How to Know If You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim

signs of medical malpractice

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional deviates from the standards of their profession, leading to patient harm. Indicators of a potential medical malpractice case include misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, surgical errors, medication mistakes, and inadequate follow-up care. These issues can result in significant health complications or worsen existing conditions. If you suspect you’ve been affected by medical negligence, seeking legal advice is crucial. 

At Gerling Law, our experienced attorneys can evaluate your situation and guide you through the complexities of asserting your rights. If you’re asking yourself, “Do I have a medical malpractice case,” don’t hesitate to contact us for a thorough assessment and dedicated support.

We trust doctors to do what is best for our health. Unfortunately, this trust can often blind us to mistakes, oversights, and other errors — even when our gut is telling us something is wrong.

The only way to know for certain whether you are a victim of medical malpractice is to work with attorneys who can thoroughly investigate your situation.

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Help

Signs You Have a Medical Malpractice Case

Recognizing the signs of medical malpractice is crucial for patients who feel something may have gone wrong with their medical care. These signs range from overt acts, like surgical errors, to more subtle indications, like persistent symptoms despite treatment. Understanding these signs can help you identify possible acts of medical negligence and allow you to seek appropriate legal recourse. Here are 12 potential signs that you might have grounds for bringing a medical malpractice claim in Indiana. 

Your Treatment Isn’t Working

If you have taken all prescribed medications, had required surgeries, and undergone your doctor’s entire treatment plan, and your medical condition is not improving, it may be a sign that you have been misdiagnosed. It might also suggest that your doctor has not given you the correct medication or created the right treatment plan.

Your Treatment Doesn’t Make Sense With Your Diagnosis

If your doctor has ordered invasive surgeries or medications with severe side effects for a relatively common and nonserious medical condition, you may have a malpractice case.

And vice versa: If your doctor does not seem to be ordering an aggressive enough treatment for a serious disease or illness, you may be the victim of malpractice.

Your Doctor Failed To Order Anything More Than Basic Lab Tests

Serious diseases are typically only diagnosed after extensive testing. If you were diagnosed with a serious illness after just basic lab tests, you may have been misdiagnosed.

In addition, if you have serious symptoms and your doctor has failed to order anything beyond basic lab tests, that may be a sign that he/she is not taking your concerns, or your health, seriously, and could result in a delayed diagnosis.

You Got A Second Opinion That Was Different Than Your Diagnosis

If you received a diagnosis — or failed to receive one — sought a second opinion, and that doctor’s diagnosis was different, that may be a sign that your original doctor did not do his/her job correctly. This is especially true if you sought a third opinion and the result was the same as the second practitioner who saw you.

The Hospital Or Care Facility You Stayed In Seemed Understaffed

Being understaffed is a major cause of medical negligence and neglect. If you spent time in a hospital or assisted care facility and your needs were not met due to staffing issues, you may have a medical malpractice case. Signs of medical neglect include bedsores, falls, unsanitary conditions, air embolism injuries, and hospital-acquired sepsis.

There Was An Error Made During Surgery

Sometimes doctors will admit to an error or complication, during surgery; other times, patients discover that a mistake was made on their own. If you develop new symptoms after surgery that are unrelated to your original medical issue, or that indicate a mistake was made, you may be the victim of medical malpractice.

Your Health Care Provider Failed To Follow Up

Oftentimes, minor medical issues and serious diseases can share certain symptoms. It is your doctor’s job to determine whether a medical complaint is a symptom of a serious disease or illness.

For example, the doctor says you should have further testing but never orders any tests. Or, the doctor says they will follow up with you to see how you are doing but fails to do so, which delays a diagnosis. These are potential examples of medical malpractice claims.

Lack Of Informed Consent

Informed consent is crucial in medical treatments. To ensure informed consent, a healthcare provider must inform you properly about the nature of a procedure, the potential risks, alternatives, and possible outcomes. Otherwise, this oversight can lead to unexpected complications. It can also be grounds for a medical malpractice claim, especially if you would have opted out of the treatment had you been fully informed.

Lack Of Monitoring

Proper patient monitoring is crucial, especially post-surgery or during critical treatments. If a medical professional fails to monitor your condition adequately, leading to preventable complications or deterioration with proper observation, this may constitute malpractice. Lack of monitoring can result in severe consequences, including death. 

Inadequate Follow-Up Care

After treatment or surgery, adequate follow-up care is crucial for recovery. It can be considered malpractice if a healthcare provider neglects your aftercare. Examples of effective follow-up care involve monitoring for potential complications, ensuring medications are working as intended, and addressing any patient concerns.

Enduring Symptoms

If your symptoms persist or worsen despite ongoing treatment, this could indicate an issue with the accuracy of your diagnosis or the effectiveness of your treatment plan. The stress and anxiety of enduring symptoms without a proper diagnosis affects the patient and their whole family. The relief of finally receiving a correct diagnosis can be dampened by anger and frustration that it took so long. It can be grounds for a medical malpractice case if you had symptoms and your medical provider did not reach the proper diagnosis or devise the correct treatment plan. 

Feeling Discontent With Your Healthcare Provider Or Medical Team

While not always a direct indicator of medical malpractice, feeling consistently dissatisfied or uneasy about the care you’re receiving can be a sign that something isn’t right. If the medical provider repeatedly dismisses your concerns, or you feel that your care isn’t being properly managed, it may be worth exploring whether there has been a lapse in the standard of care.

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice Cases In Indiana

How do you file a grievance against a doctor?

You might file a grievance with the local county medical society if the doctor is a member of the Indiana State Medical Association, the Indiana State Department of Health, or even the Office of Attorney General Consumer Protection Division.

How long do you have to file a malpractice suit?

Generally, you have two years from the date of the malpractice to file a lawsuit in Indiana. However, you might be required to file a proposed complaint to a medical malpractice review panel first. 

How long do you have to sue for misdiagnosis?

The two-year timeframe typically applies in misdiagnosis cases. However, some cases might trigger a different deadline due to delayed discovery. It’s best to speak with an experienced Indiana medical malpractice lawyer to ascertain the exact deadline in your case. 

Can you sue for inaccurate medical records?

Mistakes happen. However, preventable mistakes in medical records that lead to serious injury or death could give rise to medical negligence. 

Wondering if You Have a Medical Malpractice Case? Contact Gerling Law for Help

If you believe you have a medical malpractice case, contact Gerling Law. Our lawyers will investigate your case and get you the answers you deserve.

Call (888) 437-5464 for a free consultation at one of our locations in Evansville, Indianapolis, or Owensboro.

Remember, when seeking justice and fair compensation for medical malpractice, Go with Experience. Go with Gerling. ®