Updated May 24, 2020
If you have been injured due to the negligence of a healthcare professional, you may be interested in pursuing a medical malpractice claim to fight for the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and other damages. These economic and non-economic damages can add up quickly. What happens if the healthcare provider’s medical malpractice insurance won’t cover the total cost?
That’s where the Indiana Patient’s Compensation Fund (PCF) comes in.
The Indiana PCF is a state program that helps victims recover damages that exceed what a healthcare provider’s medical malpractice insurance is responsible for.
The purpose of the Indiana PCF is twofold: to allow medical malpractice victims to recover the compensation they deserve and to keep healthcare providers’ medical malpractice insurance costs down. It therefore offers protection to both parties.
In 1975, Indiana implemented the Medical Malpractice Act, part of which was the PCF, under Governor Otis Bowen, who was a physician.
Every medical malpractice case works differently, but in general, the Indiana PCF is only accessed when damages exceed what is covered by the negligent healthcare provider’s medical malpractice insurance.
After your case has been reviewed by a medical review panel and you have secured recovery through a settlement with the healthcare provider and their insurance company or a court verdict, and if your damages exceed the insurance payout, your attorney may file a petition with the Indiana Department of Insurance to request excess payment from the Indiana PCF if the case warrants it.
Indiana sets strict caps on the damages recoverable in medical malpractice lawsuits. However, tweaks to the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act took effect on July 1, 2017, raising those limits minimally.
Any damages awarded in medical malpractice cases are the responsibility the negligent healthcare providers and their insurance companies, up to a certain point. Then, if the damages exceed that point, additional compensation is available through the Indiana PCF, although this total is also capped.
Before July 1, 2017, a healthcare provider’s contribution was capped at $250,000. If damages exceeded $250,000, victims could seek up to $1 million from the PCF, bringing the total cap to $1.25 million.
These damages have been raised incrementally. For claims arising between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2019, the negligent healthcare provider is responsible for the first $400,000, and remaining damages up to $1.25 million can be paid by the PCF, bringing the maximum allowable damages to $1.65 million.
Now, for claims arising on or after July 1, 2019, the healthcare provider is responsible for the first $500,000, and the PCF will pay up to $1.3 million for remaining damages, bringing the total cap to $1.8 million.
These rates are not guaranteed; consult with a qualified medical malpractice attorney to see what damages you may be able to recover.
As of July 1, 2017, PCF claims must be paid within 60 days of a final court-approved judgment or settlement.
If you or a loved one have been injured as a result of medical malpractice, contact the Indianapolis Medical Malpractice Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you and your family fight for compensation. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
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