I received a call the other day, and the caller said I have a slam dunk medical malpractice case that I would like you to handle. I asked, so you think you have a valid Indiana medical malpractice case?
The caller thought that all his lawyer has to do is gather his medical records and submit a demand and some insurance company is going to open its checkbook and pay money. I began to ask the call a number of questions and he was offended. Well, there are many issues that the caller needed to understand about Indiana medical malpractice cases.
Medical Malpractice Cases Are Rarely Slam Dunks
It is rare that an Indiana medical malpractice case is so bad for the healthcare provider that the doctor or hospital will want to settle immediately. Why? Because there is no real risk on the doctor or hospital. Medical malpractice claims are capped at 1.25 million and the doctor or hospital's insurance company is only responsible for $250,000 of that money, so there is no incentive for early settlement.
Here is an example of how it works. Say – you went to court and the jury gave you a 2 million dollar verdict. The Judge would reduce the verdict to 1.25 million. The hospital or doctor's insurance company will pay $250 and the State Patient Compensation Fund will pay $1 million. What's the incentive to settle – there isn't any because there is no risk.
Take this together with the fact that 85-90% of the cases that go through the medical review panel come out with a finding of “no malpractice,” and the doctor and/or hospital wins approximately 75% of the cases that go to trial. So, Indiana doctors and hospitals have nothing to lose in taking these cases to trial.
Why do I share this with you?
I'm sharing this, because knowledge is power. Getting back to the question: “You think you have a valid medical malpractice case?” You may, but you must understand that the facts in every case and every injury are different. At your initial consultant with an experienced lawyer, make sure you answer all his/her questions truthfully – warts and all. Remember, all discussions with an attorney are confidential under the attorney/client privilege. Good Luck in your quest to right the wrong that has happened to you.
Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.netPejic & DiMartino, PC1000 Washington StreetMichigan City, IN 46360