Botched surgeries, misdiagnoses and medication mistakes are just some examples of medical malpractice. When a healthcare provider – whether a physician, surgeon, gynecologist, midwife, chiropractor, anesthesiologist, ophthalmologist or other medical professional – fails to provide a certain standard of care that results in harm to the patient, victims and their family have grounds for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
In Louisiana, malpractice is defined as any breach of contract or negligent act based on professional services rendered, or which should have been rendered, by medical personnel, to a patient, including failure to render services timely and the handling of a patient, including loading and unloading of a patient, and also includes all legal responsibility of a health care provider arising from acts or omissions during the procurement of blood or blood components, in the training or supervision of health care providers, or from defects in blood, tissue, transplants, drugs, and medicines, or from defects in or failures of prosthetic devices implanted in or used on or in the person of a patient.
While residents have access to some of the best doctors in the country, medical mistakes and missed diagnoses happen with disturbing frequency – and some of these acts result in life-altering injury and death. Bart Bernard is a seasoned medical malpractice attorney who works with residents in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, and other communities throughout southern Louisiana. If you or a loved one has suffered at the hands of a negligent or inexperienced health care worker, we encourage you to reach out for a free consultation.
There are dozens of qualified medical malpractice lawyers in Louisiana, but few have the expertise, resources and case results leveraged by Bart Bernard, a Lafayette native who has spent the past two decades litigating complex claims involving serious personal injury and wrongful death.
Health care workers should be held accountable for negligent acts and omissions including:
It comes as no surprise that the elderly, the young and the infirm are among the most vulnerable among us. When poor medical care, inadequate follow-up treatment or diagnostic errors compromise health or cause devastating injury, victims have a right to fair monetary compensation.
Medical malpractice settlements can reach into the millions of dollars and make an immense difference when it comes to ongoing nursing care, making up for lost wages, and covering day-to-day expenses. In addition to a jury verdict or settlement, plaintiffs may also be eligible for damages covered by Louisiana Patient’s Compensation Fund (PCF).
The fund was created in 1975 to compensate Louisiana residents who suffered injury and financial losses because of negligence or malpractice committed by an enrolled health care provider. This fund includes all state hospitals, their associated health care personnel and qualified private practitioners. As of 2014, the fund contained nearly $823 million, and claim payouts averaged $323,000.
After suffering injury or damages because of the negligence of a medical professional, Louisiana residents must file their lawsuit within a certain time frame. Malpractice statute of limitations in Louisiana mandate that a claim must be filed within one year the patient discovered or should have discovered the malpractice. Before the lawsuit is filed in court, the claim must first be sent to the state’s medical review panel, which will determine whether negligence occurred. After the plaintiff has received notice from the medical review panel, they have 90 days to bring a suit in district court, regardless of the panel’s decision.
There are some instances in which patients may not discover the malpractice in a timely manner; however, Louisiana stipulates that a medical malpractice lawsuit must be brought within three years from the date of the negligent act or omission.
Attorney Bart Bernard can help clients gain a better understanding of time limits that may apply to their situation.
In 2012, the Louisiana Supreme Court reaffirmed the $500,000 cap on medical negligence damage awards rendered in the state. While this decision invoked controversy, it’s important to note that people who are harmed by their doctors are still eligible to receive unlimited compensation through the PCF to cover future medical costs, which can easily reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to data compiled by the National Practitioner Data Bank, Louisiana has one of the nation’s highest rates of medical malpractice payouts. In 2015, some 44 malpractice claims per 100,000 people resulted in either a court award or a settlement. Litigation can secure money for past hospital expenses, long-term medical care, in-home modifications, loss of present and future income, loss of spousal consortium, as well as emotional trauma.
You deserve nothing less than a medical malpractice lawyer who works with experienced investigators and health care professionals in order to build a strong case and maximize the value of your claim. Your attorney will conduct extensive discovery, gather medical records and obtain depositions from industry experts. Renowned for his candor, integrity and dedication to client success, Bart Bernard is prepared to fight for the compensation you need and deserve.
If your health has suffered because of inadequate medical care, you probably have unanswered questions. You need an attorney who has a keen understanding of malpractice statutes in Louisiana and can quickly determine if you have a claim for compensation. Get expert advice about pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit by calling our Lafayette or Baton Rouge offices today.
Last modified: June 30, 2017