Suffering injuries due to negligent actions from medical professionals can leave you hopeless, wondering who you can trust. With the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer in New Orleans, you can seek compensation for your damages through a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit. Continue reading to learn how to prove medical malpractice.
Steps to Proving Medical Malpractice in Louisiana
Medical errors cause around 250,000 fatalities per year, with injured survivors suffering a total of $55.6 billion in expenses annually. Proving medical malpractice typically involves providing evidence for the breached level of care that your doctor should have provided in some way. While it may sound simple enough, you must complete the following steps to adhere to Louisiana state law:
1. Evaluate Your Condition, and Contact an Attorney
Before beginning the process, you should meet with a healthcare professional to understand your condition, its causes, and your diagnosis. You may be able to meet with your original doctor for a minor issue if you believe they can resolve it. However, for severe injuries or more uncomfortable situations, you should seek care from an alternative healthcare professional.
Once you understand that a medical error occurred, contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin the process. Your attorney can evaluate your case, help you navigate the claims process, gather evidence, negotiate settlements, and represent you in court when necessary.
2. Request a Medical Review Panel
Whenever you search online for how to prove medical malpractice in Louisiana, you’ll find ample information on medical review panels. To prevent false malpractice claims, you must submit evidence to the Louisiana Medical Review Panel Division of Administration before filing a lawsuit. The panel will review your request before deciding if your evidence supports your claim.
A few scenarios allow you to bypass the review process. For example, if the defendant (the healthcare professional) agrees to bypass it or doesn’t have the proper qualifications to meet the requirements, you may move directly to the lawsuit step. You can discuss additional exceptions with your attorney.
3. Complete Paperwork and Submit Evidence to the Panel
Once submitting the request, Louisiana’s statute of limitations for filing the lawsuit will pause for 90 days so you can await the panel’s decision. Within the first 45 days of submitting your request, the panel will send you further instructions. You will need to pay $100 per defendant, which the court may waive if they determine you have no financial obligations.
Next, the panel will begin reviewing your evidence. The panel consists of your attorney and the defendant’s attorney, who don’t have a say but can oversee the process, plus three licensed providers to make the decision. Evidence may include the following:
- Medical records
- Statements from expert witnesses
- And more
The panel may accept your request if your evidence proves that the defendant did not fulfill their duty of care or if the information is inconclusive to the degree of needing a court to decide.
4. File a Lawsuit
If the panel accepts your request, you may choose to file a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit allows you to seek compensation for your damages, such as medical bills, income losses, etc. Your attorney can help you calculate the compensatory damages for your case so you can seek maximum compensation.
Occasionally, the defendant may choose to settle outside of court by agreeing on an amount. Your legal team can walk you through the lawsuit process and help you negotiate settlements or fight the case in court.
Typically, the evidence you presented in the panel request will transfer over to the lawsuit case. For a successful outcome, you must prove all the elements of a malpractice case.
Meet with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
Now that you know how to prove medical malpractice, contact an experienced attorney to begin seeking your personal injury settlement. Call Voorhies Law Firm in New Orleans, LA, today at (504) 875-2223 for a free consultation with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney.