Suing a doctor can seem like a daunting task if you are currently dealing with injuries or the loss of a loved one due to medical malpractice. At the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson, we understand how difficult the days, weeks, and months can be after you have suffered a serious injury caused by a healthcare professional’s negligence. We know that you may not be able to work, and it is likely that you are facing costly medical bills associated with your preventable injury. Although it might seem overwhelming to begin the process of filing a lawsuit, our experienced Indiana medical malpractice lawyer is here to help.
When a patient suffers harm because a doctor did not provide proper care, the patient deserves to be financially compensated. An aggressive lawyer can help you to seek the compensation you deserve.
Statistics on Medical Malpractice Repeat Offenders
You may be able to avoid seeing a doctor who is more likely than another healthcare provider to make a serious medical error. In fact, “a small number of physicians account for a disproportionately high number of claims,” The Huffington Post reports .In other words, many doctors who are accused of medical malpractice are repeat offenders. The following facts and figures help to show the rates of medical negligence claims and settlements, and how repeat offenders pay a large portion of these settlements:
- Only 1 percent of all licensed physicians were associated with 32 percent of the medical malpractice settlements that were paid from 2005 to 2014. In other words, only 1 percent of all doctors were associated with nearly one-third of all medical negligence payouts.
- The more claims a physician settles, the greater the likelihood that she or he will pay out more medical malpractice settlements in the future. Indeed, as the article notes, “doctors who settled two malpractice suits had about twice the risk of being involved in a third settlement when compared to those with just one settlement.”
Knowing that many physicians linked to medical negligence cases are repeat offenders, you may be wondering: Has my doctor been disciplined?
Lack of Transparency in Indiana and Nationwide
What does it take for a doctor to have his or her license suspended or revoked? According to Consumers Reports’ Safe Patient Project, thousands of doctors in the United States currently are on probation when it comes to practicing medicine. These physicians are on probation for various reasons, including but not limited to:
- Drug abuse
- Sexual misconduct
- Life-threatening medical errors
- Fatal medical mistakes
And as that project notes, it is difficult for patients to know whether their doctors are on that list. It is important to learn how to find out if a doctor has complaints, particularly given that Indiana was recently rated among the very worst in our country for “failing to keep patients informed about bad doctors,” according to a recent Consumer Reports review of various state medical board websites.
Indiana state medical board complaints are available, but Indiana has been noted specifically for its lack of transparency. Although there is a general lack of transparency nationwide when it comes to making clear which medical professionals have been disciplined, “Indiana makes it very hard to find out if a doctor practicing in the state has a history of harming patients or putting them at risk,” according to the Consumer Reports review.
In short, the Indiana state medical board does not have a user-friendly website, and it has been cited for failing to make clear which doctors it has investigated and the outcomes of those investigations.
How to Find More Information About Whether Your Doctor Has Been Disciplined
So how do you know if your doctor is on probation or has been convicted of medical malpractice? According to the Consumer Reports article, you must go to the website of the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana and select the “Search and Verify License” tab. From there, you can type in your doctor’s name to determine whether she or he has been disciplined.
According to another article from Consumer Reports, patients in general want to be informed about whether their physicians have been implicated in medical malpractice. The following statistics, which are reported in the article, make clear that patients want to have more information about their healthcare providers’ professional histories:
- 82 percent of Americans believe doctors should have to inform patients when they are on probation and should have to explain why they have been placed on probation.
- 66 percent of Americans want doctors to be restricted from seeing patients when they are placed on probation, and they only want physicians to be able to resume seeing patients once those probationary periods have ended.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured by a Physician
Medical malpractice can take many different forms. If you or someone you love got hurt due to a doctor’s negligence, it is important to learn more about filing a claim for compensation.
Each state has its own medical malpractice laws, and medical malpractice lawsuits in Indiana are governed by the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act. Under the law, injured patients must file a claim that will be heard by a Medical Review Panel, which will ultimately determine whether the patient has a valid medical malpractice claim.
This process can be complicated, and it is extremely important to have an experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer on your side.
Contact an Avon Medical Malpractice Lawyer Today
If you believe that you or someone you love has suffered injuries due to medical malpractice, a dedicated medical malpractice lawyer in Avon can help with your case today. Contact the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson to learn more about how we may be able to assist with your medical malpractice claim.