Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Claim in Louisiana

We trust our health and safety to medical professionals regularly. Whether it’s a yearly check-up, a sudden illness, or our daily medication, we expect our doctors to take care of us. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we always leave their office feeling better. You might feel much worse after visiting them.

However, does that mean you have a medical malpractice claim on your hands? It can be tough to prove, since medical malpractice suits tend to be some of the most complex and difficult types of claims to prove. If you’re not sure how to seek out your compensation for a malpractice claim, get help fighting back.

Proving the Doctor’s Responsibility

First, you’ll need to prove that the doctor had any responsibility for your health at all. Doctors have certain duties to their patients, but their duties as a doctor don’t extend to everyone. Instead, you’ll need to show that there was a standard of care that the doctor should have met.

For example, let’s say you walked into an emergency room with symptoms of a heart attack. To meet the standard of care you should receive, the doctor should run appropriate tests and take steps to avoid letting your condition worsen. Typically, you’ll need a medical professional’s testimony to prove this.

Showing Your Doctor’s Negligence

Once you’ve proven that the doctor should have taken care of you, you’ll then need to show how they breached that duty. A simple injury isn’t enough reason, either–you’ll need to show that your doctor was negligent or otherwise unprepared to handle your injury.

For example, if you entered the emergency room with symptoms of a heart attack. When you did, though, your doctor neglected to test you or treat your situation as an emergency. They didn’t take the care needed to reduce the impact of your condition. Now, you might have faced a life-threatening condition, and your health will be affected for years to come.

File a Claim and Fight Back

Unfortunately, gathering all this evidence can be complex. You know what happened, but you’ll need medical opinions and evidence to show that your doctor didn’t take care of you. You’ll need to show that, not only did they make a mistake, but they also didn’t care enough to prevent that mistake.

Unfortunately, it’s tough to prove that, so you’ll need help. A Baton Rouge medical malpractice lawyer can make a difference, and you’ll need the help. Doctors are difficult to sue, and if you don’t act carefully, you could lose your chance at compensation.

So, fight back with the help you need. You’ll need medical opinions and other evidence for your case, and that’s not easy to do alone. So, make sure you have everything you need to file a medical malpractice claim and get the compensation you deserve for your recovery.

Suing a Hospital for Medical Malpractice

Hospitals are not entitled to offer their patients five-star service. But there are certain basics that must be adhered to, which includes zero malpractices. When a hospital is guilty of malpractice, the patient can sue the hospital for the act. If the facility is collectively responsible for the wrongdoing, then one can sue a hospital for medical malpractice. However, if a particular doctor’s medical negligence is the problem, the subsequent steps would depend on the relationship that exists between the practitioner and the facility.

Hospitals and Medical Malpractice – Determining Who is Responsible Legally

It’s important to specifically ascertain who is at fault, since medical negligence happened in a hospital doesn’t necessarily mean the facility is legally responsible. A hospital, generally speaking, like any other employer, is liable for its employees’ negligence, but not for an independent contractor’s negligence.

Typically, medical technicians, nurses, support staff, etc. are employees of the hospital. In case a patient gets injured during treatment by a hospital staff, the patient could sue the facility for the physical and mental grievances accrued. However, most doctors are not employees of a hospital, but independent contractors. Therefore, if the injuries were caused due to an independent doctor’s medical negligence, the medical malpractice claim should then be directly against the doctor and not the hospital.

Timing Matters

To make sure evidence witnesses are available, and to prohibit claimants from unnecessarily delaying the process of seeking compensation for the injuries suffered, states impose stringent statutory time limits, called statutes of limitations, on the lawsuits filed. While these periods could vary across states, the window is usually one to three years, starting from the date of negligence. If the client does not file a lawsuit within this period, the claim would likely not be entertained.

Paperwork Should Be in Place

To prevent baseless medical malpractice lawsuits getting filed, many states in America now need patients to file ‘affidavit of merit’ or ‘certificate of merit’ alongside initial lawsuit paperwork. Preparing this certificate entails seeking the assistance of a professional medical witness to assess pertinent medical records and state under oath that the hospital deviated from the norm, leading to injuries. The medical practice lawyer would be familiar with such a filing requisite and other procedural protocols that the medical malpractice plaintiffs should conform to.

Seeking an Attorney’s Help

Often, medical malpractice lawsuits are tremendously complex, which makes self-representation for most plaintiffs a non-option. An experienced lawyer would assist with navigating the medical, procedural and legal nuances of a lawsuit and would retain ideal expert medical witnesses to strengthen the case.

The majority of medical malpractice lawyers function as per a contingency fee arrangement, which means the client will not have to pay the attorney out-of-pocket. The lawyer would instead get a portion of any amount the client gets rewarded within court or outside court, as out-of-court settlement.

The process of bringing medical malpractice to books and winning the case is quite an overwhelming task. But it’s all worth it in the end if there’s an actual case of malpractice, as reporting such practices would make healthcare better for other people in the future.