Indianapolis Hospital Malpractice Attorneys
When you go to a hospital, you expect that the medical care you receive will make you better. But with multiple health care professionals in hospitals involved in your treatment, the risk of medical error increases. Sometimes, inadequate patient safety procedures cause hospitals to commit serious medical errors and patients are seriously or fatally injured. Our hospital malpractice attorneys are here for you.
A recent report by the Indiana Department of Health said hospitals and surgical centers in Indiana committed
It is the highest number of hospital medical errors since the state began reporting the data in 2006.
When the error involves a failure to follow the recognized standard of care, the hospital staff may have committed medical malpractice. But don’t expect a hospital to admit to you that your treatment was substandard, your surgery botched or your diagnosis delayed.
Does the Indiana Medical Malpractice System Favor Hospitals and Doctors?
The Indianapolis hospital malpractice attorney at Baker & Gilchrist help families whose loved ones have been injured during hospital visits in Indiana. We work with medical professionals to evaluate instances of hospital malpractice so families may receive answers they can trust.
Unlike many firms, Baker & Gilchrist does not charge for having medical experts review your medical records to identify hospital errors.
Can I Sue a Hospital?
Pursuing a hospital malpractice claim in Indiana is challenging and complex and requires an experienced Indiana medical malpractice attorney. It is a time-consuming process that requires commitment to seek justice as well as perseverance, and any lawyer that says otherwise is inexperienced.
As stated in the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act, a panel of health care providers must review proposed hospital malpractice claims before they can be filed in court.
The health care panel issues an opinion as to whether the evidence supports the conclusion that the hospital or medical staff failed to follow the appropriate standard of care. This panel’s opinion will be influential in the outcome of pursuing a hospital malpractice lawsuit.
What is Hospital Negligence?
Hospitals and hospital staffs in Indiana are expected to follow the recognized standard of care when treating patients. When a hospital or emergency room delivers substandard care and a patient suffers a serious injury, that incident may constitute hospital negligence.
While some medical errors are readily apparent, many times a serious hospital error is not immediately obvious. You may have a suspicion that you or your loved one has been harmed by a hospital’s substandard care. In most instances, you will need to have your medical records reviewed by independent medical experts to determine whether a preventable hospital error occurred.
Who Can be Held Liable For Patient Injuries in Hospitals?
Medical errors frequently occur as a result of failures in hospital systems or a lack of safety protocols as much as individual mistakes. Under the legal doctrine Respondeat Superior, a hospital may be held legally liable for a hospital staff member or employee’s negligence in the course of performing their job duties.
A hospital may be liable for errors committed by a hospital surgeon, emergency room doctors and staff, operating room nurses, hospital x-ray technicians, nurses who make medication administration errors, laboratory technicians, a hospital pharmacist and others.
Common Types of Hospital Negligence
Emergency rooms are fast-paced environments, but medical professionals are still expected to provide patients with quality healthcare delivered at or above the medical standard of care. Still, many emergency room errors occur every year.
The Doctors Company, a medical malpractice insurance provider, conducted the Emergency Medicine Closed Claims Study, which evaluated 332 closed medical malpractice claims based on emergency room care. The study found that the most common emergency room errors were:
● Diagnostic errors, including misdiagnoses and delays in diagnosis
● Treatment management failures, such as failing to stabilize a trauma patient’s neck to prevent paralysis
● Wrong and inappropriate treatments for the patient’s condition
● Medication failures, which occur when an emergency room provider fails to order medication necessary for the patient’s condition
Researchers found that the majority of these errors were caused by patient assessment mistakes, such as failing to order tests or not establishing a differential diagnosis.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has been harmed by hospital malpractice, seek the guidance of a knowledgeable Indiana medical malpractice lawyer. Prevention is key in dealing with hospital negligence if you have an upcoming procedure; be sure to check out our resources, including important questions to ask before surgery.
How Hospital Injuries Occur
Hospital errors frequently occur as a result of failures in hospital systems or lack of safety protocols rather than individual mistakes.
Hospitals may have conditions that contribute to serious errors such as issues with medicine storage, a lack of timeout procedures in operating rooms, inadequate communication and documentation, high staff workloads, or problems with inadequately maintained medical equipment.
Are Hospitals Liable for Employee Actions?
Hospitals are liable for employee negligence. Hospitals are responsible for the actions of any staff member (including, but not limited to, a nurse, technician, paramedic, or other hospital employee) that may have caused a patient’s injuries while performing their job-related responsibilities.
Many doctors are not employees. Instead, they may be independent contractors. However, the Indiana Supreme Court has held that hospitals may beare liable for the actions of independent contractors it hires if it does not adequately inform a patient that the healthcare provider is not an employee of the hospital.
How to Seek Justice in an Indiana Hospital Malpractice Case
The Indiana Medical Malpractice Act spells out the procedures to follow if you suspect that you have a hospital malpractice claim or any type of medical malpractice lawsuit. The first step is to obtain your medical records and have medical experts review them and determine whether the hospital or hospital staff involved in your treatment provided substandard care that caused your injury.
Read further about the steps to file a medical malpractice case in Indiana.
Is the Doctor an Employee of the Hospital?
Some doctors are hospital employees, and some are not. If your doctor is a hospital employee, you can generally file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor and the hospital. This is also true for doctors employed by health maintenance organizations (HMOs).
An investigation of your potential claim will provide information as to whether the physician should be named individually or not. A doctor who is not an employee is considered to be an independent contractors, and they usually carry their own medical malpractice insurance.
When Can the Hospital Be Liable?
A hospital can be held legally liable for negligent errors committed by its medical employees in the course of performing their job duties relating to the care of a patient.
Additionally, hospitals can be held liable for injuries stemming from their own negligence, such as:
- Negligently hiring or keeping on staff an unlicensed or incompetent doctor
- Understaffing the hospital
- Failing to establish or enforce protocolsLosing or mishandling patient records
Call an Indianapolis Hospital Negligence Attorney
The Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys at Baker & Gilchrist stand ready to assist families whose loved one have been harmed during hospital treatment.
We understand Indiana’s complex hospital malpractice laws and the lengthy process to file a medical malpractice lawsuit via the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act and the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund. Our hospital malpractice attorney in indianapolis work in collaboration with doctors and experienced health professionals to evaluate your malpractice injury and build a compelling case.
Call us today or use our online contact form, our hospital malpractice attorney in Indianapolis will review your case free of charge.