Last summer, we wrote an article about the cap placed on the amount of damages that can be awarded to a victim of medical malpractice in Indiana. We discussed that then Governor Pence signed a bill approving an increase to Indiana’s cap on medical malpractice damages. The new law raised the cap to $1.65 million in 2017 and $1.8 million in 2019. This change took effect on July 1 (2017).
We said a year ago and we repeat: Despite this increase, this new amount does not begin to fully compensate someone for the harm that was done to them. Oftentimes, the cap does not even cover the costs of an injured person’s past medical bills, lost wages, and the costs of the medical care they will need in the future. These injured Hoosiers often are forced into bankruptcy or require State aid to cover their medical costs. Sen. Brent Steele (R-Bedford), who sponsored the legislation, said “Even with the increase, Indiana’s cap remains low compared with other states.”
In stark contrast, the Illinois Supreme Court declared the state’s previous cap on non-economic damages unconstitutional in 2010.”
As recently as last year (2016) 33 states still carried caps for damages in medical malpractice lawsuits in 2016. However, there may be a trend toward more and more states eliminating the cap. We were pleased to hear that just a few weeks ago (June 2017), malpractice caps were ruled unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court.
According to an AP report, “The court ruled that the caps placed into law in 2003 were arbitrary and there’s no proof that they reduced malpractice insurance rates that lawmakers were attempting to contain. Even if they have, there’s no present crisis to justify the caps. In a 4-3 decision, justices also said the caps unfairly hurt those most severely injured by doctors’ mistakes. “The caps on noneconomic damages … arbitrarily reduce damage awards for plaintiffs who suffer the most drastic injuries,” the court said.
Theodoros & Rooth believes the victims of medical malpractice deserve to be fully compensated for their life-changing injuries. While we believe the caps deprive some plaintiffs of those rights, an increase in the caps may begin to help others get the compensation they deserve.
The lawyers at Theodoros & Rooth work exclusively on personal injury cases, such as medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, car, truck, and motorcycle accidents, and product liability. Our firm has become nationally known for aggressively standing up for the rights of those injured. If you believe that you or a loved one may have been injured or killed because of negligence, contact us immediately. The initial consultation is always free, and there are no attorney fees unless we win.