Contact Langer & Langer for Additional Information or Representation
The laws in our country are constantly changing. Recently, Indiana has amended its Medical Malpractice Act to include multiple important updates that impact victims of medical negligence and other parties involved. As one of the state’s preeminent medical malpractice law firms, our team here at Langer & Langer has taken a special interest in these changes.
You can get up-to-speed with the updates by reviewing this comprehensive list of the changes that everyone should know. If you have additional questions, or if you need to start a medical malpractice claim in Indiana, we encourage you to contact us online or call us at (219) 464-3246. During a free initial consultation, we can explain how the recent legal changes may impact your case, as well as your rights as someone hurt by the negligence of a doctor or medical technician.
Keynote Changes to Indiana Medical Malpractice Law
Direct access (I.C. 34-18-8-6): This section of Indiana medical malpractice law is noteworthy because it was one of the few that was not changed with this latest update. Direct access is still $15,000. This means you can sue a qualified healthcare provider in state court without going through the medical review panel proceedings, but only if you do not see damages in an amount greater than $15,000.00.
Medical malpractice recovery cap (I.C. 34-18-14-3): The cap dictating how much the average injured patient can collect in compensation for a medical malpractice claim in Indiana was changed. Claims that accrue between July 1st, 2017 and June 30th, 2019 will be capped at just $1.65 million per injury resulting from an act of medical malpractice. Claims accrued after July 1st, 2019 will have a raised cap at $1.8 million.
Split of cap increase between “front end” HCP and “back end” PCF (I.C. § 34-18-14-3): Cap increases are to be divided between “front end” healthcare provider and “back end,” Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund “PCF. Claims accrued between July 1st, 2017 and June 30th, 2019 are subject to a $1,650,000 cap on damages, with the healthcare provider paying the first $400,000 and the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund paying up to $1,250,000. Claims accrued after July 1st, 2019 are subject to a $1,800,000 cap of damages, with the healthcare provider paying the first $500,000 and the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund paying up to $1,300,000.
Cap to attorney fees (I.C. 34-18-18-1): Claims impacted by the newly established caps will include an attorney fee cap of up to 32% to the overall recovery.
PCF payout schedule (I.C. 34-18-6-4 and 34-18-2-12.5): Starting on July 1st, 2017, any claim from the PCF must be paid to the plaintiff within 60 days of the court’s final judgement or officially approved settlement amount. Payments initializing on day 61 or later are in violation of the law.
Medical review panel fees (I.C. 34-18-10-25): Fees for panel member services are set at $500, up from $350. Chairmen may be compensated up to $2,500, up from $2,000.
Medical Malpractice Act timeline preamble (I.C. 34-18-0.5-1): Starting on July 1st, 2017, Chapter 0.5 Implementation Sec. 1 officially clarifies that all parties involved in a medical malpractice case in Indiana are expected to make an honest effort to stick to legal timelines and be expeditious. Courts are given the power to enforce timelines as they are intended to be fulfilled. Parties found to delay case progress are in violation of the Medical Malpractice Act.
The changes to the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act can be quite complicated for those not well-versed in the law and legalese. If you have questions or concerns regarding these changes, contact Langer & Langer for assistance, guidance, and advocacy. Call (219) 464-3246 for more information.