How Are Medical Malpractice Cases Paid Out in Louisiana?
If you suffered one or more injuries resulting from an error made by a healthcare provider, you might have a strong enough case to file a civil lawsuit. Medical malpractice encompasses several different types of actions committed by healthcare providers, including making the wrong diagnosis, failing to detect the symptoms of a disease, and performing an incorrect procedure during surgery.
Medical malpractice cases represent one of the most complex types of personal injury litigation. However, working with one of the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Morgan & Morgan can help you recover the financial losses that are associated with your injuries. Your legal counsel helps you gather and organize the physical evidence required to file a persuasive civil lawsuit.
Another way one of the personal injury lawyers from Morgan & Morgan can help you involves answering the question, “How are medical malpractice cases paid out in Louisiana?” Like every other state, Louisiana has established a series of steps for plaintiffs to get paid for the negligence of a healthcare provider. You have to decide the type of payout that you want, meet the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, and follow the medical review process in Louisiana.
For more than three decades, the personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan have recovered just over $10 billion in monetary damages for our clients that file personal injury lawsuits. Part of the compensation we have recovered came from winning medical malpractice cases. If you sustained one or more injuries because of the negligence committed by a healthcare provider, you should take action today by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of the Louisiana-licensed medical malpractice attorneys from Morgan & Morgan.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Louisiana?
Each state has established a statute of limitations for the filing of a civil lawsuit that involves some type of personal injury or injuries. The deadline for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Louisiana is within one year after a healthcare provider committed an act of negligence that caused you harm. However, you might not discover that a healthcare provider committed malpractice for weeks after the incident took place. Louisiana allows victims of medical malpractice to file a civil lawsuit within one year of discovering the results of an act of medical malpractice. If you file a civil lawsuit based on the discovery rule, you assume the legal burden of proving you did not discover the results of an act of negligence until a certain time had passed after the medical malpractice incident.
One of the unique aspects of the statute of limitations law in Louisiana is the clock stops ticking when you submit a request with the state for a review conducted by a medical panel. For example, if six months have passed since a healthcare provider committed medical malpractice, the clock remains at six months as long as you engage in the medical review process. If you fail to meet the deadline for filing a medical malpractice claim in Louisiana, you can expect the court hearing your case to dismiss your lawsuit.
What Is the Medical Review Process in Louisiana?
Louisiana requires victims of medical malpractice to request a review from a state-sanctioned medical panel before filing a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. If you fail to follow the Louisiana standard of receiving a review from a medical panel, the defendant will ask the judge hearing your case to dismiss the lawsuit as a premature legal maneuver.
Before you learn the answer to the question, “How are medical malpractice cases paid out in Louisiana,” you first need to complete every step of the medical review process. The personal injury lawyer assigned to your case from Morgan & Morgan ensures you complete every step required by Louisiana medical malpractice law.
File Your Request
Your legal counsel submits your request for a medical review, as well as your proposed legal complaint, to the Division of Administration in Louisiana’s Medical Review Panel Office before the deadline expires for filing a civil lawsuit. This means you have one year after the incident or discovery of the incident to file a request for a review conducted by a medical panel.
File the Fee or Waiver
Before the end of 45 days after you received confirmation that the medical review panel has your request for review, you must pay a filing fee of $100 for each defendant. You can have the fee waived if the court agrees you do not have the financial means to pay the fee. You also can gain a waiver if an independent physician has examined your medical records and determined your allegations of medical malpractice has enough merit to move your case forward in the litigation process.
Formation of the Medical Panel
A lawyer who does not have a vote manages the process for the medical review panel. Three state-licensed healthcare providers comprise the remaining members of the panel. Your legal counsel participates in the process of choosing the three state-licensed healthcare providers. The process for selecting the panel members can take more than a week.
Review and Decision
The medical review panel examines all the evidence both you and the defendants have submitted, such as medical records, transcripts of every witness deposition, and every report submitted by medical experts. By the end of 30 days, the medical review panel must issue a decision about whether there is enough convincing evidence for your case to move to the trial phase of the litigation process. If there is a dispute among the panel members concerning the validity of some evidence, then a judge needs to decide whether the evidence should remain under scrutiny by the medical review panel.
How Are Medical Malpractice Cases Paid Out in Louisiana?
Medical malpractice cases can take more than a year to resolve because of the complex legal issues that are involved during the litigation process. Whether your personal injury attorney negotiates a favorable settlement or the judge hearing your case issues a ruling in your favor, you have two ways to receive compensation to cover the financial losses associated with your case.
Lump-sum payments represent the most common type of payout for personal injury cases. When you choose a lump-sum payment arrangement, you receive the entire amount of monetary damages at one time. If you are experiencing serious financial issues because of delinquent medical bills and other expenses, a lump-sum arrangement can keep you solvent. Another reason to opt for one payment is to prevent future payments from succumbing to the economic phenomenon called inflation.
Selecting a structured payment arrangement means you receive a series of monthly payments over a designated period. Before you sign off on a structured payment agreement, you have to determine the amount of each payment, the frequency of payments, and whether you want to adjust each monthly payment to account for inflation. This type of payment arrangement allows you to budget for monthly expenses, such as rent and car payments.
Receiving Your Settlement Check
You have to pay off every lien before you receive a settlement check. The most common form of lien is applied to cover the value of your medical expenses. Many healthcare providers wait until a settlement is reached or a judgment issued by a judge to receive payments for providing medical services.
What Are the Types of Monetary Damages for Medical Malpractice Cases?
The types of compensation for medical malpractice cases are similar to other types of personal injury cases. However, the number of medical malpractice cases that involve a wrongful death far exceeds the number of wrongful death lawsuits filed for other types of personal injury cases.
Special Compensatory Damages
Also referred to as economic damages, special compensatory damages cover tangible costs such as medical bills and lost wages. After sustaining injuries that were caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider, you have to undergo another round of diagnostic tests to determine the extent of your injuries. You also have to receive treatments and possibly complete several personal therapy sessions. Sustaining a severe injury or injuries because of medical malpractice might require you to use an assistive device for an extended period. The costs associated with prescription medications fall under the category of special compensatory damages as well.
General Compensatory Damages
As opposed to special compensatory damages, general compensatory damages do not cover economic losses. Instead, general compensatory damages cover issues such as pain and suffering. How are medical malpractice cases paid out in Louisiana for general compensatory damages? The answer is your legal counsel must calculate your non-economic damages based on a formula that includes the value of your economic damages. Falling victim to medical malpractice can leave deep emotional scars.
Although the personal injury lawyer you work with from Morgan & Morgan calculates special and general compensatory damages, the judge hearing your cases determines the value of punitive damages. How much you receive in punitive damages depends on the seriousness of your injuries, as well as whether the healthcare provider that caused you harm did it intentionally. The awarding of punitive damages is meant to deter future acts of medical malpractice.
Get the Legal Support You Deserve
Suffering from injuries caused by one or more acts of medical malpractice can leave physical and emotional scars that last a lifetime. Healthcare providers typically are powerhouse institutions that have considerable financial resources to fight a medical malpractice claim. They hire the most accomplished litigators to prevent losing a civil lawsuit. To level the legal playing field, you should hire one of the highly-rated medical malpractice attorneys from Morgan & Morgan.
We provide legal support for every step of the litigation process, from collecting and organizing persuasive physical evidence to sitting down with the defendant’s legal counsel to negotiate a favorable settlement. The lawyer you work with from Morgan & Morgan also answers the important question, “How are medical malpractice cases paid out in Louisiana?”
Schedule a free case evaluation today with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers to determine how to handle your medical malpractice case. We charge legal fees on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay upfront fees to receive legal support for your civil lawsuit.