Monday, December 10, 2018

6 Steps to Take Before Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

by Jerry Nelson (writer), , June 17, 2016

Credit: Wikipedia
Dr. Arvind Gandhi faces court in 2017 for malpractice

If Dr. Arvind Gandhi of Munster, Indiana, a Chicago suburb, ever wants to come out of retirement, he will probably want to work in another field. Maybe become a mechanic at Indianapolis or inspect the

If Dr. Arvind Gandhi of Munster, Indiana, a Chicago suburb, ever wants to come out of retirement, he will probably want to work in another field. Maybe become a mechanic at Indianapolis or inspect the moist towelettes at the factory.

He won't be practicing medicine again.

Scarred in Indiana

For thirty years, Debra Davidson was treated by Gandhi. In 2011 she had open-heart surgery. Now, she wonders if she even needed the surgery.

When Davidson turned on the TV, she listened carefully— her doctor, Gandhi, was being featured. The news said that Gandhi had been accused by past patients who blamed him for unneeded surgeries.

Davidson first saw Gandhi for an irregular heartbeat when she was still young — just 27. He prescribed medicine and for years, she took it faithfully. In 2011 Gandhi told her she needed open heart surgery. She scheduled it right away. She never even questioned the doctor when he ended up inserting mesh stents three separate times to remove blockages.

Only when Gandhi recommended a pacemaker did she push back. Instead, he placed a heart monitor under her skin but urged her to reconsider the pacemaker.

Davidson became one of almost 300 patients around Munster, Indiana, who have lawsuits pending against Gandhi and two other physicians in his practice.

At Community Hospital in Munster, Gandhi was a rock star. He ran a prominent practice in the suburb of 24,000 just 30 miles from downtown Chicago. Not only was Gandhi — and his partners — the highest-paid heart surgeons in the state, but they also ran the most popular cardiology practice in the region.

The lawsuits have divided the medical community; some physicians find themselves in the unique position of speaking against a fellow director as they work with the medical malpractice attorneys who are their usual foes.

Besides the physicians, the malpractice lawsuits also point to Community Hospital as a defendant. Gandhi was a high-ranking member of the medical staff and the lawsuits charge "superfluous procedures were performed with the consent" of Community Hospital.

As if to expect anything else, attorneys for the hospital deny any wrongdoing.

Essential Beginning Steps

Talk to the Doctor

Contact the physician who worked with you. Do this before actually filing the claim. The objective is to gain an understanding of what may have gone awry and permit the physician to determine if it is anything that can be fixed.

Contact the Medical Licensing Board

If talking with the doctor doesn't help, communicate with the licensing council that oversees medical licenses. The licensing board can't order the doctor to recompense you, but they can originate warnings or punishment.

Statute of Limitation

Determine how much time you have to legitimately file a case. All civil claims, including medical malpractice, have deadlines — or "statute of limitations." Review the state statutes to assure the period for recording your case does not expire.

Medical Assessment

Get an assessment to confirm you case has legal merit. States expect victims to file a "certificate of merit" to decide if the injuries were the result of negligence. To file, first, talk with an expert to evaluate your medical records.

Think Out-of-Court

Think about an out-of-court agreement. Medical cases can be costly; often medical malpractice cases are resolved out of court.As medical malpractice insurance groups deny a large portion of claims, it could be to your benefit to settle out-of-court; or gamble having no case at all.

Talk to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

The disparity between winning compensation and stepping away empty-handed depends on getting a qualified medical malpractice lawyer. An experienced lawyer can discuss the strengths and vulnerabilities of your case and offer guidance on a variety of possible actions in moving forward.

Medical Negligence?

A malpractice claim exists if a provider's negligence leads to injury or damage to a client and patient. Encountering a poor result isn't always evidence of neglect. It's important to note that the prosecution of malpractice cases can be expensive and time-consuming — not to mention stressful. Experts estimate that errors kill 200,000 patients in America annually. Only 15 percent of the lawsuits involve medical malpractice claims, and over 80 percent of those claims finish with no adjustment made to the wounded person or their survivors.

Most experienced medical malpractice lawyers will not accept a case unless the injuries and damages are substantial and playing justified. Professionals like those listed on the Seattle Safety Resources website,

You Are Not to Blame for Medical Malpractice

You are the one who pays the price for medical negligence; that does not mean that it is your fault.

UPDATE: Gandhi retired in the fall. He doesn't practice medicine anymore. The former cardiologist is facing hundreds of complaints claiming that he and two colleagues unnecessarily implanted cardiac devices; then he altered medical records to make it appear they were needed.

The first cases are expected to go to trial in 2017.

About the Writer

Jerry Nelson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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