Medical Malpractice Lawsuits: Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions

Our lawyers at Nelson & Hammons, Attorneys At Law, exclusively practice law in medical malpractice and health care negligence. The firm was founded in 1977 and has offices in Shreveport and Lafayette. Over the past several decades, our attorneys have helped clients throughout Louisiana successfully pursue and receive financial compensation for medical mistakes and injuries. They know and understand that there can be a lot of questions when you are considering filing a claim for medical malpractice. Here, our lawyers answer some of the most frequently asked questions. For answers to specific questions, we offer a free, initial case consultation appointment.

When does an injury qualify as medical malpractice?

There are four primary elements that need to be present in a case for it to qualify as medical malpractice:

  • A person owes a professional duty to the patient
  • There is a breach of that duty
  • The breach of duty resulted in an injury
  • The damages of that injury

When these four elements are present in a case, the patient has excellent odds of holding the liable party responsible while pursuing compensation you need to recover from your injuries.

When there is a medical mistake, who can I sue?

Every case is different and has its own unique facts and circumstances. But at Nelson & Hammons, Attorneys At Law, our attorneys will look at every possible angle to make sure that they hold all responsible parties accountable for any medical errors or mistakes. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and health care professionals can all make mistakes. Hospitals, medical facilities, nursing homes, pharmacies and assisted living facilities can all be liable when staffing issues, facility procedures or inadequate training were possibly at fault for the patient’s injury.

What kind of financial losses can I recover in a lawsuit for health care negligence or malpractice?

In a negligence or medical malpractice case in Louisiana, injured parties can recover economic damages that include specific compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages

Plaintiffs can also recover for noneconomic damages. This means that there isn’t necessarily an exact dollar amount, but compensation for the following categories and more could be included as damages in Louisiana:

  • Mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Physical disfigurement or scarring
  • Loss of companionship and enjoyment

As an injured patient, is there a limit on how much money I can get in a medical malpractice lawsuit?

Unfortunately, yes. The state of Louisiana puts a cap, or a limit, on how much money a plaintiff can recover for damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Under Louisiana state law, plaintiffs in a medical malpractice case cannot recover more than $500,000 total for damages, not including medical expenses or future medical expenses caused by the malpractice.

What are typical examples of medical malpractice?

There are many ways that a patient can experience malpractice. Some of the more common examples include:

  • Unnecessary surgeries
  • Surgical or anesthesia errors
  • Prescription errors
  • Poor aftercare or follow-up
  • Failure to diagnose
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Disregarding patient information or not collecting appropriate information

If you suspect you suffered from malpractice in a different way, consult with an experienced attorney who can review your case.

Is there a deadline for when a medical malpractice claim must be filed?

Yes. Under Louisiana law, medical malpractice cases must be filed within one year from the date of the alleged act, omission, or neglect, or within one year from the date of discovery of the alleged act, omission, or neglect. However, in all events, claims must be filed at the latest within a period of three years from the date of the alleged act, omission, or neglect. These deadlines make it critical that you call the medical malpractice lawyers at Nelson & Hammons, Attorneys At Law, as soon as possible if you think you may have a medical malpractice case.

Do I need an attorney to file a claim?

While you are not legally required to have an attorney in your medical malpractice claim, the services a lawyer offers are invaluable to your claim. Your legal representation can help you gather documents and evidence to build your case, consult with expert witnesses, determine the total cost of your injuries, negotiate for a fast settlement, help you avoid critical mistakes, and fight for you through litigation if necessary.

More Questions? Schedule A Free Consultation Today.

If you still have questions about your specific case and your own injuries, our medical malpractice lawyers at Nelson & Hammons, Attorneys At Law, would like to help you answer them. Call us at 318-716-7329 or send an email through our website to schedule your free, initial consultation appointment.