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    Liability in Hammond Medical Malpractice Claims

    Most people trust medical professionals to do their best to cure their diseases, relieve their symptoms, and support their overall health and wellness. Unfortunately, that faith is sometimes misplaced, and a medical professional may make a mistake that can worsen your illness or ailment.

    If a doctor, nurse, hospital, pharmacist, or other licensed health care provider has made an error that caused you harm, you deserve compensation. The rules regarding liability in Hammond medical malpractice claims are complicated to navigate, but a medical negligence lawyer who understands the local system could help you seek justice.

    What is Medical Malpractice?

    In legal terms, medical malpractice is the failure of a licensed medical professional to provide care in accordance with the applicable standard. The standard of care is the quality of care that a similarly credentialed and experienced provider would have offered in similar circumstances.

    In every medical malpractice case, the patient has the responsibility to prove that malpractice occurred. The patient and their attorney must establish the applicable standard of care, show how the medical professional failed to meet the standard, and prove that the failure to meet the standard of care caused harm to the patient.

    Malpractice could encompass poorly executed actions during a surgery, such as operating on the wrong side of the body, and actions a medical professional failed to take, such as allowing an immobile patient to develop bedsores. Any of the following might be medical malpractice if the professional did not meet the standard of care:

    • Botched surgical procedures
    • Failure to diagnose or misdiagnosing a serious medical condition
    • Administering dangerous medications or prescribing an incorrect dosage
    • Improperly filling a prescription
    • Neglect, such as allowing a dementia patient to wander unsupervised
    • Failing to take medically warranted actions, such as delaying a Caesarian Section

    A person who suffers harm in any of these circumstances should seek the advice of  a Hammond attorney to determine liability in their case and assess whether they are eligible to file a medical malpractice claim.

    Damages in Hammond Medical Malpractice Cases

    Louisiana Revised Statutes §40:1231.2 imposes a limit on the damages a plaintiff might collect in medical malpractice cases. The state caps the total amount that a plaintiff could collect for their medical expenses, lost wages, diminished future earning capacity, physical pain, and mental anguish at $500,000.

    Even if a medical malpractice claim goes to trial and a jury offers a larger verdict, the Judge must set aside the jury award if it exceeds the statutory limit of $500,000.  This relatively low cap on damages might deprive some severely injured people of an award that adequately compensates them for all of their losses.

    There are some exceptions to the damages cap. Expenses related to future medical treatment that the plaintiff will require because of their malpractice-related condition are not included in the limit. Also, if the healthcare provider does not participate in Louisiana’s Patient Compensation Fund, the caps do not apply. An experienced attorney in the Hammond area could determine whether the target medical provider participates in the fund and craft a demand for damages accordingly.

    Patient Compensation Fund Limits Provider Liability

    Most physicians and hospitals in the area participate in the Patient Compensation Fund, which acts as an insurance fund for participating healthcare providers.

    When a physician in Hammond who participates in the fund is found liable for medical malpractice, they are liable for the first $100,000 that the plaintiff receives as damages. The physician’s private professional liability insurance typically pays that claim.

    If the plaintiff’s award exceeds $100,000, the Patient Compensation Fund will pay the balance. The fund also pays for any continuing or future medical care the patient will require because of the malpractice.

    Rely on a Skilled Hammond Attorney to Pursue Your Medical Malpractice Claim

    Medical malpractice cases involve extensive legal knowledge. Proving liability in a Hammond medical malpractice claim may require a seasoned advocate who understands the law and the process of a court case.

    A local lawyer is ready to pursue your case, but success may depend on your immediate action. If you suspect you are a victim of medical malpractice, schedule a consultation today.