South Bend / Mishawaka, IN – After multiple prior attempts, Indiana lawmakers may have finally reached a consensus to raise the total compensation cap under Indiana’s Medical Malpractice Act. This is the first time the cap will be increased since 1999.
The current law permits a total recovery of $1.25 million with a cap of $250,000.00 per provider, per occurrence. The remaining dollars above the provider(s) cap(s) are paid by the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund up to a total of $1.25 million.
The new law would increase the limit to $1.65 million in 2017 and to $1.8 million in 2019. The cap of $250,000 per provider, per occurrence will increase to $450,000.
Other key provisions in the Act remain unchanged, notably including the following:
- All cases against qualified healthcare providers must first proceed through a medical review panel process, unless plaintiff seeks Fifteen Thousand Dollars ($15,000) or less, or the parties agree to waive the panel process. Prior bills included raising the amount, but it appears no change was agreed to on this occasion.
- Contributory negligence remains in place and is a complete bar to a patient’s claim. Indiana is a fifty percent (50%) comparative fault state for other negligent claims such as automobile accidents and slip and falls.
Reaching an agreement was important as lawmakers have had much concern about the vulnerability of the Act to a constitutional challenge.
The bill is currently awaiting Governor Pence’s review. It is, apparently, unclear if Governor Pence will sign the bill.
The content of this article is for information purposes only, and neither contains nor should be considered legal advice.