A Lowell, Indiana family, on behalf of her child, recently received a $12 million settlement through the hard work and dedication of my friend and colleague, Timothy Schafer, of Merrillville, Indiana. According to the Post-Tribune, the child was born with quadrapresis (weakness of arms & legs) that resulted from a lack of oxygen during the birthing process.
One might look at the amount of the settlement and say that lawsuit settlements are out of hand; however, this child needs constant attendant care and will live most of her life in a bed or wheelchair. Additionally, because of her condition she will have a number of healthcare issues throughout her lifetime that will require expensive medical care.
It is not a blessing that this child was injured because of medical malpractice; however, it is a blessing that it occurred in Illinois instead of Indiana. If this incident had occurred 30 miles away, say in Dyer, the family would never see enough money to provide adequate care for their child. You see in Indiana, medical malpractice awards are capped at $1.25 million by statute with the healthcare provider's insurance company paying $250,000 and the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund paying $1 million.
I can almost guarantee it that if this child was injured in Indiana, she would have to be on state and/or federal assistance for her medical care as the years went on. In severe injury medical malpractice cases, the Indiana cap just isn't enough to compensate the victim for their economic needs in the future.
Again, Kudos to Tim for bringing justice to this child and her family.
If you have any questions about a potential Indiana medical malpractice claim, call our Michigan City medical malpractice lawyer at (219) 874-4878 or fill out the contact form on the this page.