Louisiana code defines “Malpractice” as a tort or breach of contract based on health care or professional services that were provided, or that should have been provided, by a health care provider, to a patient. In simple terms, malpractice is when a health care provider not doing what he/she is supposed to do or did what he/she was not supposed to do. The term is used to indicate medical negligence by a health care provider that causes an injury.
According to Louisiana Revised Statutes section 40:1231.2, the state limits total damages awards to $500,000 in medical malpractice cases, with the exception that costs of future medical care are not subject to the cap.
In order to prove malpractice, a medical malpractice attorney in Louisiana must show the four essential elements of a tort: Duty, Breach, Injury, and Causation.
• Duty: If you have been treated by a health care provider, a duty is created, meaning the health care provider owes the patient a duty to act as a reasonably competent physician would act under the same or similar circumstances. Doctors have the duty to meet the applicable “standard of care”.
• Breach: In order for a patient to establish that a health care provider has breached the duty to the patient by failing to meet the applicable standard of care requires that the patient establish this fact through expert testimony.
• Injury: The patient must show that he/she was harmed in such ways as, death, disfigurement, deformity, physical loss of function, impairment to bodily or mental function, loss of earning capacity, and reduced chance of recovery.
• Causation: The injured patient must prove that the harms they are complaining of were directly caused by the health care provider’s failure to meet the applicable standard of care.
Despite the fairly simple language used above to define what malpractice is, there has been a great deal of case law determining who is a patient, when does a doctor-patient relationship and thus a duty arises and when does it cease, what is an act or occurrence, what is the cause of an injury and which injuries received in a health care setting are from malpractice versus which are not from malpractice. Future articles will attempt to explain the various distinctions of these terms and situations.
Malpractice cases present a unique set of challenges that require a thorough understanding of both medical and legal issues. The medical malpractice attorneys in our law firm have an experienced malpractice team, including a physician-attorney and legal nurse consultant on staff, to assist in analyzing and evaluating your claim.
Our medical malpractice attorneys are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your case. Call our toll-free number at (877) 927-5540 or complete the free case evaluation on this page. We look forward to fighting for you.
Blake David was the contributing attorney to this content. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions of this website.
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