Baton Rouge Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Baton Rouge Medical Malpractice Lawyer

There is a disturbing claim floating around the Internet that medical malpractice is the nation’s third-leading cause of death. Although some have disputed the math behind this claim, the very fact that it is getting any traction at all is absolutely terrifying. After all, it is doctors who you trust when you have nowhere else to turn. Who do you trust if your doctor is incompetent? Fortunately, most people’s doctors are more than competent—but how about yours?

If you have been victimized by medical malpractice in Baton Rouge, LA, justice demands that you respond–to demand the compensation you deserve and to get the defendant’s attention so that they won’t hurt anyone else.  

At Palmintier Law Group, we are absolutely relentless in pursuing justice for our clients. Our Baton Rouge medical malpractice lawyers have over 80 years of combined experience and have recovered more than $1 billion in compensation for our clients. Contact us today or call (225) 344 3735 to schedule a free consultation. 

How Palmintier Law Group Can Help You Win Your Medical Malpractice Claim in Baton Rouge

How Palmintier Law Group Can Help You Win Your Medical Malpractice Claim in Baton Rouge

As trusted Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers, we offer our clients assistance on multiple fronts. Some of the ways we can help you include:

  • Applying our understanding of local law. Louisiana medical malpractice law differs from the medical malpractice law of other states in critical ways.
  • Dealing with the medical review panel (a unique Louisiana legal requirement) in a manner that ensures that they are on our side, not the defendant’s side.
  • Ensuring compliance with Louisiana’s medical malpractice statute of limitations deadline—typically, with limited exceptions, just one year after the discovery of the malpractice.
  • Investigating the actions of your healthcare provider to establish medical negligence.
  • Determining causation. We will work with medical experts to establish a direct link between your healthcare provider’s acts or omissions and the harm you suffered.
  • Preserve evidence. We will ensure that all relevant medical records, documents, and other forms of evidence survive long enough for you to use them to resolve your claim.
  • Retain medical experts to help prove your claim at depositions and, if necessary, at trial. 
  • Calculate your damages. Your damages might include not only medical expenses and lost earnings, but also intangible items such as pain and suffering.
  • Review your healthcare provider’s insurance coverage as well as other potential sources of compensation. 
  • File a lawsuit if necessary. Filing a lawsuit doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll go to trial–in fact, most lawsuits never make it to trial.

The above-listed items are just the tip of the iceberg. There are a hundred other ways we can help you. Learn more by contacting our law offices in Baton Rogue, Louisiana, today to schedule your free case review.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider harms a patient through medical treatment that fails to meet the appropriate standard of care. The “appropriate standard of care” varies according to circumstance, but it is always a professional standard of care. As such, it is much higher than the ordinary standard of care that might apply, for example, to a non-doctor who renders first aid at the scene of an auto accident.

Louisiana medical malpractice law does not demand perfection from healthcare providers. Consequently, not every medical error rises to the level of medical malpractice.

To win a medical malpractice claim, you must prove the presence of the following legal elements:

  • The patient and the doctor had formed a doctor-patient relationship prior to the contested medical treatment. This is almost always easy to prove. It might be controversial if a doctor happened upon the scene of an accident and treated an unconscious patient as a “Good Samaritan.”
  • The healthcare provider was subject to a specific duty of care  You might need an expert to establish the specific nature of the healthcare provider’s duty of care.
  • The defendant breached their duty of care. In other words, their actions (or omissions) failed to meet the demands of the applicable standard of care. A doctor might have neglected to order needed lab testing, for example. 
  • The victim suffered physical harm. A ‘good scare’ is not enough. A doctor does not commit medical malpractice, for example, by mistakenly diagnosing a patient with a terminal disease, as long as no physical harm results. Once you prove physical harm, however, you can recover medical malpractice damages for any accompanying psychological distress.
    The defendant’s breach of their duty of care was the “but-for cause” of the harm you suffered. In other words, the statement “But for the defendant’s negligence, you would not have suffered the harm you are complaining of” must be true.
  • The harm you suffered must have been a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s negligence (in other words, the element of ‘proximate cause’ must be present).

You must prove each one of these elements by a “preponderance of the evidence” standard.

Typical Medical Malpractice Claims

There are many different kinds of medical malpractice, including the following:

  • Emergency room errors.
  • Failure to diagnose: Your doctor might fail to diagnose a dangerous medical condition, leading you to ignore it. In a worst-case scenario, failure to diagnose could kill you.
  • Misdiagnosis: Your doctor might diagnose you with a condition less serious than your actual condition or diagnose you with a condition that is more serious than your actual condition.
  • Surgical errors: Imagine your doctor removes the wrong kidney, or accidentally leaves a sponge inside your body after surgery.
  • Medication errors: A doctor might, for example, prescribe you two drugs that interact with each other in harmful ways.
  • Birth injuries: Injuring a newborn baby through the improper use of forceps, for example.
  • Anesthesia errors, resulting in surgical complications.
  • Failure to maintain proper hygiene in a hospital, leading to infections.
  • Nursing home neglect: Allowing bed sores to develop on a resident, for example.
  • Failure to obtain informed consent.
  • Misinterpretation of diagnostic images supplied by X-ray, MRI, CT scan, and more.
  • Failure to order needed lab testing.
  • Misinterpretation of lab test results.
  • Inadequate follow-up.
      

The foregoing represents only a partial list of possible forms of medical malpractice.

Louisiana’s Medical Review Panel

Louisiana, fearful of frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits that drive up healthcare costs and encourage doctors to move to other states, has erected an additional barrier to medical malpractice lawsuits–the medical review panel. A medical review panel consists of three licensed healthcare providers and one lawyer.

Before you file a Louisiana medical malpractice complaint to a court, you must submit it to a  medical review panel along with evidence supporting your claim. You must then wait for the panel to issue its opinion on the validity of your claim. 

Although the panel cannot block your lawsuit, either side can call members of the panel to testify as expert witnesses. This possibility could help or hurt your claim, depending on the panel’s opinion.

Damages Available in Baton Rogue Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

In Louisiana, you can demand the following forms of compensation for a medical malpractice claim:

  • Past, present, and future medical expenses;
  • Past, present, and future lost earnings;
  • Diminished earning capacity (if your injuries prevent you from returning to your previous occupation);
  • Out-of-pocket expenses such as child care;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Mental anguish; 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life; 
  • PTSD;
  • Disfigurement; and
  • Loss of consortium (filed by certain eligible family members for loss of your association and companionship). 

Unlike other states, in Louisiana, it is virtually impossible to win punitive damages for a medical malpractice claim.

The Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice

Louisiana’s medical malpractice statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit expires one year after the malpractice occurred, or within one year after the patient discovered it or should have discovered it. 

You must file a wrongful death lawsuit, if at all, within one year of the victim’s death. Although certain narrow exceptions apply, the statute of repose sets an ultimate deadline of three years after the malpractice occurred.

It is often complicated to determine the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice case. It is best to contact an experienced attorney as soon as you can to preserve your rights.

Speak With a Baton Rouge Medical Malpractice Attorney About Your Claim

Contact Palmintier Law Group to schedule a free case consultation at a time and place that works for you. From our office in Baton Rouge, our experienced, compassionate, and trustworthy medical malpractice lawyers are ready to demand justice for you so that you can focus on recovery. 

Always remember our no-fee guarantee. That means no upfront fees, and it means you only pay legal fees if we win compensation for your case. Call our Baton Rouge medical malpractice attorneys today.

Our personal injury law firm in Baton Rouge, LO also handles: