Frequently Asked Questions
Does Indiana have any special laws regarding medical malpractice?
Indiana has some of the most restrictive medical malpractice laws in the United States. The body of laws that govern medical malpractice in Indiana is called the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act. The Act limits the time period in which a patient, even an infant, has to file a case. In addition, most complaints against a qualified healthcare provider must be reviewed by a Medical Review Panel before a patient can have a jury determine his or her case, and there are both caps on the amount of money a patient can recover and on the amount of money an attorney can receive in representing a patient.
Tell me more about Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act.
In Indiana, effective July 1, 2019, before a lawsuit may be brought against a qualified health care provider, the case must be reviewed by a Medical Review Panel. A Medical Review Panel consists of three (3) Indiana health care providers who review the patient’s claim and then render an opinion as to whether the doctor committed negligence. This opinion is admissible at trial.
In Indiana, the maximum a patient is entitled to recover is $1,800,000.00 per occurrence of malpractice regardless of the amount of damages. For example, assume a child is injured at birth by an act of malpractice. Assume that the child will incur about $4,000,000.00 in medical expenses over his or her life and will never be able to work. The maximum amount of recovery a patient is entitled to under Indiana’s Malpractice Act is $1,800,000.00.
How long will it take for my case to be completed?
Generally, it takes about one year from the time the Proposed Complaint is filed until a Medical Review Panel renders its opinion. This time period may vary depending on the necessity of depositions and whether any disputes arise that require court hearings during the medical review panel process. This does not include the time it takes once a state court action is filed.
Once the Medical Review Panel renders its opinion what happens next?
After the medical review panel renders its opinion, the case will be reviewed again. We may talk to the medical review panel members, physicians, any consultants working on the case and, of course, you and make a decision about what to do next. Depending on Court congestion, it can take an additional 1-3 years before your case can go to trial.
How do I pay my attorney?
Attorney fees are charged on a contingency fee basis. That means that if we are not successful in your case, you owe us nothing. Generally, once we have agreed to represent you, we will pay all litigation expenses, which can range in the thousands of dollars. If we are unsuccessful you do not have to repay any of the litigation expenses. However, if we are successful we will receive our attorney fees and litigation expenses. The issue of attorney fees and litigation expenses are contained in a written Contingency Fee Agreement which must be signed by any client before the firm undertakes to represent them in a medical malpractice case. The contingent fee agreement is the exclusive document that governs the payment of attorney fees and litigation expenses.
What if I have additional questions about my case?
Should you ever have questions about your case please feel free to contact Langer & Langer’s Indiana medical malpractice lawyers. We are always happy to answer your questions and do what we can to help you.
Do I need an Indiana medical malpractice attorney to file a claim?
Although you are not legally required to hire an Indiana medical malpractice attorney when filing a claim, medical malpractice claims are complicated and require special expertise. Medical malpractice lawyers often have access to medical experts and other important resources that can significantly improve your chances of winning your claim.
How long do I have to file a medical malpractice claim in Indiana?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Indiana is generally two years from the date the incident occurred. Exceptions exist. Different deadlines may apply in cases involving children or people who discovered the medical negligence at a later date.
Is there a cap on medical malpractice damages in Indiana?
Yes. For medical malpractice that occurred on or after July 1, 2019, the cap on damages is $1.8 million in Indiana.