Most health care facilities in the New Orleans area are comprised of competent and hardworking professionals. Unfortunately, there are occasions when the treatment provided to a patient falls below acceptable medical practice. When this happens, the patient may be able to file a medical malpractice claim.
A health care provider’s treatment must meet an appropriate standard of care. Generally, all medical care providers must provide the care ordinarily possessed and exercised by members of the profession in good standing in the community. Where an alleged act raises issues peculiar to a medical specialty, the standard of care is that which is ordinarily practiced by those involved in the medical specialty.
Examples of medical malpractice include:
1. Failure to provide a patient with appropriate medical treatment;
2. Incorrectly diagnosing or failing to recognize a medical condition;
3. Unreasonable delay in providing care for a known medical condition.
In a medical malpractice action, the plaintiff must file the action within one year of the date of the incident, or one year from the date the plaintiff knew or, in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known of the existence of the right to action. However, no action can be brought later than three years from the incident. In Louisiana, there is a $500,000 cap on damages, except for medical expenses, for claims of injury or death of a patient.
Finally, please note that not every case in which treatment leads to a bad outcome or unexpected result constitutes medical malpractice — there must be a breach of the standard of care. Just because a treatment does not go as hoped does not always mean that medical malpractice occurred.
If you have any questions regarding medical malpractice, please feel free to contact my office at 504-581-6411 or 877-581-6411.