Medical Malpractice occurs when a doctor (or other Qualified Medical Provider) fails to exercise the degree of care and skill that a physician would use under normal circumstances, and that failure causes harm to the patient. In other words, when a doctor’s negligence physically harms a patient, medical malpractice has probably occurred. It is important to note that not every instance of negligence by a doctor will harm a patient. At the same time, not every injury suffered by a patient will be grounds for a valid medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice claims are sometimes difficult to assess, making it all the more important that you choose and experienced medical malpractice attorney.
A medical malpractice attorney can help you assess whether you have a claim. Call Jeff Green at 504.722.3149 today to determine whether your claim is actionable. Consultation is always free.
In order to prevail in a medical malpractice action, the following must be established by the claimant:
- A duty was owed: a legal duty exists whenever a hospital or health care provider undertakes care or treatment of a patient.
- A duty was breached: the provider failed to conform to the relevant standard care.
- The breach caused an injury: The breach of duty was a proximate cause of the injury.
- Damages: Without damages (losses which may be pecuniary or emotional), there is no basis for a claim, regardless of whether the medical provider was negligent. Likewise, damages can occur without negligence, for example, when someone dies from a fatal disease.
In addition to these stringent requirements, medical malpractice claims must also be brought before a Medical Review Panel before an injured patient can file suit. The Medical Review Panel will be composed of lawyers and doctors who will review the evidence and render a decision. In that sense, a Medical Review Panel is something of a substitute for trial. However, even if you lose at the Panel, you may still bring your claim in court. Claims must be brought before the Panel within 1 year of the date of the incident or the discovery of the incident, and at most, within 3 years of the date of incident.
If you win at the Panel phase, you may be able to settle your case at that time. If not, you can use the findings of the panel as evidence in court. Either way, it is important to hire an attorney who knows how to take the findings of the panel and apply them to litigating your case.
It is estimated that over 1 million injuries occur each year due to medical malpractice. If you believe you or a loved one is the victim of a medical malpractice injury in Louisiana, then you should immediately contact a Louisiana attorney experienced in litigating medical malpractice cases.
Some Medical Malpractice Examples
- Birth or in utero injuries
- Injuries resulting from improper administration of anesthesia
- Failure to properly diagnose a condition
- Failure to provide a differential diagnosis
- Administering improper treatments or medications
- Failure to order necessary tests or follow up on test results
- Failure to obtain informed consent
- Inappropriate discharge or discharge without stabilization
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