To file a medical malpractice claim in Louisiana, you have a year from the date of the act or the omission, or one year from the date that you knew or should have known of the act or the omission that caused injury to your person. But in no case shall it exceed three years from the date of the act or the omission. Rather than the statute of limitations as it is known throughout the country, it is known as prescription in Louisiana. So, the prescription for any negligence claim is one year throughout the state, whether it’s medical negligence, auto accident case, or any other type of civil case. But in the case of medical practitioners, a qualified healthcare provider, it shall not exceed three years.
In Your Experience, What Would You Say Are The Components That Make For A Strong Medical Malpractice Claim?
One of the most robust components for a medical malpractice claim is either severe injury or death. As much as I would like to be able to help people who have been injured by the actions of the healthcare professional that I believe to be negligent, if the damages are not significant enough, it doesn’t justify the cost in terms of labor-hours and economic investment on my part and my firm to litigate it. So, damages must be present.
The other vital component is documented medical records from the institution, whether a hospital, clinic, or the doctor’s office that document what happened in terms of pre-incident complaints on the part of the patient and the records dealing with the physical examination or operative report. That level of documentation needs to be present because so much of what we do is driven by medical records. If it’s not in the records, then the question becomes why. This is because the black and white medical records significantly drive the panel phase. Now, we can get nurses or doctors to review those records and say, “Why is this not here? This is what I seek”. So documented medical records from post-incident healthcare providers can be critical.
The pinnacle component we need for a case is the act of negligence or omission. That is the first component of any medical malpractice or negligence case in general, but when we talk about professional negligence, we talk about the standard of care. This means a violation of the standard of care, which leads to injury or death. People will often complain that a tragic event could have occurred, but that will not hold water in court. For example, thousands of mistakes are made on the roadways in Louisiana or any other state every day. Thankfully a large majority of those mistakes, those negligent actions do not cause injury to other people. Someone may cross the centerline, for example.
That is a negligent act to cross the centerline, but it didn’t cause injury. So there are thousands of medical mistakes that happen every day to patients in hospitals, especially in emergency rooms, and somebody makes a mistake. Thankfully that mistake is caught in a timely fashion and doesn’t result in an injury. We call that element of the case causation. There is no causation there because there is no link between the act and damages.
Finally, the third component of any claim is the damages. You must be able to prove that you sustained damages and be able to quantify what those are. General damages are pain and suffering, scarring, disability, etc. Special damages are considered lost earnings, past medical expenses, future medical expenses. Together, these three components make a strong claim.
For more information on Medical Malpractice Law In Louisiana, an initial consultation is your best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (337) 800-1141 today.
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