Preventable medical errors are the third most common cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. Tragically, more than 400,000 people die every year from medical negligence, and countless others are injured.
When a healthcare provider fails to provide a certain standard of care that results in harm to the patient, victims and their family have grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. A New Orleans medical malpractice attorney can help you get justice for the life-altering errors that were made.
How a New Orleans Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help
Medical malpractice is one of the most complex areas of personal injury law. It is crucial to hire an attorney to advocate for your rights as an injured patient for this type of claim in New Orleans. Otherwise, you may make mistakes that interfere with your ability to recover fair financial compensation.
An experienced medical malpractice attorney can benefit you in many ways, such as:
- Conducting a comprehensive investigation into whether or not your health care provider committed medical malpractice.
- Searching for and collecting evidence to support your claim, which may include testimony from expert medical witnesses.
- Submitting your proposed complaint to a medical review panel, which is a legal requirement for the majority of medical malpractice claims in Louisiana.
You can trust your attorney to take care of the legal process for you while you focus on healing from your injury or illness. A law firm can identify the responsible parties, fill out confusing claims paperwork, fulfill Louisiana’s filing requirements, give you trustworthy advice and counsel about your case, and make sure you have everything you need during this difficult time.
For a free legal consultation with a Medical Malpractice lawyer serving New Orleans, call 800-537-8185
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional is negligent in performing his or her duties and causes injury to a patient. Any medical professional whose mistake caused your injuries or worsened an existing condition can be held liable. This includes doctors, nurses, technicians, and medical facilities.
What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice?
There are several ways a nurse or doctor can commit medical malpractice. If you believe you or a loved one has suffered from medical negligence, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately.
Other important steps to take include undergoing an independent medical examination and calculating the damages.
Surgical mistakes can be anything from making the wrong incision to operating on the wrong body part. Tragically, wrong side, wrong site, and wrong patient procedures happen on a regular basis.
Misdiagnosis or Failure to Test
Medical professionals will often come to conclusions without performing the proper due diligence. If a doctor either fails to administer the proper tests or misdiagnoses with the tests available, they are being medically negligent.
Medication errors can occur either through prescription or administration. If either result in incorrect doses and injury, they can be considered medical malpractice.
Neglect or Unclean Environment
If a patient is not taken care of properly, or placed in an unclean environment, the facility is practicing medical negligence.
Can You Sue for Medical Negligence?
Whether or not a patient can sue a New Orleans doctor for negligence depends upon the amount of time that has passed since the alleged malpractice occurred and whether the doctor breached the standard of care.
Lawsuits filed against health care providers are constituted as medical malpractice cases. Individuals who have sustained injuries or damages as a result of a medical mistake should take legal action.
How do You Know If You Have a Case for Medical Malpractice?
A medical malpractice claim involves the victim suffering some form of loss because of a medical professional or facility’s negligence. Your lawyer can help list your damages and assign a monetary value to them to be used in negotiations. This can include:
- Past and future medical treatment
- Medical equipment and assistive devices
- Indirect costs, such as the inability to work
- Lost income
- Home modifications
- Long-term home medical care
- Therapy and rehabilitation
Louisiana sets a $500,000 limit on total damages in medical malpractice cases. This, however, does not apply to future medical costs.
Louisiana Has a Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages
Louisiana is one of many states that has a cap on the amount of damages or compensation that can be obtained by a plaintiff in a medical malpractice claim. This cap effectively limits the amount of money that a plaintiff can receive, even if a jury finds the defendant liable for medical malpractice. Unlike most other states, Louisiana’s damage cap applies to the total amount of compensation available rather than only certain categories of damages.
Louisiana Revised Statutes Section 40:1231.2 states that the total amount recoverable for all malpractice claims for injury to or the death of a patient is capped at $500,000, plus interest and cost. This cap applies to all damages except the costs of future required medical care. If a jury awards a plaintiff an amount that exceeds the damage cap, the courts will reduce it accordingly.
Louisiana has a payment system in place to help protect medical providers from going bankrupt due to the costs of litigation. Any amount awarded over $100,000 will be paid out through the Louisiana Patient’s Compensation Fund. This fund is similar to insurance for all public health care providers and certain eligible private physicians; it pays for a plaintiff’s remaining damages after the initial $100,000.
Statute of Limitations Affecting Louisiana Medical Malpractice Cases
In Louisiana, a law known as the statute of limitations places a strict deadline of one year from the act of medical malpractice to file a related claim. If the patient does not discover his or her injuries right away, the clock will not start until the date of reasonable discovery. There is also a statute of repose of three years, however, which bars lawsuits brought later than three years from the date of the alleged act of malpractice regardless of when the patient discovered the harm.
Is Medical Malpractice Difficult to Prove?
Our New Orleans medical malpractice lawyers have over 30 years of experience defending victims and their families in these types of cases, and we know what it takes to prove liability. Your attorney will need to prove the following elements to prove medical negligence:
Duty of Care
This is the legal obligation a doctor owes to their patient. It can help prove negligence because the injury already shows that the medic failed to exercise their professional judgment and skill to provide proper treatment.
Standard of Care
When the doctor or nurse tended to your, or your family member’s needs, a relationship was established. A New Orleans medical malpractice lawyer will help you prove that the medical professional’s treatment did not meet your standard of care. If your case goes to court, the jury will decide if what all the defendant did, or didn’t do, met standards in the medical community. The decision will be guided by the body of available evidence presented in the case. Your lawyer can help gather proof to support your stance.
Your attorney will need to prove that if the doctor, nurse, or other medical personnel had taken the proper steps, your injury could have been avoided.
Your damages show that something was lost because of the other individual’s actions. Your attorney can add up your damages and use this information in settlement negotiations.
Types of Evidence that Can Be Used to Prove Your Case
Collecting financial compensation for medical malpractice in New Orleans requires clear and convincing evidence that the defendant more likely than not committed the tort you are claiming. This standard is known as a “preponderance of the evidence.”
Types of evidence that could potentially be used to prove your medical malpractice case include:
- Medical records
- A history of complaints against the hospital
- Expert witnesses
- Eyewitness accounts
- Photographs and videos
An experienced medical malpractice attorney can thoroughly investigate your case to preserve any available evidence of negligence or wrongdoing. Then, your lawyer can present this evidence in a compelling way to a judge or jury.
A Morris Bart Medical Malpractice Lawyer May Be Able to Help
You and your family likely carry an emotional and financial weight from the errors made by medical professionals. It can be overwhelming, but the New Orleans medical malpractice lawyers at Morris Bart can help you get justice.
If you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice, know that our team of attorneys are dedicated to their clients and will work tirelessly to get you and your family the compensation you deserve. Get started with a free, no-obligation consultation.
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