical practitioners breach the standard of care when they behave differently from other competent providers working under the same conditions and either treat patients incorrectly or not at all. This breach may result in foreseeable, preventable harm being inflicted or permitted to occur.
Multiple parties could be liable for medical malpractice, including doctors, nurses, paramedics, technicians, pharmacists, therapists, hospitals, and manufacturers and distributors of dangerous drugs and devices. Injured patients need to identify everyone who may be responsible in order to ensure that maximum compensation is recovered.
For your medical malpractice case to be viable, you must show the following:
- A duty of care existed – A provider took you on as a patient and owed you a duty of care.
- The duty of care was breached – That provider deviated from or breached the accepted standard of care.
- The breach caused injury – This breach of the duty of care resulted in harm.
- Damages were sustained – You incurred losses because of the injury that the breach caused.
If you cannot prove all four elements, your claim is likely to fail. Our Hammond medical malpractice attorneys are available to analyze the circumstances leading up to your injury and determine whether your case can withstand opposition from insurance companies and defense lawyers.
Common Medical Malpractice Cases in Indiana
There are an average of 940 medical malpractice cases filed in Indiana every year. While each of these cases allege that caregivers inflicted harm on patients by deviating from the accepted standard of care, the ways in which this deviation occurs can take many forms. Victims of medical malpractice may suffer injury or lose their lives as a result of:
- Failure to diagnose a condition
- Delayed diagnosis
- Diagnostic mistakes
- Surgical errors
- Non-surgical procedure errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Prescription and medication errors
- Adverse reactions to dangerous medications
- Medical device malfunctions
- Infections from unclean or unsanitary conditions
- Negligent care
- Birth injuries
- Physical, sexual, or mental abuse by caregivers
Hensley’s medical malpractice attorneys are well versed in every type of negligence that can harm patients and can advise you of the best course of action for your claim.
The Challenge of Indiana Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice cases are some of the most difficult in personal injury litigation, especially in Indiana, where the law imposes additional limitations on claims against healthcare providers.
All personal injury cases must demonstrate that a plaintiff incurred damages because of a defendant’s negligent actions for that defendant to be liable. It can be relatively straightforward to establish liability in a car accident case in which a driver struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk. However, it can be harder to prove fault in a medical malpractice case, where a plaintiff must not only show that an injury occurred, but also that it was the result of a provider’s deviation from the standard of care.
To be successful, medical malpractice attorneys need deep familiarity with the applicable treatments and procedures, professional regulations, and state laws to identify negligent deviations by providers. Furthermore, they need to produce evidence of these deviations, drawing upon medical records, sworn statements from caregivers and witnesses, and even analysis from experts who can support a claim of negligence from an informed perspective. Finally, they need to convey these complex arguments in a clear and convincing way.
While medical malpractice cases have to overcome these hurdles anywhere in the United States, injured patients in Indiana face additional challenges, including limits on how much compensation can be awarded.
In 1975, the State of Indiana passed the Medical Malpractice Act, which imposed the nation’s first medical malpractice cap. Initially, the maximum medical malpractice award in Indiana was capped at $1.25 million, though it was eventually raised to $1.8 million in 2019. The Act also limits the amount that negligent healthcare providers and their insurers have to contribute to a total of $500,000.00 per incident. Any compensation above that amount must be obtained from the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund (PCF), a state program for victims to recover damages that exceed what a provider’s malpractice insurance covers, up to the $1.8 million cap.
While this number may seem high, it may not fully cover the damages or even bills in certain cases, providing yet another obstacle to plaintiffs who have encountered so many others.
How Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Make a Difference
We know how frustrating it can be when the people you trusted to restore your health end up making it worse. Not only do you have to cope with another medical crisis, you may also be dealing with uncooperative insurance companies trying to minimize the financial exposure of negligent healthcare providers.
At times like these, you need attorneys with the technical experience to build an airtight claim of medical negligence, as well as the compassion to support you and your loved ones as you try to make it through one of the most troubling periods of your life. You need the Hammond medical malpractice attorneys at Hensley Legal Group.
For more than a quarter century, we have dedicated our practice to standing up for people just like you, honest Hoosiers whose lives have been upended through no fault of their own. We treat our clients like family, not statistics, and just like family, we always put their interests first.
If you hire our firm, we will launch a comprehensive investigation to identify and pursue everyone who may be responsible for your medical injury within the time allotted by law. We will also work tirelessly to assemble the materials needed to support a claim of medical malpractice, subpoenaing records and other evidence if necessary and coordinating our efforts with leading experts in their fields.
After putting together the best case possible against the at-fault parties, we will attempt to negotiate a settlement that takes into account all of your losses, including:
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of intimate relations
- Punitive and/or wrongful death accident damages (if applicable)
If we do not receive an offer that reflects the true value of your case, we are more than willing to go to trial to secure a verdict that does, as well as obtain additional compensation from the PCF when the facts warrant it.
If you are worried about additional expenditures at a time when you are already economically burdened, you will be pleased to know that we work on a contingency basis. This means you will never have to pay us anything unless our Hammond medical malpractice attorneys win your case.
You have been struggling with disappointing setbacks for far too long. Let Hensley recover the compensation you need to finally recover the life you deserve.
Speak with a Hammond Medical Malpractice Lawyer Now
Hensley Legal Group is committed to defending the rights of the everyday people of Indiana. If you or a loved one have been harmed by the misconduct of a healthcare provider, our skilled medical malpractice attorneys will be here for you.
Schedule a free consultation with a Hammond medical malpractice lawyer by calling us at (317) 472-3333, chatting with us online, or completing the form below.