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Whether you’re ill, injured, or just in need of preventative care, doctors’ offices are where we go when we need answers. While doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are meant to be trusted resources, they sometimes fail to fulfill the basic standards of care, resulting in harm to patients. 

This negligence or misconduct of healthcare professionals is referred to as medical malpractice. Understanding what is classified as medical malpractice is crucial for patients seeking justice, and this blog aims to provide an overview of medical malpractice, what is/isn’t classified as medical malpractice, examples, and provide you with resources, should you need to contact experienced medical malpractice attornies, like Capitelli & Wicker in New Orleans, Louisiana.

What is Medical Malpractice in Louisiana?

Medical malpractice involves the violation of the standard of care expected from healthcare professionals, leading to harm or injury to a patient. 

In the state of Louisiana, medical malpractice is defined as misconduct by healthcare providers, such as nurses or hospitals, where their actions or omissions deviate from the accepted standard of care, leading to harm, injury, or death to a patient.

Examples of Medical Malpractice in Louisiana

While every medical malpractice case is unique, several types are more common than others. Some common types of medical malpractice cases include:

  • Surgical errors
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Medication errors
  • Prescription errors
  • Hospital-acquired infections
  • Birth trauma and injuries
  • Hospital malpractice
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Delayed treatment

Though this is not an all-inclusive list, it’s important to be aware of common medical malpractice cases so you are empowered to be vigilant with your and your family’s healthcare.

How Often Does Medical Malpractice Happen?

Because death and injuries are too often swept under the rug as routine complications, determining the exact frequency of instances of medical malpractice is challenging due to underreporting, varying definitions, and changing legal requirements. 

According to a Johns Hopkins study, over 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical errors in the U.S., and the National Practitioner Data Bank has reported that Louisiana is among the states that have the most reported cases of medical malpractice. 

Our dedicated medical malpractice team at Capitelli & Wicker has devoted substantial resources to medical malpractice claims and knows what claims should be pursued and which should not. If we find evidence of medical malpractice, we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve

How Do I Know If I Have a Louisiana Medical Malpractice Claim?

Determining whether you have a medical malpractice claim involves evaluating specific criteria. However, before you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Louisiana, your complaint must be submitted to a medical review panel for an opinion.

Medical review panels typically consist of several licensed healthcare providers and an attorney to manage the claim process. The injured patient and the defendant healthcare provider(s) are responsible for individually submitting evidence to the panel, which can include medical records, reports from medical experts, and deposition transcriptions. 

Following a thorough examination of this material, the panel will issue a report expressing its opinion on whether the evidence supports a finding that the health professional(s) failed to meet the appropriate standard of care in treating the patient. Alternatively, the panel may find that a factual question of liability exists and a decision must be made by a judge.

Regardless of what you’re expecting the medical review panel’s opinion to be, seeking legal advice from an experienced law firm is crucial. A team of attorneys who have years of experience will help you find the truth

What Should I Do If I Think I Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?

First and foremost, seek medical attention if you are experiencing immediate adverse effects or potential health concerns resulting from medical malpractice. Once you’ve ensured the safety of you and your family, gather all relevant medical records, documentation, and any evidence supporting your claim. Then, be sure to contact a law firm with a team of attorneys who have focused a significant portion of their careers on pursuing medical negligence claims against healthcare providers.

Brian Capitelli

Author Brian Capitelli

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