What Constitutes Medical Malpractice in Richmond?

Understanding the concept of medical malpractice is a vital first step if you’re considering pursuing a lawsuit. 

In Richmond, and the entirety of Indiana, medical malpractice is defined under Indiana Code § 34-18-2-18. It is the legal term used when a healthcare provider fails to uphold the recognized standards of their profession, which subsequently leads to harm to a patient.

This deviation from accepted standards can include negligence, errors, or other lapses in the expected level of care.

What Is Not Considered Medical Malpractice

It’s important to emphasize that a negative outcome after treatment or procedure does not necessarily equate to medical malpractice. Sometimes treatment can lead to unforeseen complications or results, even when administered with the utmost care and professionalism. 

For an incident to qualify as medical malpractice, the healthcare provider’s conduct must deviate from what a reasonably skilled and careful practitioner would have done under similar circumstances.

Common Examples of Medical Negligence

When we talk about medical malpractice, we’re referring to a wide spectrum of potential oversights, errors, and professional misconduct by healthcare providers. 

Recognizing the common forms of medical malpractice is the first step to understanding if you or a loved one has been a victim to present a personal injury claim that accurately calculates all your damages.

In our extensive legal practice, we’ve dealt with a variety of medical malpractice situations. Here are some of the most typical cases we encounter:

  • Misdiagnosis or Delayed Diagnosis: A failure by a healthcare provider to correctly diagnose a patient’s condition can lead to inappropriate or delayed treatment, worsening the health condition over time. For instance, a late diagnosis could allow treatable cancer to progress to a stage where options become limited and far more severe.
  • Medication Errors: Errors in the prescription or administration of medicine, such as providing the wrong drug or dosage.
  • Surgical Errors: Surgery, while often lifesaving, comes with inherent risks. But when errors occur, such as surgery performed on the wrong site or surgical instruments left inside a patient, these risks can amplify, leading to substantial harm or even death.
  • Birth Injuries: Mistakes during childbirth can cause severe injuries to both the mother and baby, leading to a lifetime of complications that you can claim.

In every scenario, the healthcare professional deviated from the standard of care, which results in harm to the patient and qualify for a medical malpractice claim.

Who Can Sue for Medical Malpractice in Indiana?

In Indiana, the laws surrounding who can initiate a medical malpractice lawsuit are governed by the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act, defined in Indiana Code § 34-18. Primarily, the right to file a lawsuit lies with the patient who directly suffered harm due to medical malpractice.

However, the dynamics of medical malpractice litigation often encompass more than just the immediate victim.

If the patient is a minor or incapacitated (mentally or physically), they may be unable to adequately represent their interests. In such cases, a parent or a legal guardian has the right to file the lawsuit on the patient’s behalf. 

Furthermore, in the tragic event of wrongful death, the right to pursue justice doesn’t perish with them. In such cases, the representative of the patient’s estate, often a close family member or a legally appointed executor, can file a wrongful death lawsuit against those responsible.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Medical Malpractice?

In medical malpractice cases, accountability extends beyond the individual directly involved in the patient’s care. Various entities associated with the medical care and treatment process can be held liable for their actions, or lack thereof, leading to patient harm. 

These may include:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Surgeons
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Radiologists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Pharmacists

But proving liability in medical malpractice cases is a complex process. This is why it is essential to have a personal injury attorney on your side who can identify the responsible parties and hold them accountable for their actions.

Find Out How a Richmond Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help You

Under Indiana Laws, victims of medical malpractice can claim compensation for a variety of damages. These include medical expenses, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and loss of love and companionship.

If you believe you have a case, don’t hesitate in contacting us to request a free consultation. We are here to hear about your situation, analyze the available evidence, and build a strong case on your behalf. 

Don’t settle with unfair offers from insurance companies and let us help you get the justice you need to recover your life back.

FAQs Related to Medical Malpractice Cases in Richmond

After years of service to the community, we compiled some of the most common questions related to medical negligence cases to help you get some initial insights before presenting a personal injury claim.

How Long Do You Have to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Indiana?

The Indiana medical malpractice statute of limitations, as outlined in Indiana Code, typically requires filing a lawsuit within two years of the date the malpractice occurred.

What is the Continuing Treatment Rule in Richmond?

The continuing treatment rule can affect the timing of the statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases. 

This rule provides that the clock doesn’t start running until the end of the course of treatment, provided that the treatment itself is part of the malpractice claim.

What is the Hardest Element to Prove in a Medical Malpractice Case?

Proving that a healthcare provider’s negligence directly caused injury or harm is often the most challenging part of a medical malpractice case. It requires expert testimony to establish a causal link between the provider’s actions and the patient’s condition.