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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 is 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 increasing the cap by the suggested $400,000 will have devastating consequences in the medical practice field, causing costs to rise significantly.
For example: 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 increase would require new doctors to pay $53,000 a year before they ever deliver a single baby.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of medical malpractice, contact the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.