What if I am Hurt in an Accident and My Doctor Commits Malpractice While Treating Me?
You are in an accident. It does not matter how the accident happened. It could be that you were in a car wreck with a drunk driver. It could be you fell in a construction accident. You might have had a highway accident with a semi tractor trailer. You might have been in a road accident while riding your motorcycle. It does not matter if it was a traffic accident or a slip and fall, or you were electrocuted with burns, you are injured. Your injury might include a brain injury, or a back injury with spinal cord injury, which causes you to become paralyzed as either a paraplegic or a quadriplegic. If you are hurt and it is someone else’s fault, you are going to need medical care and treatment.
Most doctors do excellent work. As a result the injured person recovers as best they can and gets back to life as best they can. Every so often, however, the doctor treating the patient makes a medical error, also called malpractice. Remember, malpractice does not mean the doctor meant to cause the harm. It simply means the doctor was negligent in providing medical care. Doctors are human, and they make medical mistakes. If they do make a medical mistake, they must do what your mother taught you and what their mothers taught them, they must make up for the harm they caused. They do this by having insurance. Don’t worry about their rates going up. Indiana passed medical malpractice tort reform back in the seventies. The doctors are protected by the malpractice act which caps recoveries for the people they injure at 1.25 million dollars. This might seem like a lot, but a child who suffers permanent injury is going spend 5 or 6 times that amount in medical care over their life time. Instead of the person who caused the problem making up for the harm they cause, we as tax payers have to make up for the harm they cause through Medicare and Medicaid.
If your doctor makes a medical mistake while treating you for injuries caused by another person in an accident, the person who caused the original injuries is responsible for making up for the additional harm caused by the doctor. The other driver does this through their insurance. The injured person can also bring a claim against the doctor as well, asking the doctor to make up for the additional harm he caused. The reason for the first rule I discussed (the person who caused the accident is responsible for all the harm that is caused by the accident) is to make sure that the injured person receives full and fair compensation. The reason the injured person can also bring a claim against the doctor is because the driver that originally caused the harm may not have enough insurance to pay for the harm the doctor caused. Do not worry about the injured person obtaining a double recovery. This is not allowed under Indiana law.
Competent and careful accident lawyers and accident attorneys know the rules about how and when to bring a claim against the person who caused the accident and the doctor who made a medical mistake. Young and Young, as injury lawyers for more than 55 years, are qualified to help you with your claim. Call us today.