Medical Malpractice On Behalf Of A Loved One
Posted On behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak on Sep 11, 2012 in Advice
The worst case scenario for when a loved one has to receive medical care is that the care they need is inappropriately applied, or their condition is wrongly diagnosed. This situation arises rarely, but it can lead to serious incapacitation, and even death.
When the person who was physically harmed by medical malpractice is killed, or is left unconscious or otherwise unable to pursue a suit for themselves, how can family and friends respond, and make sure that their needs are met and justice is served?
A medical malpractice or wrongful death lawsuit can be brought to court on behalf of the wronged individual (by necessity, in the former case), but there are a number of restrictions that apply.
1. Only certain people can sue. In wrongful death cases, only people who were dependents or immediate family members of the deceased can sue on their behalf, or in some cases, non-family individuals who were left to pay for medical and funeral expenses can sue for reimbursement of their costs. For medical malpractice on behalf of a still-living individual, cases are usually only able to be brought to court by spouses, children, or other individuals who have been granted power of attorney by the individual who has been harmed.
2. The same statutes of limitations apply to these as to other personal injury cases. In Indiana, you have two years after the incident to officially file the case in court. After that, you may have no recourse at all. Preparing a complex case such as a medical malpractice suite can take a long time, so it’s best to contact a personal injury lawyers as soon as possible, to start the process. Two years only seems like a long time, in some cases.
3. You can't do it alone. While it is technically possible to successfully sue for medical malpractice or wrongful death without the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer, the reality is that that is incredibly unlikely.
For starters, these are difficult and complex cases for any lawyer, and bringing them to completion requires a great deal of specialized knowledge, which can be acquired only through specialization in personal injury law. Also, you are often too close to the case, emotionally, to be able to be objective.
Medical malpractice and wrongful death are extremely painful emotional experiences, and your case needs the care of an expert, who is compassionate to your needs, but still objective enough to effectively fight for your rights.