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medical malpractice act

Medical Malpractice in Louisiana

Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor, or other health care professional, through a negligent act or omission, causes an injury to a patient.  A negligent act by a qualified health care provider may occur from diagnosis, during treatment, or health management.  To qualify as medical malpractice, the injury must be due to a negligent act and violate the standard of care set by the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act.

All medical malpractice claims must first be brought before a medical review panel.  In Louisiana, the medical review panel is typically made up of three licensed and practicing physicians and one attorney.  Evidence is submitted to the panel including medical records, images, witness statements, and medical expert reports.  After the case is presented, the panel then has 12 months to issue its decision as to whether or not there was a breach of the appropriate standard of care.  After the medical review panel issues its findings, an injured patient can then file his or her claim in court within 90 days of notification of the panel’s decision. 

Per La. R.S. 9:2794, to prove medical malpractice, you must first show that the healthcare provider did not follow the proper medical standard of care.  The standard of care is based on the customary practices of the average provider.  This means the health care provider’s actions or omissions are judged based on what a reasonably competent provider with the same level of training would have done under the circumstances.  Next, you must show that the health care provider lacked the adequate degree of knowledge or skill or failed to exercise reasonable care and diligence.  Finally, you must establish that your injury would not have occurred but for the negligence.  The medical panel report will be evidence in the court case.  Thus, if the panel found that the health care provider was not negligent, it may be difficult to meet the required preponderance of evidence to prove a medical malpractice claim.

It’s important to note that per La. R.S. 9:5628, you have one year from the date of the injury, or one year from discovery of the injury, but no more than three years from the date of the alleged negligence to file your claim.  Also of note is that medical malpractice claims in Louisiana are subject to a cap of $500,000 not including future medical bills.

The personal injury lawyers at BowesPetkovich & Palmer, LLC are experienced at representing clients injured by healthcare providers in the New Orleans area and across Louisiana.  Call us today for a free consultation.

Useful Resources:

Medical Malpractice Act


Other Types of Injury Cases We Handle:

Automobile Accidents
Commercial Trucking Accidents
Motorcycle Accidents
Work Accidents
Dog Bites
Slip and Fall
Premises Liability
Product Liability
Wrongful Death & Survival


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