Contrary to what many people believe, medical malpractice claims aren’t limited to doctors. Indiana’s Malpractice Act covers several medical professionals including nurses, midwives, dentists, physical therapists, and emergency medical technicians. Patients can even hold a hospital or another medical facility liable for negligence. However, medical malpractice in Indianapolis is complex, and can be very difficult to prove.
Even though you can sue a nurse, it may not be easy to get the compensation you deserve. You will need to work closely with a medical malpractice lawyer to secure a positive outcome. Your attorney will help you to demonstrate that the nurse deviated from the normal standard of care. They will also help you to prove that the nurse’s negligence caused your injury. If you can’t prove these things, you won’t be able to bring a successful malpractice case.
Ways Nursing Malpractice Can Occur
There are several situations in which you can hold a nurse liable for medical malpractice. Some of the possibilities include:
- Failure to communicate. If a nurse notices something that’s concerning but fails to report it, they can be found liable for malpractice.
- Failure to assess and monitor. Nurses are supposed to observe patients’ health status and progress. They must also interpret the patient’s symptoms and report them accurately.
- Failure to follow standards of care. There are established standards in the medical community to which nurses must adhere.
- Failure to use equipment responsibly. If a nurse injured you because of the way they used a piece of equipment, you can file a malpractice claim.
- Failure to document. Nurses are required to accurately document their actions, patients’ progress, and their response to treatment.
- Failure to act as a patient advocate: Nurses must advocate for their patients in certain situations and understand their ethical obligations.
If you believe you suffered harm because of a nurse’s actions, seek advice from an Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer. You need to do so as soon as possible since there are time limits in place.
The Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice Cases
Generally, you have two years from the date of the alleged malpractice to file a lawsuit. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. If you try to file your case after the deadline has passed, the nurse’s lawyer will inform the court. The judge will probably throw out the case.
There are some situations in which the deadline may be extended. If the injured person is a minor under the age of six, they have until their eighth birthday to file. Also, if you didn’t have enough information to discover the malpractice within the two-year period, the deadline may also be extended. You may be given two years following the date of discovery.
The law also makes exceptions if your injury resulted from continued misconduct. The statute of limitations doesn’t begin to run until the conduct comes to an end. Given all the possibilities, you need to contact a lawyer to get advice on your specific situation.
The Process of Pursuing a Medical Malpractice in Indianapolis
After you contact an attorney to discuss your injuries, several steps need to be followed. These include:
- Gathering medical records. You’ll have to make a formal request for all documentation relating to your case including details of consultations and tests.
- Determining if there was negligence. Your attorney will consult with medical professionals to get their opinion on your case.
- Securing expert review. There may be a need to get another opinion from someone with even more experience.
- Deciding whether to pursue a claim. Your attorney will advise you as to whether they think you have a strong case.
- Filing a copy of your proposed complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance. Proposed lawsuits need to go through the department’s Malpractice Division.
- Requesting the formation of a Medical Review Panel. A lawyer and three healthcare providers constitute the panel.
- Submitting evidence to the panel. Your lawyer will present written evidence and ask the panel to convene.
- Deciding whether to move forward with the lawsuit based on the panel’s report. The panel will give an opinion on whether the evidence suggests the defendant acted negligently.
If you have a solid case, you can move ahead with filing your lawsuit.
Contact Stewart|Phelps|Wood to Discuss Your Case Today!
If you suspect you may be a victim of medical malpractice, you need to speak to a lawyer immediately. When you act at the earliest opportunity, you have more time to build evidence in support of your claim. At Stewart|Phelps|Wood, we have the skills and experience to hold nurses and other medical professionals accountable. Call us today to schedule a consultation with our Indianapolis medical malpractice attorneys.