Medical Malpractice And Personal Injury Resources
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There are strict procedural requirements for pursuing a medical malpractice complaint in the state of Indiana. Before the complaint can be filed in court, it must be presented to a medical review panel. A medical review panel is selected for each case and consists of three physicians and an attorney chairman. The panel reviews written evidence submitted by the litigants and issues an opinion as to whether there was malpractice and whether the malpractice caused the patient harm.
For an overview of the procedures see the website of the Medical Malpractice division of the Indiana Department of Insurance: www.in.gov/idoi.
Number Of Malpractice Claims
The medical review panel process consistently favors health care providers over injured patients. Since the inception of the medical review panel process, medical review panels have found in favor of health care providers in more than 80% of cases presented to the panels. See Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund 2019 Annual Report. While a patient can still pursue a malpractice claim even after a medical review panel finding of no malpractice, the medical review panel’s decision is admissible as evidence in any subsequent trial.
Helpful Information Sites For Injured Patients And Their Families
One out of three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. It is the second-most common cause of death in the U.S., exceeded only by heart disease. The relative survival rates for all cancers continue to improve. This improvement in cancer survivor rates is attributed to earlier diagnosis and improvements in treatment.
Visit the American Cancer Society website to learn about the early cancer warning signs: www.cancer.org. The site can be searched for specific cancers. In addition, the American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer includes the recommendations for screening for breast cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, and prostate cancer. Even if you are aware of the general guidelines, it is helpful to review these current guidelines, which reflect advances in technology and medical research. For example, in addition to mammograms, the American Cancer Society advises MRI’s for some women at high risk for breast cancer.
Screening exams can detect cancer at an early stage, even before you have symptoms. Your physician should offer appropriate screening exams that are indicated for your age and risk factors. If you have symptoms, your physician should do the appropriate tests to rule out or diagnose cancer.
Some of the screening guidelines available include:
Colon cancer screening guidelines: https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/colorectal-cancer-screening
Breast cancer screening guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/pdf/breast-cancer-screening-guidelines-508.pdf
Ovarian cancer screening guidelines: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/types/ovarian/screening/screening-guidelines-ovarian
Prostate cancer screening guidelines: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/prostate-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/acs-recommendations.html
Unfortunately, many patients experience a delay in diagnosis of their cancer due to the negligence of their health care providers. The attorneys at Garau Germano, P.C. have extensive experience in pursuing claims for failure to diagnose cancer, and may be able to help if you or a loved one has experienced a delayed diagnosis.
The risk factors, warning signs, and symptoms of heart attack, TIA’s, stroke, and sudden cardiac arrest are outlined on the American Heart Association website: www.americanheart.org. Coronary heart disease is the number one cause of death. Stroke is the number three cause of death and the leading cause of serious disability. It is important for the patient, as well as for the doctor, to know the warning signs and to respond quickly and promptly.
Other helpful websites:
- The National Spinal Cord Injury Association has a helpful site with links to resources, by state: www.spinalcord.org.
- The Brain Injury Association of Indiana has a website that offers support and education for individuals with traumatic head injury, as well as anoxic brain injury. The site also offers helpful links: http://www.biausa.org/Indiana.
- The Arc of Indiana advocates for people with developmental disabilities and their families. Its website offers information links as well as information regarding the Arc Master Trust: www.arcind.org.
- Do you need help locating a doctor or specialist? The American Medical Association has a site designed to help you find a doctor. It is the AMA Doctor Finder designed for patients: http://webapps.ama-assn.org/doctorfinder.
Additionally, the State of Indiana Medicaid website has helpful consumer information about Medicaid and state-assisted plans. For example, eligibility for Hoosier Healthwise, Medicaid, and Healthy Indiana Plan (“HIP”) can be found at www.in.gov/fssa. HIP is for uninsured Hoosier adults between the ages of 19-64 who earn less than $20,000 per year for a single adult or less than $40,000 for a family of four. This site also has links to the Medicaid waiver programs.