Does Indiana cap damages in medical malpractice cases?
Yes. Indiana does have a law on the books that limits or “caps” the amount of money that a plaintiff can receive even after a successful medic al malpractice lawsuit against a negligent health care provider.
Indiana is also fairly unique among states in that its “damage cap” applies to the total amount of compensation that an injured patient can recover -- not just to certain categories of damages (many states limit only the recovery of non-economic damages, which includes compensation for things like “pain and suffering”).
Here is a snapshot overview of Indiana’s medical malpractice damage caps, which were first passed in 1975, and which are set to increase in the coming years (you can find the full text of these laws at Indiana Code Chapter 34-18-14):
* For health care treatment errors that occurred after June 30, 1999, but prior to July 1, 2017, there is a $1.25 million cap on total damages available to the plaintiff, and an individual health care provider (i.e. a doctor or other health care professional) cannot be held liable for more than $250,000 in damages. Any damages in excess of that $250,000 will be paid by the state of Indiana’s Patient Compensation Fund.
* If the malpractice occurs after June 30, 2017, but before July 1, 2019, the total cap is $1,650,000, of which the health care provider cannot be ordered to pay more than $400,000 (with the state's patient's fund paying the rest, up to the $1.65M cap)
* If the malpractice occurs after June 30, 2019, the total cap is $1,800,000, of which the health care provider cannot be ordered to pay more than $500,000 (with the state's patient's compensation fund paying the rest, up to the $1.8M cap)
(Note: If the malpractice occurred prior to July 1, 1999, the caps are lower than what's listed here).
Get more information on Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases.
by: David Goguen, J.D.