Medical Malpractice Verdict

Indianapolis claim against a surgeon who failed to timely identify a small bowel obstruction. The jury returned a verdict for $8.5 million.

Knowledgeable Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Doctors, like anyone else, are prone to errors. However, the impact of their mistakes can be significantly profound for patients and their families. In our practice, we’ve encountered individuals who have suffered life-altering consequences due to medical malpractice.

We recognize that medical malpractice cases are not just legal matters but deeply personal journeys for our clients. At Stephenson Rife, we go beyond the legal realm to provide compassionate advocacy, walking with you every step of the way. We aim to secure rightful compensation and alleviate the emotional burden often accompanying these cases.

If you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice in Indianapolis, schedule a free consultation at (317) 680-2501. Let us embark on the journey to secure justice and rightful compensation for you.

Contact Stephenson Rife at (317) 680-2501 to book a free phone, video, or in-person consultation.

What Is Medical Negligence?

Medical malpractice arises when a doctor or hospital causes harm to a patient due to a failure to deliver acceptable care. Generally, if a health care provider deviates from the standard of care by omission or acting differently than other professionals with comparable training, the provider may be held accountable for resulting damages.

Typically, medical malpractice entails a medical error stemming from negligence or a failure to act. However, not all adverse outcomes in medicine necessarily constitute malpractice. Malpractice occurs when there is a breach of the standard of care, and it often necessitates expert testimony to establish this.

How to Prove Medical Malpractice

Typically, establishing medical malpractice in Indianapolis requires demonstrating four key elements:

  • The patient experienced injury or death.
  • A medical facility or doctor caused the injury.
  • The medical facility or doctor provided care to the patient.
  • The medical facility or doctor breached their duty of care.

Successfully proving these four elements may enable you to pursue damages in a medical malpractice case. It’s crucial to remember that there is a statute of limitations for such cases, emphasizing the need to act promptly. Contacting a medical malpractice lawyer is essential to protect your legal interests.

Examples of Medical Malpractice in Indianapolis

Our legal team is well-equipped to help you secure the compensation you deserve, whether you’ve experienced a surgical error, received an inaccurate diagnosis, or contracted an infection during a hospital stay. Based in Indianapolis, our medical malpractice lawyers handle many cases.

1. Diagnosis Errors

While doctors are imperfect, errors in diagnosis can significantly impact a patient’s life. Delayed or incorrect treatment may worsen conditions, resulting in severe or permanent harm. Commonly misdiagnosed ailments include heart attacks, cancer, thyroid issues, pulmonary embolisms, and strokes. You might have a medical malpractice claim if you’ve been misdiagnosed, experienced delayed diagnosis, or received no diagnosis at all.

2. Surgical Errors

While all surgeries carry inherent risks, some errors are preventable and may constitute medical malpractice. Instances such as retained surgical objects or wrong-site surgeries can form the basis of a malpractice claim. If you’ve been injured due to a critical error during surgery, pursuing legal action to hold the responsible parties accountable is crucial.

3. Birth Injuries

Birth should be a joyful event, but medical errors during delivery can cause enduring physical pain or injuries for both mother and child. These injuries include brachial plexus injuries, shoulder dystocia, intellectual disabilities, head trauma, oxygen deprivation, and, tragically, even death. If a health care provider’s mistake during birth or prenatal care harmed your child, consulting a qualified personal injury attorney is essential for pursuing a robust medical malpractice case.

4. Hospital Infections

Hospital-acquired infections can have serious consequences, occurring days after admission due to various pathogens. Health care professionals are obligated to adhere to safety protocols to prevent such infections. If negligence on the part of medical staff resulted in your infection, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit to recover damages.

5. Medication Errors

Medication errors, such as incorrect dosage or prescription, can lead to adverse reactions or inadequate treatment. Mistakes may occur due to errors in prescription writing or medication dispensing. If you’ve experienced a medication error caused by a health care provider, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim.

6. Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesia administration involves significant risks, and errors during this process can result in severe complications. Anesthesiologists and medical professionals must diligently administer and monitor anesthesia to prevent mishaps like dosage errors or anesthesia awareness. If you’ve suffered an anesthesia-related injury due to medical negligence, our experienced legal team can guide you through the process of seeking compensation.

7. Nursing Home Neglect

Negligence in nursing homes can lead to severe harm or even fatalities among residents. Every nursing home or assisted living facility must provide reasonable care to its residents. Failure to uphold this duty and resulting negligence causing injury to a nursing home resident in Indiana can prompt a medical malpractice claim. In such cases, the resident must demonstrate that the nursing home failed to act in good faith or under industry standards.

8. Caregiver Negligence

There are numerous instances where physicians and nurses neglect their duty of care, leading to patient injury or death. This may involve misdiagnosing a stroke or heart attack, neglecting hygiene standards, or downplaying a patient’s symptoms compared to what other medical professionals might have done. Caregiver negligence becomes a legal concern when a patient’s condition worsens or fails to improve due to inadequate medical care.

9. Nursing Negligence

It’s not just doctors who can be liable for medical malpractice; nurses may often be found negligent. Nurses play a pivotal role in a patient’s day-to-day care, resulting in more frequent interactions and opportunities for errors compared to doctors or specialists.

How to File a Medical Malpractice Case

Filing a medical malpractice case is a complex and nuanced legal process that requires careful consideration and preparation. Here is how to file a medical malpractice claim.

  • Gather Evidence: Building a strong medical malpractice case requires gathering evidence to support your claims. This may include medical records, diagnostic test results, treatment plans, witness statements, and expert opinions from qualified health care professionals. Thorough documentation of your injuries and their impact on your life is also essential in demonstrating the extent of your damages.
  • Consult with a Medical Malpractice Attorney: Navigating the complexities of medical malpractice law can be frightening, so seeking guidance from an experienced lawyer is crucial. A skilled medical malpractice lawyer can evaluate your case, provide legal advice, and help you understand your rights. They will work with you to develop a strategy tailored to your circumstances and advocate on your behalf throughout the legal process.
  • Initiate the Legal Process: Once you’ve consulted with a medical malpractice attorney and gathered sufficient evidence, your legal team will file a complaint against the negligent health care provider or facility. The defendant will then be able to respond to the allegations, and the discovery process will commence. During discovery, both parties exchange relevant information and evidence in preparation for trial.
  • Pursue Negotiation or Litigation: Many medical malpractice cases are resolved through negotiation or ADR methods such as mediation or arbitration. Your attorney will negotiate with the defendant’s representatives to reach a fair settlement that compensates you for your losses. If a settlement cannot be reached, your case may proceed to trial, where a jury or judge will determine liability and damages.

Indiana Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within a specified time frame, referred to as the statute of limitations. In Indiana, this limit is set at two years from the date of the incident. There are exceptions to this rule, particularly if the patient becomes aware of the medical error after a certain period following the procedure. Nevertheless, consulting with a seasoned medical malpractice attorney is advisable at the earliest indication that you may have a viable case.

What Damages Can I Get in Medical Malpractice Cases?

Here are some damages you might be entitled to:

1. Economic Damages

These are intended to cover financial losses directly related to the malpractice. They may include:

  • Medical Expenses: These compensate for past and future medical treatments, surgeries, medications, rehabilitation, and other health care-related costs.
  • Lost Wages: Reimbursement for income lost due to missed work, decreased earning capacity, or disability resulting from the malpractice.

2. Non-Economic Damages

These are subjective and aim to compensate for intangible losses, such as:

  • Pain and Suffering: These compensate for emotional distress, physical pain, and mental anguish experienced due to the malpractice.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: These compensate for the loss of ability to partake in activities and hobbies enjoyed before the malpractice.
  • Loss of Consortium: These compensate for the impact of the malpractice on the victim’s relationship with their spouse or family members.

3. Punitive Damages

This may be awarded in some cases involving egregious misconduct or recklessness. These damages are intended to punish the defendant and deter similar conduct in the future. However, punitive damages are relatively rare in medical malpractice cases and are typically reserved for cases involving intentional wrongdoing or gross negligence.

Determining the value of damages in a medical malpractice case can be complex and requires careful evaluation of different factors, including the extent of medical treatment required, the severity of the injuries, the impact on the victim’s life, and expert testimony.

Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Stephenson Rife work diligently to assess the full extent of your damages and pursue fair compensation on your behalf.

Why Choose Stephenson Rife?

When facing the aftermath of medical malpractice, choosing the right legal representation is paramount. Here’s why you can trust us with your case:

Expertise and Experience

Stephenson Rife is a leading authority in medical malpractice law. Our legal team is comprised of seasoned professionals with a wealth of experience in handling complex cases within the health care sector. We possess a comprehensive understanding of medical standards, enabling us to navigate the complexities of your case with precision and effectiveness.

Compassionate Representation

We recognize the emotional toll that medical malpractice takes on victims and their families. We go beyond legal expertise to provide compassionate representation. Our team is committed to understanding the personal impact of the malpractice on your life, ensuring that your voice is heard and your concerns are addressed throughout the legal process.

Proven Track Record

Choosing us means selecting a legal team with a proven track record of success in medical malpractice cases. Our commitment to meticulous preparation, thorough investigation, and strategic advocacy has resulted in significant settlements and verdicts for our clients. We have consistently held negligent health care professionals accountable, earning the trust of our clients and the legal community.

Strategic Litigation Approach

We employ a strategic litigation approach tailored to the unique aspects of medical malpractice cases. Our attorneys are adept at building compelling arguments, leveraging medical expertise, and presenting a strong case in negotiations or court.

How Can Our Attorneys Help Your Case?

Here’s how our attorneys can assist you in your medical malpractice claim:

  • Thorough Investigation and Case Evaluation: We believe in a meticulous and thorough approach to case evaluation. Our legal team conducts a comprehensive investigation, collaborating with medical experts to analyze the details of your case. We assess whether there was a breach of the standard of care and gather evidence to build a compelling case on your behalf.
  • Medical Evaluation Panel: Upon concluding our assessment of your case, if it suggests that medical malpractice led to harm for you or your loved one, we will recommend proceeding with filing a legal claim against the responsible health care provider(s). However, before initiating the lawsuit in court, it is necessary to submit the complaint to the Indiana Department of Insurance Division of Medical Malpractice. Subsequently, a medical review panel will be appointed to evaluate your case and provide its opinion. This step must be fulfilled before pursuing a claim in court and typically takes one to three years.
  • Advocacy for Fair Compensation: Our primary goal is to ensure you receive fair compensation. Whether negotiating with insurance companies or presenting your case in court, our attorneys are adept at pursuing maximum compensation for your losses.
  • Advocacy: As your dedicated advocates, we fight vigorously on your behalf to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions. We skillfully present your case in negotiations, mediation, or trial, advocating for your rights and interests every step of the way. You can trust us to be your voice in the legal arena, tirelessly pursuing justice on your behalf.

Contact Our Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When you rely on a health care provider, the expectation is for them to improve your condition, not worsen it. Every individual deserves competent and skilled health care. However, when this standard is violated, it constitutes medical malpractice, leading to operation failures or injuries.

If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice in Indianapolis, Stephenson Rife is here to help. Schedule a free consultation with our experienced medical malpractice lawyers at (317) 680-2501 to discuss your case.

Attorney Mike Stephenson

Indiana Attorney Mike StephensonMike Stephenson has 40 years of experience and is a trusted advisor to many individuals and companies. His current practice is dominated by civil litigation in state and federal courts. He focuses much of his time on handling catastrophic injuries caused by all types of accidents, including motor vehicle, trucking, workplace injuries, product liability, and fire, just to name a few. He also works extensively in construction accidents. [ Attorney Bio ]

Lawyer Video Click for Attorney Video

Why Call Us?

Play Video

Request Free Consultation

We take the hard cases – and win them! Free consultation, no obligation.