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Counsel That You Can Trust & Depend On


Guy DiMartino Oct. 31, 2014

Northwest Indiana medical malpractice lawyer discusses misdiagnosis and malpractice.

We receive many phone calls each week from people with questions regarding a potential Northwest Indiana medical malpractice claim. The phone calls have a common theme. Usually, you or your family member has suffered significant injury following a medical procedure or the doctor failed to diagnose a long standing condition and now you're terminal, do you have a case?

All medical malpractice lawyers will screen the calls and the first screening procedure is to answer a two-part question: (1) what did the healthcare provider do wrong? (2) how did the wrong cause injury or death?

When people are asked what the doctor or hospital did wrong, they are able to answer the question easily. They can rattle off a litany of the things the doctor or hospital staff did or failed to do. Sometimes, the facts suggest that the medical care provided was negligent or inappropriate. However, when the person is asked to link the inappropriate or negligent medical care to injury or death, the person does not have an answer.

It is important for any lawyer to speak frankly to a prospective client about the facts of their case. The lawyer may ask difficult questions, play “devil's advocate,” and sometimes appear that they are taking the doctor's side. We believe it is a better policy to be honest upfront and for the client to hear about the weaknesses in a potential case up front than for them to invest five years of their time and energy before learning of the weakness.

As a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case, you have the burden of proving (1) that the doctor or hospital staff owed the patient a duty of care; (2­) that the doctor or hospital staff breached the standard of care (malpractice); (3) that the malpractice was the legal cause of the injury or death; and (4) that the damages or losses occurred because of the injury. If any of these elements are missing, an injured patient or family should not bring a malpractice claim.

The more experienced the lawyer; the easier it will be for him to preliminarily determine if the elements of a medical malpractice claim are present. For instance, if the potential client believes that the doctors in the hospital emergency room failed to timely diagnose a heart attack, the experienced medical malpractice lawyer knows the exact questions to ask the caller.

Medical malpractice law in Northwest Indiana is complex. If you have any questions about a potential medical malpractice claim you can contact our Michigan City medical malpractice lawyer at (219) 874-4878.