Hospital negligence in the State of Indiana is governed primarily by the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act. Over the years, various Indiana courts have decided cases interpreting the provisions of that statute, and a discussion of some of those cases follows.
Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys are ready and willing to help you obtain the legal compensation to which you may be entitled under the law. Below, we’ll cover details of the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act, what contributory negligence means, and how long you have to file your lawsuit in Indiana.
Indiana Medical Malpractice Act
Most negligence cases against a hospital or any of its employees, including surgeons, physicians, nurses, residents, and pharmacists, fall under the umbrella of the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act.
Pursuant to that Act, the question of health care provider negligence is ordinarily measured by the standard of care of a reasonable health care provider who is acting under the same or similar circumstances. In order to prove medical negligence — or medical malpractice — on the part of a health care provider, an injured plaintiff must prove that the provider breached the applicable standard of care, proximately resulting in his or her injuries and damages.
In order for an injured plaintiff to meet his or her high burden of proof, the injured plaintiff will usually need to introduce the testimony of another health care provider who can establish the breach element. For example, if an injured plaintiff is claiming injuries and damages as a result of a negligently performed heart surgery, the injured plaintiff would ordinarily need to call another cardiologist who can testify that the operating cardiologist breached the applicable standard of care.
Contributory Negligence in the Hospital Negligence Context
In ordinary Indiana negligence cases, a pure comparative fault standard applies. This means that if the jury were to conclude that the injured plaintiff was 50% or less at fault, he or she can still recover injuries and damages. However, pursuant to the case of King v. Clark, 709 N.E.2d 1043, 1046 (Ind. Ct. App. 1999), in the medical malpractice and hospital negligence contexts, contributory negligence on the part of an injured plaintiff is a complete bar to his or her recovery of monetary compensation and legal damages.
Moreover, in the medical malpractice and hospital negligence contexts, the injured plaintiff has a duty to exercise reasonable care and provide health care providers, including surgeons and nurses, with complete and accurate medical histories and information. Smith v. Hull, 659 N.E.2d 185, 191 (Ind. Ct. App. 1995). As such, in medical malpractice and hospital negligence cases, the injured plaintiff is held to a much higher standard and must be sure to provide accurate information.
Statute of Limitations in Hospital Negligence Cases
In hospital negligence and other Indiana medical malpractice cases, a lawsuit must ordinarily be filed within two years of the date of the alleged “act, omission, or neglect.” However, this two-year deadline does not apply in cases where latent medical conditions are not readily discoverable.
Pursuant to the case of Van Dusen v. Stotts, No. 03S00-9711-CV-631, 1999 WL 463489 (Ind. July 8, 1999), in the case of latent medical conditions, the Indiana statute of limitations is extended to two years from the date of discovery of the malpractice or resulting injury — or two years from the date on which such malpractice or resulting injury should have been discovered.
Contact an Indiana Medical Malpractice Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
Medical malpractice and hospital negligence occurs on a daily basis under a variety of circumstances. Not only do hospital surgeons, physicians, nurses, residents, and pharmacists make mistakes, but hospital supervisors and administrators may also be partially — or wholly — to blame for a plaintiff’s resulting injuries and damages.
Medical malpractice by health care providers and treating facilities, including hospitals and urgent care facilities, is a serious problem. The Indiana Medical Malpractice Act and supporting case law provide a legal basis for monetary compensation and recovery in these cases. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a health care provider or hospital’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation and monetary recovery under Indiana law.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case. Our results include verdicts and settlements of $800,000 in a medical negligence case involving a fatality during birth, among others.