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Will Indiana's current medical malpractice cap be raised?

A committee in the Indiana General Assembly is considering a proposal to raise the state's medical malpractice cap. The current cap of $1.25 million has been in effect since 1999. So far, bills that would raise the caps or the threshold for medical reviews have not made it out of committee in the Indiana legislature.

Some health care experts have questioned whether caps on noneconomic damages caused by medical malpractice are even constitutional. State legislatures and judiciaries have weighed in on different sides of that question.

Last year, Florida's the supreme court determined that the state's law designating a medical malpractice cap was unconstitutional. The court wrote that such a cap was "arbitrary" and "offends the fundamental notion of equal justice under the law."

Just recently, however, Nevada's high court voted unanimously that the state's $350,000 cap was constitutional.

The Indiana State Medical Association has pushed back against calls to raise the cap, noting that the cost in increased malpractice insurance premiums to doctors (even those who've never been found liable for malpractice) would be substantial. A lobbyist for the Indiana Hospital Association, however, noted that it's fair to question whether caps determined so many years ago are still "fair and just" today.

Some health care experts argue that caps on noneconomic damages caused by medical malpractice aren't even constitutional. State legislatures and judiciaries have weighed in on different sides of that question.

Last year, Florida's the supreme court determined that the state's law designating a medical malpractice cap was unconstitutional. The court wrote that such a cap was "arbitrary" and "offends the fundamental notion of equal justice under the law."

Just recently, however, Nevada's high court voted unanimously that the state's $350,000 cap was constitutional.

If you or a loved one have been harmed by the negligence or actions of a physician or other medical professional, you can and should determine what your legal options are. Indiana medical malpractice attorneys can help you fight to hold them accountable.

Source: Clinical Advisor, "Indiana's 15-year-old malpractice cap under scrutiny," Ann W. Latner, JD, Sep. 21, 2015

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