When a person experiences complications that result from a doctor’s negligence, he or she may be eligible for medical malpractice damages. This type of legal claim is subject to a strict state review process.
Explore the steps that occur when you file a medical malpractice lawsuit in Louisiana.
After you file this type of claim, the Louisiana Commissioner of Administration must confirm receipt within 30 days and indicate the filing fee. This office will also determine whether the potential defendant has a state license as a health care provider. After you pay your filing fee in full, the Office of Risk Management will assign the health care provider an attorney and convene a medical review panel.
Medical review process
In Louisiana, the medical review panel typically must contain three doctors licensed and active in state practice along with one attorney. The provider can waive his or her right to a medical review panel. Otherwise, this panel has 12 months to decide whether the malpractice lawsuit has merit.
Your attorney will provide the medical review panel members with a written copy of all evidence in your case. This may include medical records, images, witness statements and medical expert reports. The panel can request additional information and consult with medical authorities to support a decision.
Regardless of this decision, you have the right to file a lawsuit within 90 days of notification. However, the medical panel report will constitute evidence. The plaintiff must prove that the health care provider failed to meet a reasonable standard of care. If the panel found that his or her actions were not negligent, it will be difficult to show the required preponderance of evidence to support a malpractice claim.
Because medical malpractice lawsuits are quite complex, you may want to consider acting quickly to file a claim. You have one year from the date of the injury discovery and no more than three years from the date the injury occurred according to the Louisiana statute of limitations.