Indiana has a cap on medical malpractice suits

Doctors, nurses and other health care workers do important work every day, healing the sick, providing care to the infirm and addressing other medical needs. They often go through years of training and have useful experience to help guide them in their work, but they are as human as the rest of us. This means that they can make mistakes, make poor judgment calls, or otherwise cause harm to the victim.

Fortunately, victims or their families can file medical malpractice claims for the maltreatment endured, including surgical errors, misdiagnosis, birth injuries, or medication errors. Victims and families can get compensation for their injuries, including money for lost wages (current and future), payment for additional medical treatment and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.

How the cap works

Unfortunately, Indiana was the first of many states that instituted medical malpractice caps regarding the amount paid by the doctor and their insurer. The idea is to make sure that doctors do not go broke if they make a mistake, but the cap also ensures that there is some reasonable amount of money that goes to the victim. As of July 2019, the amount is $1.8 million.

It is paid by the individual health care provider or the Patient’s Compensation Fund (PCF) in what is known as a two-tiered system. The first tier involves the amount of damages an individual provider is liable for, which is $500,000. The second tier involves the individual provider and the PCF for a total of $1,800,000.

Two-year window

Plaintiffs have two years from the time of their injury to seek damages. Those with questions about a potential case should speak as soon as possible with a personal injury attorney with experience handling medical malpractice cases. Cases start by submitting a claim to a medical review panel, which decides whether the plaintiff can file a malpractice suit. An attorney can guide victims through the entire process and often can help secure the largest possible amount of damages.