2017 Indiana Code
TITLE 34. Civil Law and Procedure
ARTICLE 18. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
CHAPTER 15. Payment From the Patient's Compensation Fund
34-18-15-3. Demand in excess of policy limits; procedure
Sec. 3. If a health care provider or its insurer has agreed to settle its liability on a claim by payment of its policy limits established in IC 34-18-14-3(b) and IC 34-18-14-3(d), and the claimant is demanding an amount in excess of that amount, the following procedure must be followed:
(1) A petition shall be filed by the claimant in the court named in the proposed complaint, or in the circuit or superior court of Marion County, at the claimant's election, seeking:
(A) approval of an agreed settlement, if any; or
(B) demanding payment of damages from the patient's compensation fund.
(2) A copy of the petition with summons shall be served on the commissioner, the health care provider, and the health care provider's insurer, and must contain sufficient information to inform the other parties about the nature of the claim and the additional amount demanded.
(3) The commissioner and either the health care provider or the insurer of the health care provider may agree to a settlement with the claimant from the patient's compensation fund, or the commissioner, the health care provider, or the insurer of the health care provider may file written objections to the payment of the amount demanded. The agreement or objections to the payment demanded shall be filed within twenty (20) days after service of summons with copy of the petition attached to the summons.
(4) The judge of the court in which the petition is filed shall set the petition for approval or, if objections have been filed, for hearing, as soon as practicable. The court shall give notice of the hearing to the claimant, the health care provider, the insurer of the health care provider, and the commissioner.
(5) At the hearing, the commissioner, the claimant, the health care provider, and the insurer of the health care provider may introduce relevant evidence to enable the court to determine whether or not the petition should be approved if the evidence is submitted on agreement without objections. If the commissioner, the health care provider, the insurer of the health care provider, and the claimant cannot agree on the amount, if any, to be paid out of the patient's compensation fund, the court shall, after hearing any relevant evidence on the issue of claimant's damage submitted by any of the parties described in this section, determine the amount of claimant's damages, if any, in excess of the health care provider's policy limits established in IC 34-18-14-3(b) and IC 34-18-14-3(d) already paid by the insurer of the health care provider. The court shall determine the amount for which the fund is liable and make a finding and judgment accordingly. In approving a settlement or determining the amount, if any, to be paid from the patient's compensation fund, the court shall consider the liability of the health care provider as admitted and established.
(6) A settlement approved by the court may not be appealed. A judgment of the court fixing damages recoverable in a contested proceeding is appealable pursuant to the rules governing appeals in any other civil case tried by the court.
(7) A release executed between the parties does not bar access to the patient's compensation fund unless the release specifically provides otherwise.
[Pre-1998 Recodification Citation: 27-12-15-3.]
As added by P.L.1-1998, SEC.13. Amended by P.L.233-1999, SEC.15; P.L.182-2016, SEC.11.