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Can A Patient Always Sue When A Doctor Makes A Mistake?

For the most part, the medical practitioners of New Orleans are hardworking, conscientious individuals who make a diligent effort to do their best for their patients. While this does not mean that they never make mistakes, Louisiana’s laws do attempt to protect doctors and other medical providers by placing limitations on when they may be successfully sued for medical malpractice.

First, the individual claiming to have been injured must be able to prove that – as a result of the medical provider’s error or failure to act – he or she suffered an injury that would not otherwise have occurred. Even when a mistake is made, if it does not result in any actual harm to the patient, then there is no basis for the patient receiving financial compensation for an injury.

Second, even if an injury did occur as a result of a medical provider’s mistake in treatment or diagnosis, this fact alone does not necessary lead to a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. Instead, the burden is on the injured person to prove that the treatment provided by the medical provider was substandard.

To accomplish this, the injured person must be able to present evidence establishing either (1) the knowledge or skill level expected of someone licensed in the relevant medical field, or (2) the degree of care ordinarily exercised by a medical provider in that field. Once this baseline for the level of expected knowledge and care has been established, the injured person then must prove that the provider either did not have the required degree of knowledge or skill, or that the provider failed to use the expected degree of care in the application of that skill.

In other words, if a medical provider was properly trained and acted diligently but an injury occurred anyway, that provider usually cannot be successfully sued.

If you have suffered an injury due to a medical provider’s error but do not know if you should proceed with a lawsuit, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can assist you in determining the proper course of action. We can be reached at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER and would happy to help you.