Being sick or injured is already scary enough. The last thing you expected was for your doctor or hospital to make your condition worse. Now, you think you may need to file a medical malpractice claim.

How exactly do malpractice claims work in Indiana? Here’s the basic process:

  1. Consult with an attorney. Why should you do this first? Because not every bad outcome in a medical setting is actually malpractice. Even when mistakes are made, it may not amount to actual malpractice if the standard of care you received was acceptable under the circumstances or your bad outcome isn’t tied to the mistake. An attorney can help you determine if malpractice likely occurred.
  2. Gather all of the evidence. This can help solidify your case and will make it easier to move onto the next step. In some cases, your attorney may want to find an independent expert to review your records and give an opinion about the case before proceeding any further.
  3. File a complaint. Once you make a complaint to the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, you’ve taken your first formal step forward in the case. At that point, the opposing party will be notified, and your case begins in earnest.
  4. Request a Medical Review Panel. This is a necessary step before proceeding that is supposed to weed out claims that aren’t viable. Representatives from both the legal field and the medical field will review your complaint for its validity and issue a recommendation.
  5. File a lawsuit. Assuming that the report favors your position and you decide to proceed, you can then file a malpractice lawsuit with the court. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your case will end up going to trial, however, as it’s often a starting point for settlement negotiation.

A medical malpractice claim is not a short process — but don’t let that deter you from seeking justice if you or your loved one has fallen victim to another party’s negligence.