Articles Tagged with medical malpractice lawyer

An insurance company providing Indiana medical malpractice coverage to a doctor, nurse, hospital or other health care provider in Indiana owes its clients a duty of care to carefully consider any injury or wrongful death claim and act in good faith to reach a fair resolution. If the insurer has exclusive control in settlement negotiations, then rejects a claimant’s reasonable offer to settle the case within policy limits prior to or even during trial, the insurer can be responsible for a verdict in excess of policy limits.

As experienced Highland medical malpractice attorneys can explain, Indiana law has been written and interpreted this way to compel insurers to treat medical malpractice claimants fairly. Think about it: If the worst that could happen at trial for a medical malpractice insurer is that they’d have to pay the policy limits, what incentive would there be for them to settle for that amount – even if a person’s losses were obviously far in excess of that, before the case goes to trial? It would cost them the same either way.

Per the 1972 Indiana Court of Appeals decision in Bennett v. Slater, an insurer is liable to its insured for a judgment exceeding policy limits when the insurer had exclusive control of defending/settlement and doesn’t settle within the policy limits because of bad faith or negligence.

Jurors in an Indiana medical malpractice lawsuit ruled against a now-deceased physician accused of performing an allegedly unnecessary surgery on a 16-year-old athlete. 

The South Bend Tribune reports the lawsuit was filed in June 2015. The defendant physician died about a year later, but the case continued against his estate. The plaintiffs alleged their athlete son underwent a shoulder surgery he did not need, resulting in pain that will follow him the rest of his life. A two-day trial resulted in jurors deciding an award for $744,000 to be paid to the family. The boy reportedly suffered a wrestling injury and sought treatment.

Although he did not initially seek medical attention, the pain later became unbearable. The physician reportedly recommended surgery for the low-grade injury, involving an operation to remove part of his clavicle. The plaintiffs’ attorney now says the choice the doctor gave them – have surgery or live with the pain – was a “false one” because there were numerous other conservative treatment options that could have been employed first. It was not a decision that needed to be either-or.

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