If you or a family member is ill or injured and needs medical assistance, you depend on hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals to take care of you. Fortunately, most medical providers are worthy of your trust. However, some are not, leaving you and your family to live with the consequences of their negligent actions.
A dedicated South Bend medical malpractice lawyer could provide you the sound legal advice and support when you most need it. Our firm’s seasoned civil attorneys have extensive experience handling malpractice claims and work closely with medical experts across the country to ensure maximum recovery for your damages.
Establishing Liability for Healthcare Malpractice
Many people immediately deem medical malpractice to be the fault of the doctor who treated them. In reality, any medical provider whose negligence directly or indirectly injured someone could be liable under state law. Potentially responsible parties in a medical malpractice action include:
- Physicians Assistants
- Nurse Practitioners
- Hospital administrators
- Paramedics and ambulance personnel
- Insurance companies
More than one person may be at fault for medical negligence. For example, a hospital pharmacist might incorrectly fill a prescription and the attending nurse, without confirming it as the correct medication, administers it to the patient. In that event, the pharmacist, the nurse, and potentially the hospital may all be responsible for the patient’s resulting injuries.
Determining liability, even in the most seemingly straightforward medical malpractice cases, can be extremely challenging. Expert testimony is often required to verify whether the provider failed to adhere to the legal standard of care. As such, a person believing a medical error may have harmed them is well-advised to seek legal counsel from a knowledgeable South Bend attorney.
How Could a Medical Provider Harm a Patient?
When a person submits themselves to medical care, they must rely on the skill of the treating provider. Unfortunately, the patient can be harmed if the medical professional does not perform to the appropriate standard of care. Given the complexity of medical treatment and the uniqueness of each patient, the potential for error is high, including but not limited to:
- Failing to inform a patient of the risks associated with a medication or medical procedure
- Performing incorrect or unnecessary medical testing or surgery
- Failing to properly monitor a patient after treatment
- Failing to timely detect an illness or misdiagnosing a disease or injury
- Inadequate training or supervision of staff
- Failure to properly screen medical providers before hiring
- Improper prescribing and administration of medications
- Providing treatment or medication to the wrong patient
Potentially countless other actions could constitute medical malpractice under current state law. Accordingly, it is vital to enlist the services of a qualified South Bend attorney as soon after being injured by a healthcare provider as possible.
Damages for Medical Errors in South Bend
An unexpected injury can impact every aspect of a person’s life. They may need extensive medical care, miss time from work or lose their job entirely, and face lifelong limitations. In a medical practice lawsuit, an injured party can recover several different forms of compensation for those losses.
Reimbursement for an injured patient’s financial damages generally includes medical bills, lost wages, and reduced earning capacity. Economic damages are generally limited to actual monetary losses.
Pain and suffering, reduced companionship, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment in life often fall under the category of non-economic damages. These damages can exceed economic damages in some cases, particularly if the injury is severe enough to negatively impact a person’s life for months or years after the injury.
Punitive damages are intended to punish the at-fault parties for their wrongful conduct and deter similar future behavior. These damages are generally only awarded when the defendant’s conduct was intentional or malicious. The Indiana Code §34-51-3-4 caps these damages at three times the total compensatory damages or $50,000, whichever is greater.
A dedicated medical error attorney in South Bend could determine whether a damages cap applies depending on the facts of the case.
Book a Consultation with a South Bend Medical Malpractice Attorney
Sadly, medical errors injure and kill hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. Contact a respected South Bend medical malpractice lawyer today if you believe a healthcare provider harmed you or a loved one. Your legal action may not only secure compensation for your losses, but it may also spare others from the harm caused to you and your family.