Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Landscape: Key Statistics and Trends

Medical Malpractice due to surgical errors

Has a doctor misdiagnosed you? Have you experienced a medication issue? If so, you might have experienced medical malpractice. Medical malpractice can occur when a healthcare provider deviates from accepted standards of care other healthcare professionals would have provided under similar circumstances.

The actions of a negligent provider or facility can lead to preventable illness or injury, worsen an existing condition, or cause premature death. If you need a medical malpractice lawyer, contact the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson for a free consultation.

How Common is Medical Malpractice?

Unfortunately, medical malpractice is not a rare occurrence. According to Johns Hopkins, over 250,000 preventable deaths occur each year because of medical errors. Despite meaningful advances in technology and medical knowledge, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States.

The Bloomingtonian reports that medical malpractice in Indiana contributed to the state’s ranking as the ninth-most dangerous state for patients.

These are the reported medical malpractice incidents. The total number could be much higher when unreported malpractice is taken into account. Not all injured patients file medical malpractice lawsuits or pursue their legal options.

Reasons some injured people might not pursue legal action or financial recovery after being injured by a negligent healthcare provider include:

  • They don’t understand their legal rights and options.
  • They feel too sick to navigate the legal landscape on their own.
  • They think the payout would be too low to make it worthwhile.
  • They feel intimidated by an influential or well-known medical provider or facility.

We encourage you to reach out to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer if you suspect that you were injured because of the negligence of a healthcare provider. Our attorneys offer a free case review, so you can learn about your options with no risk or obligation.

Who Commits Medical Malpractice?

OB/GYNs face the highest number of medical malpractice claims (62.4 percent), followed by general surgeons (59.3 percent) and other surgeons (55.5 percent), according to the American Medical Association (AMA). The AMA also estimates that 31 percent of all doctors have faced a medical malpractice lawsuit during their practicing career.

However, any healthcare professional who deviates from accepted standards of care could face a medical malpractice claim, including:

  • Family physicians
  • Psychiatrists
  • Specialists (cardiologists, neurologists, radiologists, etc.)
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Nurses
  • Labs, testing, and diagnostic facilities

What Are the Most Common Forms of Medical Malpractice?

Typical forms of medical malpractice include:

  • Anesthesia Errors – Anesthesia has inherent risks under the best circumstances, but a miscalculation or improper pre-surgical screening can be fatal.
  • Birth Injuries – Birth injuries occur when healthcare providers don’t adhere to the standard of care during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, resulting in permanent brain damage or other harm to the mother and newborn.
  • Failure to Diagnose/Delayed Diagnosis – If a doctor examines a patient and fails to do what other doctors would in a similar situation and fails to correctly diagnose their illness, the patient can be harmed. The same is true with a delayed diagnosis. If the doctor doesn’t perform as another similarly qualified doctor would in a similar situation, they diagnose the condition later than they might have, and the patient suffers harm because of the delay, medical malpractice may have occurred.
  • Misdiagnosis – A misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor diagnoses a patient with an illness they do not have and harm occurs. Patients are harmed in two ways with a misdiagnosis. First, they are not receiving the medical treatment they need. Second, they may receive unnecessary or even harmful treatment for a condition they do not have.
  • Medication Errors – Healthcare providers must be aware of patient allergies, potential drug interactions, improper dosage, failure to administer, and other mistakes that can lead to patient harm.
  • Surgical Errors – Surgery requires a clean and sterile environment and professionals who ensure they operate on the correct patient and perform the proper procedure.
  • Inadequate Patient Records – Incomplete or inaccurate patient records can lead to misdiagnosis, medication errors, and other potentially disastrous errors.
  • Lack of Informed Consent – Doctors must fully inform patients about their options and the risks and benefits of a medical procedure. Failure to provide comprehensive information to a patient about their care options can equal medical malpractice.

Trends in Medical Malpractice Reports and Payouts in Indiana

Medical malpractice trends in Indiana indicate an increase in claims. With an annual average of over 200 medical malpractice claims, Indiana has the sixth largest medical malpractice payout in the nation, after larger states like California and Texas. The average payout for these medical malpractice cases was just over $230,000.

Pursuing a payout for medical malpractice can help you cover costs like:

  • Corrective and proper medical procedures and treatment
  • Long-term medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning potential
  • Disability
  • Diminished enjoyment and quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

However, Indiana has placed a cap on the amount of compensation an injured party can recover in a medical malpractice claim. In a recent year, the cap was $1.8 million.

Having a Qualified Medical Malpractice Lawyer is Crucial

Working with a qualified medical malpractice attorney offers many advantages. Because these types of cases tend to be complex and require both medical and legal knowledge, choose a firm that can:

  • Obtain medical experts to examine test results, patient notes, and other records
  • Perform lengthy research into the defendant’s prior history, including disciplinary actions and previous lawsuits
  • Secure witnesses, files, and data supporting allegations of medical malpractice or negligence
  • Stand up to powerful medical providers, facilities, and their insurance carriers
  • Build a substantial case to present to a jury if there is no chance of a settlement
  • Evaluate your claim and determine the value of your losses
  • Deal with healthcare providers to pursue maximum compensation
  • Manage deadlines and other specific requirements

Contact an Experienced Indiana Medical Malpractice Attorney

At the Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson, we focus on medical malpractice and negligence. We are fully equipped to handle even the most complex medical malpractice claims. We have years of experience handling medical malpractice claims against healthcare providers. Our medical malpractice lawyers work tirelessly to pursue fair compensation for our clients. With our access to expert witnesses across multiple specialty areas, we have the resources to provide high-quality legal representation and demand total and fair compensation.

The Law Office of Kelley J. Johnson is ready to take on the stress of filing and managing your malpractice claim and help you hold a negligent medical provider accountable for your pain and suffering. Call us for a free, no-obligation consultation today.