Have you or your loved one suffered negative health consequences at the hand of a local doctor? Do you believe that they could have been avoided if you’d had a different provider?
Then you may have evidence for a medical negligence case. The State of Louisiana has strict laws for filing medical lawsuits, and you’ll need a skilled legal team to stand a chance in court.
We’re going over the basics of what medical malpractice is, the types of negligence, and how to start legal proceedings below.
What is Medical Negligence?
When someone becomes a doctor, they have to promise to do no harm and to do everything in their power to help a patient. That’s their duty, and they can face medical malpractice cases (a doctor’s worst nightmare) if they don’t.
Medical negligence is the legal term for not upholding that agreement. According to Forbes, the official definition is “a failure to behave with the same level of caution a reasonable person would have.”
If a doctor doesn’t provide the level of care that their colleagues would consider “reasonable,” they can be held accountable.
Unfortunately, most doctors are only held responsible for negligence when something goes wrong. And in the medical field, that can result in life-altering, or ending, consequences.
The bulk of medical lawsuits are malpractice cases rooted in negligence.
Examples of Medical Negligence
What separates negligence from general malpractice is the failure to follow basic care procedures. It’s not doing something wrong within the situation but the failure to do something right (and routine).
For example, all surgical patients should be monitored carefully before and after procedures. If a doctor does not order the proper monitoring for hospital staff to carry out, that’s medical negligence.
A very common example in Louisiana is the failure to obtain informed consent. You, as the patient, have a right to consent to anything involving your health. In the case that you’re capacitated, your next of kin or spouse needs to give the ok. If a doctor chooses a medical procedure for you without telling you or doesn’t communicate the risks, then that’s medical negligence.
Types of Medical Negligence
There are four types of medical negligence, each with a long list of subtypes. No type is “worse” than the other, and all are fair game of a medical lawsuit in Louisiana. They are:
- Negligence in Attending
- Failure to Diagnose
- Sub-standard treatment
- Negligence in Providing Care
Negligence in attending would be like the monitoring example above. Failure to diagnose happens when a doctor does not take the common and expected steps to rule out possible health issues.
Sub-standard treatment is what it sounds like: failure to provide the basic level of expected care you’d get in New Orleans. Finally, negligence in providing care cases happen when a doctor makes a grave mistake in their practice. No one is perfect, but hospitals and clinics have fail-safes in place to keep errors from happening.
Medical Negligence Deadlines in Louisana
All types of medical lawsuits above are fair game in Louisana, with one caveat: the time limit.
Medical negligence cases must be filed within one year from the date of suspected negligence. There are some legal exceptions, but cases can’t be filed any later than three years past the date.
Medical Lawsuits in New Orleans
Medical negligence cases are highly emotional, as they result in the loss of life or quality of life. The high stakes plus strict time limits are both reasons to file your lawsuit as soon as possible.
Don’t wait; get a free consultation for your medical negligence case here.