Lafayette Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Lafayette Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Lafayette Medical Malpractice Attorney

Doctors and medical professionals provide critical services to people in every community. Unfortunately, doctors, nurses, and other medical industry employees cause injuries to their patients on occasion.

Some injuries caused by medical professionals are not the result of medical malpractice, but some injuries are indeed caused by malpractice. If you were injured due to malpractice from a medical provider, a Lafayette medical malpractice lawyer can help you obtain compensation for the damages you suffered.

Medical malpractice cases are one of the most complex types of personal injury claims. Not only are the injuries from medical malpractice often devastating and life-altering, but hospitals and healthcare providers have significant levels of legal protection against claims. These protections are not typical in a personal injury claim.

Medical malpractice claims also require in-depth investigation. It is essential that you work with a Lafayette medical malpractice lawyer to determine if you have a viable malpractice claim. Obtaining experienced legal support can also increase the chances of a successful claim.

Best Lafayette Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Defending Victims of Medical Malpractice in Lafayette

At the Law Offices of R. Scott Iles, our team has been working in personal injury law for more than 30 years in Lafayette, LA. We know how much a medical malpractice injury or illness can alter your life and leave you feeling very vulnerable.

Our firm can help you determine if you have a medical malpractice case. Scott Iles has proven to be one of the leaders in this area of the law based on his successful representation of patients who were injured during the course of their medical treatment.

Healthcare providers have a duty to provide their patients with a certain level of care, and failing to do so can lead to devastating consequences. Our team is proud to represent injured individuals in the communities surrounding Lafayette.

Medical malpractice can result in damaging and long-term medical complications for families and individuals, and it frequently results in wrongful death. You deserve compensation when a healthcare provider was negligent, careless, or even malicious.

We work diligently to help you determine the cause of your or a loved one’s injury. We then investigate and determine how you can receive compensation for the harm you suffered. Medical malpractice claims are difficult to prove, and working with our skilled attorney provides your claim with its greatest chance of succeeding.

What Is Considered Medical Malpractice in Louisiana?

Not all medical injuries or illnesses are the result of medical malpractice. Medical professionals are held to a professional standard. If other healthcare providers would have taken the same actions or inaction with the same information, it is unlikely that the action will be considered malpractice.

How Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice in Louisiana?

The legal standard for finding negligence on behalf of a doctor or medical professional has been heightened by the Louisiana Legislature to protect the medical industry. The procedure for attempting to hold doctors responsible for medical malpractice is also more complicated than most other legal claims in Louisiana. Doctors must be found to have breached the accepted standard of medical care. Properly addressing this inquiry is difficult for all parties involved.

There are certain elements that must be present and demonstrable to have a successful medical malpractice claim. In these claims, you must prove the following:

  1. The medical professional owed you a duty of care. If a medical professional agrees to treat a patient, they owe the patient a duty of care. You must show some form of doctor-patient relationship.
  2. The medical professional breached this duty of care. There are established medical standards, and if the provider deviates from these standards, it may be considered a breach of care.
  3. You suffered injury or damages. There may be a direct injury, or a condition or illness later developed from infection or other sickness. The injury or condition can also have already existed but was made worse by the breach of a provider.
  4. There is a direct link between the breach and the legally recognized damages you suffered. There must be proof of a connection between these two things for a valid malpractice claim.

Obtaining evidence to prove these elements can be complicated, depending on the individual claim. Your attorney can help gather evidence through medical documentation, professional testimony, bills, and other proof of damages and negligence. Many injured patients do not have the ability or resources to obtain the necessary evidence to prove their claims.

Louisiana Medical Review Panel

According to the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act, all claims against private healthcare workers are subject to a medical review panel. The review panel consists of three physicians who possess unrestricted licenses and an attorney.

Each party in the claim has the right to choose one panel member, with those two selected choosing the third. All parties will then agree on who will sit as the attorney chair.

The duties of the panel are to review the evidence of the claim and determine if there is enough substance for the claim to move forward. They will make a determination on whether a breach of care took place and any information that the court should take under consideration.

The panel will not only make these determinations but also weigh in on whether they feel damages occurred as a result of any breach by a medical professional. While the review panel’s decisions are not binding, they can be used as evidence if the claim moves forward.

The process for a medical review can be complicated. However, in simple terms, the process is as follows:

  • Request the panel review. Working with your attorney, you will prepare and submit a draft of the complaint and your request to the Division of Administration in Louisiana’s Medical Review Panel Office. This filing will include all parties that you wish to name in the claim, as well as the injuries suffered. In addition, this filing will freeze the statute of limitations on timing.
  • Fees and waivers. Approximately 45 days after filing the information for the panel, you will then be responsible for the associated fees. This includes $100 per defendant. However, if you lack the finances to pay such fees, you may request these fees be waived by the court. The fees may also be waived if there is insufficient evidence to support your claim against a medical professional.
  • Forming of the panel. This will consist of three medical professionals, two decided by both parties and those two selecting the third, and an attorney agreed upon by all sides who will not have a voting right on the panel.
  • Panel determination. The panel will then review the evidence and submitted documents to make a determination as to whether they believe malpractice took place. They will return a summary of their findings within 30 days of their review, as well as offer any factual opinions or considerations that the court should take into account.
  • Submission of costs. The panel will have incurred costs, and those must be reconciled. Unless you have already received a waiver from the court that you are unable to afford the payments, if you win the panel decision, you will likely need to pay the costs associated with the implementation of the panel.
  • Impact of the medical review. Even if the medical review panel does not rule in your favor, you can move forward with your claim. However, the side supported by the panel review has a right to use that review as a part of the evidence it may present in any potential litigation.

If, for any reason, a judgment is not reached by the panel within one year after submitting your claim for review, you may proceed with a legal claim.

Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims

There are many acts of negligence that can result in medical malpractice claims. Some common examples of malpractice claims in Lafayette include:

  • Surgical Errors: There are several surgery errors that healthcare providers can make, such as operating on the wrong part of the body, operating on the wrong patient, or leaving items in the surgery site. These failures can lead to severe harm and long-term injury to patients.
  • Medication Errors: This can occur in healthcare facilities and at home from provided prescriptions. Overdose of medications can occur in hospitals. A pharmacist or prescriber can make errors when writing or filling a prescription, leading to patients receiving the wrong medication, the wrong dose of medication, or a medication that has harmful interactions with other prescriptions they take.
  • Lack of Informed Consent: Medical professionals should be upfront with patients about the risks and successes of potential treatments. If a patient is injured because they agreed to a treatment they did not have all the facts about, this may be medical malpractice.
  • Delayed or Lack of Diagnosis: When medical professionals wait too long to diagnose a patient or fail to diagnose them at all, despite clear signs and symptoms of a condition, this can be malpractice. Many illnesses and conditions require early diagnosis for treatment to be effective and to avoid severe injury and development of the disease. A late diagnosis can result in harm or death.
  • Misdiagnosis: It can constitute negligence if a medical professional misdiagnoses a patient despite clear evidence contradicting their diagnosis. This can result in ineffective or even harmful treatment.
  • Medical Device Defects: Although certain defects or failures in medical equipment are the result of manufacturer error, they can also be caused by healthcare negligence. Medical staff are responsible for ensuring that equipment is maintained, clean, and functional.
  • Birth Injuries: Childbirth should be a moment of joy in a family’s life. Unfortunately, errors during pregnancy and childbirth can result in injuries to a child and their parent. Sometimes, these errors and injuries are the result of negligence and malpractice.
  • Anesthesia Errors: Patients can be injured or killed if they are not given the right dosage or type of medication when undergoing operations.
  • Emergency Room Negligence: An emergency room is a stressful environment, but medical providers still owe their patients a duty of care. Acts of negligence by these providers can still result in severe consequences for patients and their families.
  • Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse: Residents of nursing homes are often neglected or abused by the staff and individuals who are meant to provide their care. If elderly residents are not receiving the medical care they need, this may be grounds for a medical malpractice or personal injury claim.
  • Nursing Negligence: This can occur in hospitals and during in-home care. Nurses have a duty of care to patients, just like any other healthcare provider.

It can often be hard to determine if an injury or ailment was caused because of provider negligence. Healthcare providers and facilities may try to shift the blame or otherwise avoid admitting error. An experienced medical malpractice attorney is a necessary asset for reviewing your unique situation to see if you have a valid claim.

How Does a Medical Malpractice Attorney Help Me?

A medical malpractice attorney has the experience to effectively tackle the investigation of your claim. Pursuing a medical malpractice claim requires a tremendous amount of time and resources.

Scott Iles has handled medical malpractice claims involving doctors, hospitals, nurses, ambulances, nursing homes, and medical clinics. Our firm’s experience with many types of medical facility malpractice claims gives us significant knowledge to draw from.

A knowledgeable attorney understands how state, local, and federal laws interact on malpractice claims. Determining whether a medical malpractice claim even exists is an involved process that requires consultations with medical professionals in addition to a significant understanding of medicine, anatomy, physiology, and the law.

In addition to investigating the circumstances of your claim and providing knowledge of the local and state laws, a Lafayette personal injury attorney can also help in the following ways:

  • Collect evidence. In the course of the investigation, an attorney will help collect both physical and electronic evidence that can help prove your claim. Electronic evidence can be particularly important when determining when and by whom your medical records were accessed or modified and how those records can point the finger at negligent parties.In addition, emails and text messages can provide written documentation of any discussion regarding the new injuries you may have sustained.
  • Witness testimony. While witnesses may include other medical professionals who were present at the time of your new injury, witness statements could also include other medical professionals who have a proven history of knowledge within their field.These witnesses can speak to the circumstances by which the injuries suffered may be possible. These witnesses can also testify to the appropriate course of care that should have been taken and where a breach may have occurred.

One of the greatest benefits of working with an attorney is that it allows you time to recover. You may be suffering from catastrophic injuries, mental distress, or the loss of your loved one. By hiring an attorney, they can handle the complex legal aspects of your claim so you can take the time you need.

How Long Do You Have to Sue for Medical Malpractice in Louisiana?

Like any civil claim, a medical malpractice claim has a statute of limitations. This is a legal deadline in which you must file your claim. If you do not file your claim in the set time period, you lose your right to obtain compensation for your damages.

In Louisiana, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is 1 year from the date the incident occurred that caused an illness or injury. If you are unaware of the injury or act of malpractice on the day it occurs, then you have 1 year from the date you discover or should have discovered that the injury or illness was caused by malpractice.

However, even if you discover the malpractice at a later date, medical malpractice claims still have a preemptive date of three years from the date of the injury.

This is a very short window of time to investigate and file your claim. It is important to work with legal professionals as soon as you can, as it gives them more time to investigate for evidence and build your claim. If you wait to file, significant pieces of evidence may disappear, and this could cost you your rightful compensation.

What Is the Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, medical malpractice claims have a total damage cap of $500,000. A claim may still be able to cover the damages you suffered, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Loss of consortium

An attorney can help you determine if filing a malpractice claim is worthwhile.

Medical Malpractice FAQs:

Q: Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice in Louisiana?

A: Yes, you can file a claim seeking to recover damages for medical claims in Louisiana. Claims can be filed against individual medical professionals or the hospital, practice, or business for which they work.

Each claim is unique; therefore, the circumstances of your claim will depend on the evidence you have and who is deemed responsible. Your attorney will help you determine to whom you should file a claim against.

Q: What Is the Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages in Louisiana?

A: While you may suffer extensive damages due to medical malpractice, Louisiana places a cap on compensation at $500,000. However, Louisiana has the Patient’s Compensation Fund, which allows future damages or medical expenses to be covered for those who may need it due to the extent of the damages incurred by the malpractice they experienced.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations on Malpractice in Louisiana?

A: In Louisiana, in order to seek damages for medical malpractice, you must file a claim within one year of the incident date. However, if you are not made aware that malpractice took place until after that time, then you have one year from the time you are made aware to file your claim.

In some cases, additional injuries suffered by negligent medical professionals may not appear right away, which is why the law makes the exception for this.

Q: How Do I Report Medical Malpractice in Louisiana?

A: The Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners is often the first place a medical malpractice claim is filed. However, before filing any claim, you should speak with an attorney who can help guide you through the process and be sure that you are seeking the compensation you deserve. The LSBME, however, offers sanctions and discipline to medical professionals and does not handle compensation claims.

Lafayette Medical Malpractice Lawyer – Free Consultation

Medical malpractice is a severe breach of the trust that patients put in their doctors and other healthcare providers. Scott has successfully handled numerous medical malpractice claims because of his ability to understand when medical errors have fallen below the acceptable level of care.

Scott has consistently held doctors and hospitals responsible for their mistakes that resulted in injuries to their patients. When you or a loved one has been injured because of a healthcare professional’s failure, you deserve compensation for your damages.

Whether your claim involves a doctor, a nurse, a hospital, a nursing home, a surgical procedure, or some other medical aspect, call Scott, and he will evaluate your claim without charging a fee. Contact the Law Offices of R. Scott Iles today.