Medical Malpractice in Louisiana

According to the Louisiana Record, patients in Louisiana are the most likely to file and settle a medical malpractice case when compared to patients in other states. In fact, forty-four out of every 100,000 people that filed a medical malpractice claim were awarded financial damages in 2015 alone.

These statistics are significant because they mean that, if a Louisiana patient has been harmed by his or her physician or the hospital entrusted with his or her care, it is likely that the patient will receive some form of compensation. Anyone who has been injured by a doctor, hospital, pharmacist, or other medical professional should consider hiring an attorney and filing a medical malpractice lawsuit to get the compensation they deserve.

Common Reasons to File a Medical Malpractice Claim

Some of the reasons patients file medical malpractice claims include the following:

  • Wrong medication being prescribed
  • Mistake made during surgery
  • Failure to treat a patient
  • Being exposed to an illness or disease and getting sick from it
  • Failure to properly review tests and lab work

The list is long because any time a physician does not provide high-quality care and a patient is harmed as a result, a complaint may be filed with the review board.

Louisiana Medical Malpractice Laws

The rate of complaints is high in Louisiana. Around 7 percent of physicians have complaints lodged against them annually, and these are first reviewed by the medical review panels. Before a case can proceed to trial, the complaint must be heard by this three-person panel made up of people with medical experience. The panel will review what happened and make a determination of whether a doctor breached the standard of care. Their decision is not final and the case can still go to trial, but this process is required first.

Things to Remember

Anyone who has been hurt needs to know an important fact: The medical review panel must be requested within one year of the injury. Otherwise, victims can’t sue, so the chance of receiving compensation goes down significantly.

On the positive side, once a review panel is requested, the physician will be notified. Often, the physician will choose to settle the case. This can be positive for patients because settlement negotiations can be completed faster than a trial.

Once a case goes to court, a victim will be capped at how much he or she can receive because Louisiana has laws regarding damages in medical malpractice cases. A victim can receive up to $500,000 and have his or her medical bills paid for life. Money can come from the Louisiana Patient’s Compensation Fund and the doctor’s individual insurance policies.