Medical malpractice can have devastating results. Misdiagnosis, inappropriate or delayed treatment, and other medical mistakes could lead to injury and even death.
Winning a medical malpractice lawsuit in Louisiana can be complicated. To have a chance of recovering damages, the plaintiff needs timely, compelling medical evidence that must go through an intricate medical review process.
When facing the prospect of filing a medical malpractice suit, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Our injury attorneys are here to answer medical malpractice questions and help you understand your legal rights.
The Process of Suing for Medical Malpractice in Louisiana
Usually, medical malpractice suits in Louisiana go through the following basic steps:
- Request Submission to the Medical Review Panel Office. The request must include a summary of the alleged malpractice, alleged injury, and dates of the event in question.
- Panel formation. The plaintiff (or the plaintiff’s lawyer ) and the defendant both participate in panel selection. The medical panel will include three health care providers and an attorney.
- Panel review. The medical panel will review the written evidence the plaintiff and defendant have submitted, such as medical records and expert reports. Within 30 days, the panel will declare either that the evidence points to a case of medical malpractice (or lack thereof) or that a judge must decide the case.
- Filing a lawsuit. If the plaintiff files a lawsuit, the medical panel’s report and other expert evidence can play an essential role during the trial.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Medical Malpractice Case in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, the injured party must file their medical malpractice claim within one year of the negligent action or inappropriate care that led to the injury.
Suppose the patient did not find out about the malpractice right away. In that case, it is possible to file the claim within a year after the discovery of inappropriate medical care. But in any case, you can file no later than three years after the act of malpractice.
Who Can Be Held Responsible in a Louisiana Medical Malpractice Case?
Anyone who counts as a health care provider may be held responsible in a medical malpractice case. That includes physicians, licensed nurses, and dentists. It also includes health care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes.
The Most Common Medical Malpractice Injuries in Louisiana
Some of the most common medical errors that lead to malpractice claims in Louisiana include:
- Misdiagnosis, often of life-threatening conditions such as cancer and heart attacks
- Surgical errors, including operating on the wrong site or using surgical tools inappropriately
- Prescription drug errors, such as prescribing incorrect medication or dosing
- Treatment that does not comply with an acceptable standard of care
- Birth injuries, including shoulder dystocia, cerebral palsy, and spinal cord injuries that may have occurred due to medical errors on the part of the OB/GYN
The Role of Expert Witness Reporting and Testimony in a Louisiana Medical Malpractice Case
Expert witnesses often help establish that the health care provider’s negligence or improper care caused the injury.
In some cases, the malpractice is blatant. Others involve complex errors. In the latter case, an extensive review of all pertinent details may be necessary to determine that the patient did not receive appropriate treatment. An expert witness, such as a licensed, experienced doctor in the relevant field, can improve the plaintiff’s chances of obtaining compensation.
Liability Limitations in Louisiana Malpractice Law
Louisiana limits the total compensation a medical malpractice victim can receive to $500,000, not including future medical care costs. If the awarded amount exceeds $100,000, the plaintiff will receive the compensation through the Louisiana Patient’s Compensation Fund.
Should I Settle My Louisiana Medical Malpractice Case or Go to Trial?
The answer to this question varies depending on the circumstances of your case. In many instances, settling rather than going to trial serves the interests of both sides. A settlement helps save time and trial expenses and allows the plaintiff to receive compensation earlier without the stress and anxiety of a trial.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you understand your chances of winning the claim and assist you in negotiating a fair settlement.
Are You a Victim of Medical Malpractice? Contact Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys
While you or your loved one deal with the consequences of medical malpractice, you need knowledgeable, determined legal help from an attorney with plenty of experience in handling personal injury claims.
At Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys, we work with a client-focused outlook. As our many stellar reviews attest, we approach each case with professionalism, efficiency, and expertise. As a personal injury firm, Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys works on a contingency fee basis. This means you will never pay attorney fees or any expenses unless you receive compensation for your injuries. Ever!
Not sure if you have grounds for a medical malpractice claim? Call us at 985-807-1792 to schedule a consultation at no cost to you. If you cannot travel to our office because of the severity of your injuries, we will travel to your home or schedule a Zoom video meeting.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.