Louisiana Medical Malpractice Lawyer

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Finding the right lawyer to handle your medical malpractice case should not be taken lightly. The best advice when deciding upon a malpractice lawyer is to try to spend as much time searching for your lawyer as you will when choosing your next medical professional.

Louisiana has enacted a law called the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act, which is unique to the state. It has a provision implementing a Patient's Compensation Fund, which is used exclusively within the state. Under the Patient's Compensation Fund, health care providers are given coverage for their medical service needs. However, not all health care providers are included under the Patient's Compensation Fund's inclusion restrictions.

For health care providers that operate under private practice or private health service, they are eligible to place themselves under the Louisiana Patient's Compensation Fund's coverage for medical malpractice suits upon meeting the eligibility stipulations. By covering all surcharge expenses charged by the Insurance Rating Commission of Louisiana, as well as being able to prove that the health care company meets the medical malpractice claim standards, private health care providers can get themselves covered under the Compensation Fund.

Louisiana specifically outlines the qualifications that substantiate an independent contractor's association with a hospital. Your lawyer will work to prove the liability the hospital in question faces with their affiliation with the private health care provider. Some of the ways include finding a contract between the hospital and the alleged private health service affiliate, checking records of equipment acquisition and maintenance, bill collecting, and scouring for hospital supervision records, anything that legally links the private health provider with a hospital within Louisiana.

Louisiana doesn't have a limit in place for the amount of damages that can be rewarded to a claimant from the health care providers that are uninsured by the state of Louisiana. Those medical providers that are covered by Louisiana's coverage have limited liability under the law of $100,000. And the only punitive damages that are required to be paid are those that are specifically authorized by the statute in place in Louisiana.

There are specific elements in a medical malpractice case that have to be brought forth in order to have a case work. They have to show that a duty was owed, meaning that there is a legal duty that exists whenever a health care provider or hospital engages in the care or treatment of a person. Showing that the duty was breached is important, meaning that the provider did not conform to the standard of care that is relevant to their case. This is proven by an expert testimony or by obvious errors. One has to show that the breach caused an injury, and what the specific damages are. If there are no damages, then there is no basis for a claim, even if the medical provider was negligent.

Recently in Louisiana, a 25-year-old woman was awarded $18.2 million in a medical malpractice suit. When she was 18 she had been a passenger in a car that rolled over, and had suffered head and neck injuries. A CAT scan had been performed on her head, but there were only x-rays of her neck, so it wasn't discovered that her neck was broken. Two days later, the plaintiff suffered complete paralysis from the shoulders down, and a CAT scan showed three broken bones with fragments that pierced her spinal cord.

Also, an important detail to remember when picking out a lawyer to handle your malpractice claim is that there are no restrictions placed by the court on lawyers on the amount they can charge the claimant for their legal services in the state of Louisiana. Therefore, it is important to selectively choose the lawyer that would best handle the needs of your case and your pocket.


Legal•Info State Medical Malpractice Information

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