Doctors and other health care professionals have a duty to provide their patients with a standard of care equal to or greater than what their peers would provide under similar circumstances. When they fall short in that duty and a patient is injured, medical malpractice may have occurred. Our goal is to hold those health care professionals accountable for their actions.
In Indiana, claims of medical mistakes or omissions are generally pursued under the state’s Medical Malpractice Act. Our state legislators were among the first in the nation to enact laws to reduce the number of medical mistakes and allow for adequate compensation for patients injured by those errors.
What is the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act?
As described by the Indiana State Medical Association, the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act is legislation designed to reform medical malpractice. The act requires that a complaint be filed on each instance of alleged medical malpractice. Those complaints are reviewed by a panel of medical practitioners in the same or similar area of practice. If the complaint appears to be a case of negligence that resulted in harm, the injured patient can pursue compensation in the court system.
Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act caps the total damages a victim is able to pursue and makes doctors liable for $250,000 in damages for any one case and up to $750,000 in any given year. The act also sets up the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund (PCF) to cover costs above $250,000.
Under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act, the maximum a victim can pursue from the PCF is $1,000,000, making for a total of $1,250,000 in damages. This damage amount can be beneficial to medical malpractice victims in Indianapolis and throughout the state of Indiana. It gives them an additional resource above and beyond the medical practitioner’s own insurance provider from which they can seek compensation.
Are All Physicians Covered by the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act?
Physicians, nurses, hospitals, midwives, dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, therapists, psychologists, EMTs, paramedics and professionals working in specialty fields of medicine are regulated by the Act. However, not all physicians are covered.
Physicians must obtain their own insurance to cover the initial $250,000 in liability. They must also pay a preset surcharge before the PCF will cap their damages and cover additional costs up to the maximum of $1,250,000.
How to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
If you or a loved one believes you have become the victim of medical malpractice, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit and seek damages for the injuries and losses you have been forced to endure. As cases such as these can be extremely complex, and proving negligence is most often a complex legal task. We recommend you retain legal representation from an experienced attorney who can help you navigate through each of the steps to file an Indianapolis medical malpractice lawsuit.
An attorney from our firm will be able to assist you in gathering the evidence you need to file your initial complaint and prove your claim. We can also explain each of the necessary steps to achieve justice and fair compensation.
Statute of Limitations
When an individual suffers serious injury, harm or death as a result of a health care professional’s act of omission or negligence, that individual may be able to file a lawsuit or claim seeking damages. Indiana Code Ann. § 34-11-2-4 gives the victims of medical malpractice two years from the date when an incident of omission or negligence occurred in which to take action.
Medical malpractice victims who fail to pursue damages before the statute of limitations has expired may be forfeiting their legal rights. Minor victims, ages six and under at the time of the incident, have until their eighth birthday to file. In certain instances, the statute of limitations may be tolled if medical malpractice was not uncovered until a later date.
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice or a preventable birth injury, the state of Indiana and the attorney at the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson are on your side. Our firm has an experienced attorney who handles malpractice claims. We understand what it takes to prove negligence, and we are committed to helping our clients achieve optimal results. When you hire our firm to represent your case, experience is on your side.
- Indiana State Medical Association: Key Features of Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act
- National Conference of State Legislatures: Medical Liability/Malpractice Statutes of Limitation