Northwest Indiana medical malpractice lawyer discusses Indiana's Medical Malpractice Act and medical malpractice claims.
Medical malpractice happens when a healthcare provider's medical treatment falls below the standards or norms in the particular medical specialty. The rules, regulations or norms that a doctor, chiropractor, podiatrist, or nurse must follow is called the standard of care. When a healthcare provider breaks these rules, patients are injured or die and this is considered malpractice.
The law governing medical malpractice in Indiana is complex and can be found at IC- 34-18. The law came into effect in the 1970s. At that time, the governor was a medical doctor and because of his influence the legislature perceived a “medical malpractice crisis”. Today's Indiana Medical Malpractice Act has the following components: (1) the patient compensation fund; (2) a statutory cap on damages which is now $ 1.25 million dollars; and (3) the Medical Review Panel process.
In my view, the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act protects doctors to the detriment of injured patients. To get the protections that are afforded healthcare providers in the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act, a doctor, nurse, podiatrist, chiropractor has to become a ” qualified healthcare provider.” A doctor qualifies under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act by: (1) purchasing a medical malpractice insurance policy of $ 250,000; and (2) paying a surcharge to the Indiana patient compensation fund. The surcharge is determined by the commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance.
A doctor who is qualified under the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act gets three big protections under the law:
- The patient has to go through the medical review panel process, which is an administrative process that adds years onto an Indiana Medical Malpractice case.
- The amount of money an injured patient or his/her family can receive is capped at 1.25 million dollars.
- Because the doctor has financial protection, h/she has no incentive to settle a case.
Indiana Medical Malpractice law is complex. If you have any questions about a Northwest Indiana medical malpractice claim, call our office at (219) 874-4878 or request a copy of our free information book that explains Indiana Medical Malpractice in detail.