Steps to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Indiana?
Medical malpractice cases are among the most complex types of personal injury lawsuits. Indiana law, in particular, requires plaintiffs to fulfill a variety of steps and adhere to special rules when bringing claims for medical malpractice. Read on to learn about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Indiana, and speak with an Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer if you or a loved one has been harmed by a negligent medical professional in Indiana.
Talk to an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer
While we advocate hiring an attorney for any personal injury claim, qualified legal assistance is especially necessary in cases involving medical malpractice. The legal requirements for proving medical malpractice are complex enough, on top of the burdensome processes for gathering evidence, producing expert witness reports and testimony, filing claims, and otherwise carrying forward with a provable claim. As soon as you think you have a medical malpractice issue, consult with an attorney to discuss whether you may have a claim and how to go about seeking recovery.
Know Your Time Limits
Every personal injury claim has a “statute of limitations,” meaning the time limit for filing a claim against the responsible defendant. If you wait too long to bring your claim, you may lose your right to recovery. In Indiana, the statute of limitations for most medical malpractice cases is two years. The clock starts ticking on the date of the last procedure (or failure to give treatment) giving rise to the claim, or on the date you discovered or should have discovered symptoms indicating you may have suffered malpractice injury.
Gather All Relevant Medical Records
The meat of your lawsuit will be based on the available medical evidence. You will need to collect records relating to your condition prior to your medical treatment, records of the subject treatment, records concerning the fallout from your treatment (additional illnesses or injuries suffered), documents from other treating and consulting physicians, etc. You will need consultations, evaluations, tests, referrals, as well as evidence of your bills and costs. The sooner you collect these documents, the sooner your attorney can start building your case.
Notify the Indiana Department of Insurance
In Indiana, medical malpractice victims (individually or through their attorney) must file a complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance. The complaint must include pertinent information including the relevant defendants and be accompanied by copies of the complaint and other forms for the Department and the named defendants.
Request a Medical Malpractice Review Panel
In Indiana, if you are suing for more than $15,000, you must first submit a complaint to a Medical Malpractice Review Panel. The review panel will review your case, review the evidence you submit, and issue an opinion about the conduct of the defendant healthcare professional. You must submit your claim for review by the panel before you file your lawsuit. If you are suing for less than $15,000, you do not need to go through the medical panel review process.
Notify the Defendant’s Insurance Provider
The physician, hospital, or other healthcare professional defendant to your case should carry medical malpractice insurance. They may be willing to settle your claim out of court. Your attorney should contact them and set up settlement negotiations.
File Your Claim in Court
Only after all of these steps have been completed should you file your malpractice claim in court. Work with your medical malpractice lawyer to ensure you jump through all of the requisite legal hoops and obtain all of the evidence and witnesses necessary to prove your claim.
Help With Your Indianapolis Car Accident Injury Claim
If you or someone you love has been injured by a negligent healthcare professional in Indiana, contact the qualified and effective Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers at Lee Cossell & Crowley for a free consultation on your case at 316-631-5151.