When a doctor fails in their responsibility to patients, the results are life-altering in many cases and can require the help of an Indiana medical malpractice lawyer. Negligent medical diagnosis, treatment, or surgery can cause injuries or complications that have devastating effects, including the loss of a loved one.
There are many reasons that a medical malpractice lawsuit might be brought against a healthcare provider. Whether it’s a failure to properly prescribe medication or meet standards of care, any caregiver who fails to do their job in a safe way needs to be held accountable. Talk to an Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer if you think your healthcare provider did not properly treat or diagnose an injury or illness.
Here are some essential things to know about medical malpractice that can help you understand what a healthcare provider’s responsibility is to their patients.
As professional standards of reasonable care were developed and enforced by law, the idea of “bad practice” or malpractice became more clear. An act of medical negligence outside the standards of reasonable practice, that causes injury to a patient, is the reason behind a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What is Medical Negligence?
An act of medical negligence happens when a healthcare professional performs outside the generally accepted or legally mandated standards of care. This could mean prescribing a medicine for an off-label use, giving inadequate aftercare instructions compared to others in their practice area, or simply not paying attention to things they should.
Medical negligence can also occur through failure to act when most other caregivers would choose to give a certain treatment or intervention (like oxygen or CPR), and injury or wrongful death results because one care provider did not follow those standards of care.
Common Forms of Medical Malpractice
Medical error was the third-leading cause of death in the United States in 2016, according to Johns Hopkins University. Even when it isn’t fatal, medical negligence can worsen the current illness or injury, cause an infection, or cause new illness or injury. Some common forms of medical malpractice are:
- Failure to diagnose, including failure to order tests
- Failure to consult with another doctor if specialty insight is needed
- Premature discharge from the emergency department
- Failure to review the medical record
- Not using an interpreter to communicate adequately with family, leading to the patient’s injury or death
- Failure to address abnormal results or make a new diagnosis based on new information
For a medical malpractice lawsuit to succeed, injuries must be directly caused by this negligence of the health care provider.
An Indiana medical malpractice attorney works within an even more restrictive system due to policies that limit patients’ rights to access the courts. We have spent decades as medical malpractice attorneys learning the ins and outs of Indiana’s medical review panel process. It’s our job to help injured patients get the representation they deserve.
Medical Malpractice Statistics
Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States. It is estimated that 250,000 Americans at a minimum die each year because of medical errors. These deaths could be a result of examples of medical negligence like:
- Prescription dosing error, prescription interaction error, or other prescription drug error
- Negligence during pregnancy and/or labor that injured mother or child
- Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
- Caregiver Not Following Best Practices
- Surgical Errors
However, only 2.9% of victims of medical malpractice file a claim. For every medical malpractice claim made, 4 instances of medical malpractice occur. That means wrongful deaths resulting from medical malpractice could be much higher.
While the numbers show that medical negligence is a serious problem that affects many victims, the number of doctors committing medical malpractice is comparatively low. In fact, only 4.8% of physicians are responsible for half of all medical malpractice claims.
Prescription Drug Attorneys in Indiana
Pharmaceutical negligence is the result of a doctor improperly prescribing a patient medication. These mistakes can occur at the pharmacy as well, or when a nurse or aide gives a dose in a hospital or nursing facility. This type of medical malpractice takes many forms like:
- Dosages that are too much or too little
- The wrong type of medication
- Medicine that causes negative interactions
- Medicine that causes patients to have allergic reactions
- An incorrect dose to a child
A physician might also fail to give their patient the proper instructions they need in order to take their medication safely, which can also have serious consequences. In Indiana, making a case against caregivers that may be negligent in this way requires the support of a team that understands Indiana’s medical malpractice system.
Pregnancy Injury in Indiana
There are a few reasons why a pediatrician, nurse, or other professional might have a medical malpractice lawsuit brought against them after helping with pregnancy or delivery gone wrong. 27 out of every 1,000 babies born every year in the United States suffer some type of birth injury during the delivery process. In fact, the most common medical specialty named in a medical malpractice lawsuit is obstetrics, with cases against obstetricians making up over 10% of medical malpractice claims.
These types of suits are brought for a few different reasons. The first and most common is injuries sustained by a mother or fetus while in the care of a physician. Injuries sustained to a baby during childbirth could result in nerve damage that comes in the form of Erb’s Palsy, nerve damage caused by the stretching or pulling of a baby’s neck during labor. Other common injuries that occur to babies at birth are:
- Broken Bones
- Brain Damage
- Cerebral Palsy
Medical Negligence Treating Pregnant Mother
Failing to diagnose a problem or misdiagnosing a medical condition like ectopic pregnancy, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or other issue is also a reason that medical malpractice suits occur. Conditions such as ectopic pregnancy occur in 1-2% of all childbirths. This is when the fetus is attached to somewhere inside the women other than the uterus. Not only is this a dangerous condition that might go unnoticed, if a doctor misdiagnoses this condition, they may administer medications that could cause the mother to miscarry without need. Both those would be instances of medical negligence in Indiana.
There are many other ways doctors can cause injury to a fetus, newborn infant, and mother. If an injury affects mother or child, contact an Indiana medical malpractice attorney that understands labor and pregnancy malpractice to listen to your story.
Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Indiana
If you or a loved one has suffered injury in a nursing home in most cases this will fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice. Malpractice at a nursing home can result in serious harm or even death for residents. Any nursing home or assisted living facility owes a duty of care to its residents. If they don’t abide by that duty and their negligence causes an injury to a nursing home resident in Indiana, they can be subject to a medical malpractice claim. In this case, the resident must be able to prove that the nursing home did not act in good faith or in a way that meets industry best practices.
Some common signs of physical nursing home neglect are falls, bedsores, and community-acquired infections. Neglect at Indiana nursing homes or Indiana assisted living facility neglect is a serious form of medical negligence and should be handled with the help of a local medical malpractice attorney.
Indiana Medical Practitioner Negligence
There are many cases where doctors and nurses don’t hold up their duty of care and are responsible for the injury or even death of a patient. This could include misdiagnosis of a stroke or heart attack, not following standards of hygiene, or minimizing a patient’s symptoms when other doctors might have done differently.
Negligence by the caregiver is only a legal factor when your condition is getting worse or not improving because of the medical care provided. With conditions like sepsis and others that develop over time this is especially true and important to show that your home care or habits haven’t contributed. It’s important to contact an attorney quickly to help you. They can instruct you in how to document your condition so that the medical records are not the only account.
If you suspect a caregiver you had in the past was negligent or if you are the victim of medical malpractice right now, the best thing you can do is contact a medical malpractice attorney local to Indiana.
Nursing Negligence Attorneys and Lawsuit
Doctors aren’t the only ones who can be found guilty of medical malpractice. In many instances, it is the nurse who is negligent. Nurses are in charge of the day-to-day care of a patient, which means they have more contact and more opportunities to make an error than a doctor or specialist.
While it might be true that doctors are the ones who make the big decisions for the patients, small errors made by a nurse can have serious consequences. From not recognizing that a patient needs immediate care, improper care of a patient which leads to bedsores, to administering an incorrect drug or dosage during a procedure, these little mistakes can lead to horrible outcomes. Other situations may include:
- Failure to adequately monitor a patient
- Dispensing medication to the wrong patient
- Failure to follow a doctor’s orders
- Performing procedures improperly or without adequate training
- Providing the doctor with incorrect information
If you have suffered because of nurse medical malpractice in Indiana, our medical malpractice attorneys want to hear your story.
Indiana Surgical Injury Attorney
Undergoing surgery is a scary prospect for anyone who has to have one. To make matters worse, it has been reported that every year over there are 4,000 preventable surgical mistakes made. These types of surgical mistakes that lead to medical malpractice lawsuits are called “never” mistakes, or mistakes that just shouldn’t happen. These types of surgical mistakes may include cases where a patient has the wrong procedure performed on a healthy body part. In 2016 there were 26 cases of this type of medical malpractice in Indiana alone. Errors like surgical tools or sponges being left inside a body, or a procedure performed that is meant for another person entirely, are more examples of “never” mistakes.
Robotic DaVinci Surgery Injury Indiana
A common type of surgery that often encounters problems is daVinci Robotic surgeries. A study of the FDA data from 2000-2013 showed over 1,745,000 robotic surgical procedures performed over those years, and 10,624 negative events occurred with the DaVinci System. Over 8,000 of those incidents were device failure, meaning the surgeon was mid-procedure and the equipment stopped working. Reports of burns from the device are relatively common among the 1,535 who had serious adverse impacts from the device after their surgery. 144 patients died during those thirteen years as a result of complications from the device.
Indiana Cosmetic Surgery Malpractice Attorney
When most people think of surgery, they often only think of procedures that are performed in life or death situations. However, cosmetic surgery is more popular today than ever. If you have undergone cosmetic surgery and have had an infection, damage to your nerves, or need additional surgeries to adjust implants that were improperly placed, you may have a medical malpractice case. If this sounds familiar reach out to a qualified medical malpractice attorney today.
Foot Injury Negligence Cases
Foot injuries can be some of the most painful types of orthopedic injuries that people suffer through. In many cases, this type of injury can render a person unable to not just work but enjoy life in general. Many injuries are caused by orthopedic doctors who are negligent when diagnosing an injury to a patient’s foot. These types of injuries are some of the most misdiagnosed or undiagnosed types of injury. If gone untreated or mistreated, foot problems can get much worse. In many cases even when a foot injury is diagnosed, the treatment is not helpful and can exacerbate an injury to the part of the body responsible for everyday movement.
When common foot ailments like plantar fasciitis, bunions, or flat foot are treated by a podiatrist and are either misidentified or when corrective procedures are negligently performed, this can have severe consequences that can majorly affect the patient’s quality of life. If you have missed work or live in pain because of a foot injury that was not handled properly by a podiatrist or other medical professional, you should call a medical malpractice attorney today.
Back and Neck Injury Treatment Errors
Neck and back injuries are some of the most common types of injuries and it is only getting worse. In the first decade of the 21st century, there was a 64% increase in reports of chronic neck and back pain. However, many times neck and back procedures fail to relieve pain or only do so temporarily. If a procedure is done unnecessarily or causes a patient’s condition to worsen, they might be a victim of medical malpractice. Often times, back and neck injuries can be misdiagnosed which leads to unnecessary or even harmful surgeries being performed.
Neck and back injuries can be some of the most debilitating afflictions a person can endure.
There are many ways one can injure their neck and back, but here is a list of the most commonly misdiagnosed neck and back injuries:
- Herniated discs
- Bulging discs
- Degenerative disc disease
- Muscle/soft tissue strains
- Pinched nerves
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal Fracture
Even if the correct operation is performed it can often lead to post-operative injuries that severely diminish a patient’s quality of life. All of these scenarios can lead to a medical malpractice case for a neck or back injury.
Contact an Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawyer
As you can see there are many areas in which medical malpractice can and does occur, disrupting and damaging lives every day. Whether it’s because of negligence during pregnancy, during a vital surgery, or a misdiagnosed disease, anyone can be a victim of medical malpractice. If you or a loved has experienced medical malpractice in Indiana, contact one of our qualified Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers today.