Indiana Lawyer, July 13, 2016
Historically, Indiana is not well known for being at the vanguard of legal reform. While there are many reasons for this hesitancy to lead change, several statutes have proven to be the exception, including the Indiana Medical Malpractice Act. Indiana was the first state in the nation to enact medical malpractice tort reform in 1975, providing statutory caps for damages and a state-operated excess fund for high-value cases.
Since its inception, the act has remained largely intact, although the damage caps have increased three times since the 1970s. The initial cap of $500,000 was increased to $750,000 in 1990, and again in 1999 to $1.25 million. During the 2016 session of the Indiana General Assembly, the Legislature voted to increase the damage caps effective July 1, 2017. The new caps are graduated from $1.65 million in 2017 to $1.8 million effective July 2019. In addition to this increase in the recovery cap, the act also increases the percentage of maximum compensation for plaintiff attorneys from 15 percent to 32 percent of the amount recovered.