Generally, there is no cap, or limit, on the amount of money that may be awarded for losses that result from a personal injury in Indiana. These awards are called damages, which compensate for the wrong that an individual suffered. But, if your injury was caused by a medical care provider, the law on Indiana medical malpractice caps the amount of damages you may recover. If you or a loved one has been injured in the course of medical care, knowing Indiana personal injury caps on damages can help you make informed decisions about your claim.
How Indiana Medical Malpractice Caps Affect Your Claim
In 2019, the Indiana General Assembly amended the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act, Indiana Code title 34 article 18, to increase Indiana medical malpractice caps on the amount of compensatory damages recoverable in a medical malpractice claim. Responsibility for the increased amount was allocated between the medical care provider found liable for the harm and the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund. Regardless of the allocation, the 2019 change means that those harmed by a medical care provider may seek to recover greater amounts than possible in the past.
Indiana Personal Injury Caps on Medical Malpractice Claims
Indiana medical malpractice law sets a limit on the amount of damages an individual may recover for medical malpractice injuries. Medical malpractice is defined as the breach of a contract based on health care or professional services that were provided, or that should have been provided, by a health care professional to a patient. Indiana Code § 34-18-14-3 sets limits on the total amount an individual may recover for a medical malpractice injury or death, depending on when the injury or harm occurred:
- $500,000 for an act of malpractice that occurred before January 1, 1990;
- $750,000 for an act of malpractice that occurred after December 31, 1989 and before July 1, 1999;
- $1,250,000 for an act of malpractice that occurred after June 30, 1999 and before July 1, 2017;
- $1,650,000 for an act of malpractice that occurred after June 30, 2017 and before July 1, 2019; and
- $1,800,000 for an act of malpractice that occurs after June 30, 2019.
A health care provider’s personal liability is also capped under Indiana malpractice law, making a health care provider liable only for amounts up to the following:
- $250,000 for harm that occurred after June 30, 1999 and before July 1, 2017;
- $400,000 for harm that occurred after June 30, 2017 and before July 1, 2019; and
- $500,000 for harm that occurs after June 30, 2019.
Indiana Medical Malpractice Caps on Punitive Damages
Indiana courts may award two types of damages: compensatory or actual damages and punitive damages. The former is used to compensate the injured party for incurred losses, while the latter is used to punish the wrongdoer for their actions. Technically, Indiana does have a cap on punitive damages in medical malpractice cases, although it is based on the size of the compensatory damages award.
Indiana Code § 34-51-3-4 states that punitive damages may not be more than the greater of three times the amount of compensatory damages awarded in the action or $50,000. If a trier of fact awards a larger amount of punitive damages, the court will reduce the amount to be in line with the Indiana law capping punitive damages. The cap prevents an excessive punishment upon a wrongdoer while still permitting the injured party to be compensated for the injury suffered.
Find an Experienced Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Camden & Meridew, P.C.
The attorneys at Camden & Meridew P.C. work side by side with accident and injury victims to help them recover damages for their injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured by a health care provider, you need an Indiana medical malpractice lawyer who will combine litigation experience and a caring approach to fight for compensation and help you understand how Indiana medical malpractice caps impact your potential recovery. You’ll find that attorney at Camden & Meridew. For a consultation, call today at 317-770-000 or complete our online contact form as soon as possible—waiting could impair your ability to recover under Indiana law.