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Counsel That You Can Trust & Depend On


Guy DiMartino Oct. 31, 2014

Northwest Indiana medical malpractice lawyer explains beginning a medical malpractice claim with the filing of a proposed complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance.

A Northwest Indiana malpractice claim begins with the filing of a proposed complaint with the Indiana Department of Insurance. This is an administrative procedure and the findings are not conclusive when the case is filed in court. Once, the proposed complaint is filed; the doctor, nurse, chiropractor, podiatrist or hospital will receive notice, and their insurance company will hire an attorney.

Medical Review Panel Process

The Indiana medical review panel process begins when a party requests the formation of a medical review panel. The panel is composed of one attorney and three doctors. The attorney acts as the chairman of the medical review panel but he does not deliberate.

Before the formation of the panel, the parties try to come to an agreement regarding the medical specialties of the panel members if the claim is against more than one healthcare provider of different specialties.

Once the parties come to an agreement about the medical specialties that will be represented in the panel, each party will submit the name of a doctor licensed in Indiana. As a matter of course, the other party strikes the name of the physician submitted by the other side. The attorneys seem to think that if another party recommended a doctor that they have some knowledge regarding the doctor. Each party has two strikes.

Next, the panel chairman will select the names of three prospective members, and each party will strike one. The one doctor left will be appointed to the panel, and the chairman will then select another three names of prospective panel members, and each party will strike a name off of the list. Once two panel members are chosen, they will pick a third panel member. Again, the parties have the right to strike the third panel member picked by the other doctors.

Once the panel is chosen, the chairman will coordinate a briefing schedule. Each party will put together their evidence and prepare a written submission, which is supposed to be reviewed by the panel.

The Indiana Medical Malpractice Act requires the panel to render an opinion within 6 months of time that the last panel member is chosen; however, these dates are routinely extended because of the various schedules that need to be coordinate.

The process of selecting a medical review panel and going through the briefing and deliberation process can take upwards of one to two years.

Indiana Medical Malpractice Law is Complex. If you have any questions about a potential Northwest Indiana medical malpractice claim, call our office at (219) 874-4878 or request a free copy of my book explaining the Indiana medical malpractice process.