10 Steps of a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
A medical malpractice lawsuit involves a complex and lengthy process. This is mainly due to the strict timelines stipulated under the Indiana statute of limitation. Consequently, it is essential for a patient who becomes a victim of medical malpractice to consult a medical malpractice lawyer Indiana to ensure a speedy process of their legal claim.
Below are the steps involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
1. Consult a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Indiana
This is an essential step in instituting a medical malpractice lawsuit. It helps a victim of medical malpractice establish whether they have a good case before lodging a claim with the Indiana insurance department. Given that this is the most crucial step, it is important for a victim to seek advice from a lawyer with substantial experience in medical malpractice suits.
2. Gather all Material Medical Records
This entails making a formal request to the medical institution and any other involved medical practitioners for the patient’s relevant medical records. Medical records form essential evidence in a medical malpractice lawsuit. As a result, the records should indicate all the information relating to the patient, including all consultations, lab tests, and other medical data by the medical practitioner and the medical institution, who will be the defendants in the case.
The timely acquisition of these records enables a medical malpractice lawyer Indiana to obtain the advice of expert witnesses as to whether a patient has a solid medical malpractice case.
3. Reach out to the Insurance Department
It involves the filing of a complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance. The complaint contains information about the defendant’s name, address, and dates on which the alleged malpractice occurred and the venue of the malpractice. Notably, the complaint must be accompanied by the processing fees.
4. Request Formation of a Medical Review Panel
Before a case is filed in court, the opinion of a medical review panel is sought. The same can be used as evidence in a victim’s case. Further, members of the panel may be called as witnesses in court.
5. Presenting Evidence to the Medical Review Panel
In this step, a victim adduces all relevant evidence to the panel for consideration.
6. Notify Insurance
If the panel finds evidence in favor of the victim, the medical malpractice lawyer Indiana may notify the medical practitioner’s insurance before filing a lawsuit. This step is vital since the insurance company may be willing to settle the claim out of court.
7. File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
This step involves filing the case by the victim with the court for determination.
8. Hearing on the Lawsuit
It involves hearing evidence and testimonies from the plaintiff’s and defendant’s sides.
9. Judgment and Award
Upon the conclusion of each side’s presentation of evidence, the jury renders its judgment. Suppose the plaintiff succeeds, an award of damages is given, which marks the end of the lawsuit unless a party appeals to a higher court.
10. Report to the Insurance Commissioner
In Indiana, all settled or decided medical malpractice cases are required to be reported to the insurance commissioner.
As stated above, several steps are involved in medical malpractice lawsuits in Indiana. Therefore, a victim must consult a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as the malpractice occurs so they can help them get justice.