Currently, Indiana caps the amount a victim of medical malpractice may be awarded at just $1.25 million, but a recent proposal seeks to increase that number. In September, a legislative committee was formed to examine the constitutionality of the current cap as well as the possibility of increasing the cap by $400,000. The proposal is gaining some unexpected support from Indiana hospitals.
The current cap has remain unchanged since its inception in 1999. Proponents, such as Indiana Hospital Association attorney, Tim Kennedy worry that the current cap may be found unconstitutional. Their belief in not unfounded. Florida recently became the eighth state to revoke their medical malpractice cap. In a Florida state Supreme Court decision, the cap was found unconstitutional. The justices made several statements including that the cap was arbitrary, served no true state interest, and did not provide equal justice under the law. In addition, they stated that while the cap saves a modest amount for many, it creates devastating costs for those severely injured and suffering the greatest loss.
Opponents of the bill include Indiana State Medication Association lobbyist Mike Rinebold. Rinebold claims that increases the cap by the suggested $400,000 will have devastating consequences in the medical practice field causing costs to rise significantly. On average an OB/GYN with absolutely no history of malpractice pays over $46,000 per year for insurance. An increase of 15% amounts to around $7,000 more per year. This would require new doctors to pay $53,000 a year before they ever deliver a single baby.
Only time will tell if the latest medical malpractice bill will rise above committee, but both sides are fighting their stance passionately. If you believe you or someone you love has been the victim of medical malpractice, contact us today for a free case evaluation.