For most practicing lawyers, medical malpractice is something other than what they often come in contact with. However, it does not mean that this area of the law is one Indiana lawyers are unfamiliar with or unprepared for. Many personal injury lawyers are ready and willing to support you to get the justice you deserve if you were a victim of medical negligence.
You need to understand that medical malpractice claims and lawsuits are far from easy.
Personal injury lawyers in Indiana face several challenges when dealing with medical malpractice cases, and we will discuss a few of them today.
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Proving Medical Negligence
One of the most significant challenges that personal injury lawyers in Indiana (and elsewhere, for that matter) face when dealing with medical malpractice cases is proving medical negligence.
According to Yosha Lawyers, medical malpractice cases are complex and require high expertise to prove. Personal injury lawyers must be able to demonstrate that the medical professional failed to meet the standard of care that is expected of them. It can be difficult, as the standard of care can vary depending on the situation and the specific medical professional involved.
To prove medical negligence, personal injury lawyers must also be able to show that the medical professional’s actions or inactions caused the injury. It takes a lot of time, expert witnesses, discovery, witness testimony, and investigations to prove beyond any reasonable doubt, as other factors may contribute to the injury.
Additionally, many medical malpractice cases involve complex medical issues that may be difficult for a layperson to understand. It can make it difficult for personal injury lawyers to present a clear and convincing case to a jury if it comes to that.
The Statute of Limitations
Another challenge that many claimants sometimes ignore is the strict statutes of limitations that apply to these cases. In Indiana, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is two years from the date of the alleged injury or the date that the injury was discovered, or should have been discovered, whichever is earlier. This means that if a person is injured due to medical malpractice, they only have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.
Theoretically, two years seem like enough time to file a personal injury claim. However, it can be a significant challenge for personal injury lawyers because it can be difficult to identify and prove medical negligence within two years.
In many cases, the full extent of the injury may not be known for some time after the initial incident, and it can take months or even years for the injury to be diagnosed and linked to medical malpractice. This can make it difficult for personal injury lawyers to build a strong case within the two-year statute of limitations.
Indiana’s Damage Caps in Medical Malpractice Cases
Another challenge that personal injury lawyers in Indiana face when dealing with medical malpractice cases is the state’s damage caps. Indiana has placed caps on the damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases.
These caps are based on the injury’s year and are adjusted for inflation. For example, as of 2019, the cap for non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) in a medical malpractice case is $1,8 million. This means that even if a person has suffered significant harm due to medical malpractice, they cannot receive more than $1,800,000 in damages.
Moreover, doctors must only pay a maximum of $500,000 per claim as part of this cap; the PCF will reimburse any amount above that. Legal costs (lawyer’s fees) are also limited to 32% of the compensation.
This can be a significant challenge for personal injury lawyers because it can be difficult to secure fair compensation for their clients when there is a cap on the damages that can be awarded. The critics of this cap emphasize it does not take into account the severity of the injury or the impact that it has on the person’s life.
In summary, personal injury lawyers in Indiana face several challenges when dealing with medical malpractice cases. The strict statutes of limitations, damage caps, and the difficulty of proving medical negligence make it difficult for personal injury lawyers to negotiate and secure fair settlements for their clients.
Despite these challenges, personal injury lawyers in Indiana continue to fight for the rights of those injured due to medical malpractice. It is important for individuals who have been injured due to medical malpractice to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer, who can help them navigate the complex legal system and fight for the compensation they deserve.