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Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Metairie, Louisiana

None of us ever goes to the hospital expecting that the medical care will cause us harm. However, medical mistakes do happen and can cause serious—if not life-changing—injuries to patients. Medical malpractice can have a devastating impact on you and your family, which is why it is important to hold negligent doctors accountable and pursue the compensation that is available to you.  

At the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer, we understand how painful and overwhelming the aftermath of medical malpractice can be. Our medical malpractice attorneys in Metairie, Louisiana, are committed to helping individuals like yourself recover maximum compensation. We provide compassionate and skilled representation to patients and their families in Metairie and the surrounding area, including New Orleans, Chalmette, St. Tammany Parish, and Jefferson Parish.  

Medical Malpractice in Louisiana

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or a healthcare professional provides a patient with care that does not meet the proper standards. However, not all medical mistakes are considered “medical malpractice” under the law. Each case is unique and must be examined on a case-by-case basis to determine whether or not a patient can pursue a medical malpractice claim.  

Some of the common examples of medical malpractice that our team at the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer has handled include: 

  • Surgical errors 

  • Misdiagnosis 

  • Failure to diagnose 

  • Anesthesia errors 

  • Birth injuries 

  • Premature discharge 

  • Treatment mistakes 

  • Emergency room negligence 

  • Failure to obtain informed consent 

Every healthcare provider is legally required to provide patients with a reasonable standard of care. When the standard of care is breached and the patient suffers harm, the medical professional can be held responsible. Potentially liable parties in medical malpractice cases may include: 

  • physicians  

  • surgeons 

  • nurses 

  • dentists 

  • emergency room doctors 

  • chiropractors 

  • pharmacists 

An experienced personal injury attorney can investigate your unique circumstances to determine if you have a case and, if so, who can be sued in your med-mal case.

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The Statute of Limitations & Medical Review Panels

Louisiana law limits the amount of time between the cause of action and when a patient can bring forth a medical malpractice claim. That time limit, known as the statute of limitations, is one year from the date of injury or the date when the patient discovered or reasonably could have discovered the injury.  

Before pursuing a med-mal claim, patients are legally required to submit a complaint to a medical review panel and have the panel review and validate their claim. Louisiana law recognizes several exceptions to the requirement for panel review, including: 

  • The patient and the healthcare provider previously agreed to binding arbitration;  

  • The healthcare provider does not meet the criteria for participation in the panel review process and the compensation fund; or 

  • Both parties (the patient and the healthcare provider) have agreed to bypass the panel review process.  

The request for panel review must be made before the statute of limitations expires. The statute of limitations is suspended once the patient submits a complaint to a medical review panel unless: 

  1. They did not pay the fee for the medical review within the applicable amount of time; and 

  1. They do not qualify for a waiver.  

The statute of limitations is suspended until 90 days after the panel:  

  • notifies the plaintiff that the defendant does not meet the criteria to participate in the review process;  

  • dismisses the claim due to the fact that panelists were not selected within 12 months; or 

  • issues its opinion regarding your claim.  

As you can see, Louisiana laws governing medical malpractice cases can be complicated and nuanced. Reach out to our medical malpractice attorneys in Metairie to learn more about the procedural requirements.  

Basic Elements of a Claim

When filing a medical malpractice claim, you must be able to establish the following four elements to hold the defendant(s) (healthcare providers who have rendered substandard care) liable:  

  1. The existence of a doctor-patient relationship. 

  1. The medical professional deviated from the accepted standards of care. 

  1. The patient suffered harm due to the substandard care. 

  1. The patient suffered actual damages (e.g., medical bills) due to the defendant’s conduct. 

You will need all the evidence you can collect to establish these four elements. At the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer, we help patients build a compelling med-mal case by gathering evidence such as medical records, expert testimony, hospital records, diagnostic test results, and more.  

Damages Available to Victims of Medical Malpractice

When pursuing compensation through a medical malpractice claim, the injured patient can seek both economic and non-economic damages up to $500,000 in total damages per claim per person, which is a current cap on the plaintiff’s recovery in med-mal cases in Louisiana. Damages that victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to receive include: 

  • medical bills 

  • pain and suffering 

  • mental distress 

  • loss of wages 

  • lost or diminished earning capacity 

  • loss of enjoyment of life 

  • loss of consortium 

  • disfigurement 

  • funeral and burial costs (if malpractice led to wrongful death) 

The state of Louisiana will typically pay out the first of $100,000 of damages through the state’s Patient’s Compensation Fund (PCF). It’s important to consult with an experienced attorney if you want to know what your case is worth and what damages can be recovered.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Metairie, Louisiana

At the Law Office of Bruce C. Betzer, we are committed to helping victims of medical malpractice pursue the compensation they deserve by providing compassionate and responsive legal representation. Our medical malpractice attorneys strive to get the best possible outcome for every client we represent. Call today to request your free consultation.