Losing a loved one is never easy, especially due to the actions of people who you trusted. When it comes to an illness, these people include the doctor and hospital that are treating your loved ones. We hear many instances where the doctor or hospital fails to meet the standard of care expected of them and, as a result, families file wrongful death claims.
This standard of care is not only set on ethical grounds but also holds a place in law. Those failing to meet these standards are subject to action and the families who have suffered due to these people would be entitled to compensation. So, when can patients sue a hospital for medical negligence?
Standard of Care
As mentioned above, doctors, hospitals, and their staff are all required to follow a certain standard of care. If they fail to meet this standard, then they would be liable for their actions. Basically, if the death is caused by preventable errors, then there’s a strong likelihood that you have a valid claim.
However, the above is only a generalized explanation. When you’re appearing before a court of law, just as the doctor and hospital have to follow a standard of care, you also need to meet the requirements set under the law. An experienced lawyer would be able to guide you best on these requirements and advise you on whether you have a valid claim and what the chances of success are.
What is the process?
Before you can file a claim in court, you would be required to present your case to a panel of healthcare providers. This panel will judge whether any malpractice has taken place and if there are valid grounds for a claim to be presented in court.
Normally such panels would not have so much power, but in this instance, the panel holds legal validity as it has been prescribed under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act. The statute states that only once the panel has given their approval to a case, can it be moved forward for filing of a claim to a court.
Should I get a lawyer?
One could argue that the law favors hospitals and doctors more than the patient and that argument could hold some weight. This is especially true if you see that a panel of healthcare providers and not a court of law is the first entity to decide whether the claim is valid. It is possible that bias could exist and play a role in the outcome.
Regardless, such is the law. This is why getting a medical malpractice lawyer might be the best route to take. Speak to a professional about your claim and let them judge, based on their experience and expertise, how strong your claim is. Lawyers would be best suited as their experience lets them know how to deal with the panel, so as to get a decision that is favorable.
Moreover, such lawyers tend to work on a contingency fee. This means a percentage of your claim, if successful, would be their payment for services. If the claim is unsuccessful, then you do not have to pay them anything. Many firms even offer free consultation and medical records review, meaning you won’t have to pay anything upfront.