If you or someone close to you was injured as a result of negligence on of a doctor or any other healthcare professional, this could be deemed as medical negligence and you could be able to pursue a medical negligence lawsuit.
The process of navigating the law regarding medical malpractice is an arduous process. Medical malpractice suits brought against medical professionals or doctors in Indiana are complex and involve numerous phases, timelines, and parties. The process is often overwhelming however, a skilled medical malpractice lawyer at your side can assist you in constructing solid arguments.
If you’re interested in the pursuit of a medical malpractice claim in Indiana get legal counsel promptly. Every state has a time limit regarding the time that medical malpractice lawsuits may be filed. Additionally, errors could lead to substantial delays.
The timeframe for medical malpractice lawsuits is very tight. How long can a medical malpractice case take?
- 1 What Is the Average Length of a Medical Malpractice Claim?
- 2 What Is the Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Indiana?
- 3 Why Do Medical Malpractice Cases Take So Long?
- 4 What Is the Process of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
What Is the Average Length of a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Every claim for medical negligence is distinct and there isn’t any specific timeframe for how long an action will require to reach a settlement or even go to trial.
The typical length of medical malpractice lawsuits in Indiana may range from a few weeks to several years, with the majority of cases lasting between two and three years.
In general, in the event that both parties reach an agreement on the terms of the lawsuit, it will be in a shorter time frame. If they can’t then the case will go to trial, and in that the trial will take longer.
What Is the Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Indiana?
It is the limitation period is the time frame for victims to start an action. In Indiana, adults have 2 years after the date of the negligence to start an action. If the injured victims are who are younger than 6 years old their guardians or parents must wait until they reach the age of eight to file a lawsuit for medical negligence.
There are exceptions to the law on medical malpractice limitations in Indiana that can be applied. For instance, the discovery rule may be applicable when injuries due to negligence in the medical field were not found until later.
Why Do Medical Malpractice Cases Take So Long?
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to the length of lawsuits involving medical negligence in Indiana mostly due to it being the case that Indiana has the medical review panel procedure, which could create significant delays in the proceeding.
COMPLEX MEDICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES
It could be difficult to determine at first which doctor or healthcare professional was at fault. It could also take time to determine if several parties are negligent with respect to the treatment and care for the victim. It’s also difficult to estimate what time it will take to get a medical review panel set up to examine the evidence and make the decision. Furthermore, time limits should be considered prior to proceeding in the investigation of the case.
Legal and medical issues add more layers of complexity and time to cases involving medical malpractice.
MULTIPLE LIABLE PARTIES
Medical malpractice lawsuits usually comprise many people who are accountable, including hospitals, doctors, nurses, or pharmaceutical companies among others. It can take an amount of time and effort to analyze these people and identify who was negligent and contributed to the harm.
The issue of litigation fatigue is a major issue. It’s exhausting, tiring, and overwhelming to have lawyers and insurance companies scouring the life of an injured victim. Accepting an offer of a lesser settlement in order to stop the process could at times be tempting. Defense lawyers and insurance firms are aware of this issue and are prepared to sit and wait for the outcome.
LARGE NUMBER OF WITNESSES
Medical malpractice cases require a lot of witnesses as well as doctors. In what’s called”a “battle of experts,” each side is required to present an expert witness team as witnesses, and they all are examined.
A lot of experts in the field of medicine are doctors or healthcare professionals who have hectic schedules. Additionally, some might not be in the United States. Scheduling depositions can be quite a problem, especially when they’re canceled and rescheduled and take several months to get all witnesses.
What Is the Process of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
In general, the phases that are involved in Indiana medical malpractice cases are as is shown below.
Your lawyer will begin an exhaustive investigation beginning by gathering the evidence as well as conducting interviews in order to decide if your case is a result of medical negligence.
Medical malpractice evidence could comprise the following:
- Medical documents and bills
- Timeline of the events
- Photos and video recordings of your injuries
- Witness testimony
- Notes from the hospital
The documents your lawyer gathers will include the findings of any consultations or tests in connection with your case.
The second phase of the preliminary investigation entails an examination of your case. In WKW we offer two lawyers who are on staff. This expert brings both a medical and legal perspective in the process of reviewing.
Finding out if the medical or other professionals involved in your instance violated the standards of medical care and acted in a negligent manner will take a substantial amount of time and could require several reviews.
FILING A COMPLAINT
When the legal counsel has concluded that you are a victim of a serious case of medical negligence your lawyer will submit a claim to the Indiana Department of Insurance that includes a thorough explanation of the negligence claim.
Every medical malpractice victim and their attorneys must submit to their attorney through the Indiana Department of Insurance to seek action. When the department receives the complaint and sends copies to all parties concerned. After 20 days from when the complaint was made the parties can make a request for the establishment of a Medical Review Panel.
EVALUATION BY A MEDICAL REVIEW PANEL
A panel comprised of three healthcare professionals and a lawyer will provide an opinion on whether the evidence backs claims of medical negligence. The panel members will examine the evidence presented, analyze the malpractice claim, and then meet to discuss the issue. They will form an assessment on the following issues:
- The doctor or healthcare provider’s actions was in line with the standards of care
- If a breach of the duty of care cause injury in the complaint
The decision of the medical review panel does not mean the final word any party is able to bring the matter to the court. The panel’s decision can be used in court and panel members can be asked to testify.
NEGOTIATION OR LITIGATION
At this point, based on the particulars of your medical malpractice case, and the opinions from the panel of medical experts your lawyer will probably recommend you seek an agreement or move forward with your case to prepare to go on trial or end any further litigation completely.
If both parties agree to negotiate, your attorney can engage in negotiations with the insurance company representing the defendant. You can choose to take a settlement offer or go to trial. Your lawyer can guide you on the best way to proceed.
If a settlement cannot be agreed upon by both parties or if any party is willing to proceed with litigation the case will be taken to the court.