It is an unfortunate fact that, even with all the advances in technology these days, each year far too many Americans suffer due to medical malpractice incidents. Failures to diagnose diseases, wrong-site surgeries and prescription medication mix-ups are just a few examples of how a Louisiana resident might suffer harm due to mistakes made by medical professionals. Fortunately, many of these victims may be able to attempt to recover financial compensation by filing a medical malpractice claim. But, how do you prove fault in such a case?
Millions of Louisianans and others across the United States are admitted to surgical centers each year expecting top-notch medical service, but unfortunately, medical malpractice is a serious concern in our country. Some medical errors can be corrected, but others may be permanent. For example, when a health care professional performs the wrong surgery, the victim may be left with few options to recover their full health.
It is probably hard for many of our readers to imagine going to the doctor or a hospital expecting to receive first-rate medical care, only to come out of the situation much worse off than before. But, the sad reality is that medical malpractice is more common than anyone would probably like to acknowledge. The prevalence of medical malpractice can make Louisiana residents think twice before going to the doctor.
Medical malpractice can cause significant harm to victims and their families. As a result, legal protections are available for victims of medical malpractice. Victims of medical malpractice, such as a failure to diagnose, erroneous diagnosis or treatment or delayed diagnosis, may be able to recover compensation for damages, including physical, financial and emotional damages. Damages can include medical expenses, lost earnings and pain and suffering damages.
There are a number of different reasons that Louisiana residents can decide to put a loved one in a nursing home, but mostly all of them revolve around the fact that they want to give their family member the skilled care and attention they require in their old age or in a compromised health situation. Even when someone thoroughly vets a nursing home and its staff, it is still possible that nursing home neglect can occur. That is why it is important to recognize the signs of nursing home neglect.
In Louisiana, before a medical malpractice suit can proceed in court, it must be reviewed by a three-person board that has to decide if there is merit to the aggrieved patient's claim. As per state law, the reviewing panel should be staffed with doctors who have expertise in the medical field that is under question. They determine if there was a breach in the standard of care that was being provided to the patient and even though their decision is not binding, their findings can hold evidentiary value in court.
We attribute much of our society's medical success to advances in medical technology. New devices and testing procedures allow medical professionals to more quickly and accurately diagnose injuries and illnesses, as well as treat them more effectively. However, despite the success of many of these devices, others pose a serious threat to patients whether due to lack of testing or doctors whose decisions to use such devices are swayed by seemingly improper incentives.
No one likes to admit that they are wrong, especially if the mistake has serious consequences. A doctor's mistake or a surgical error is one of those instances where the repercussions can be life altering, not only for the medical professional but also for the patient and their family members. The blog post last week discussing the standard of care owed to patients might make it seem like medical professionals are held to a higher standard, but this is only because the stakes are so high.
When a Louisiana resident's medical condition worsens at the hands of the doctor or medical professional they approached to receive treatment in the first instance, they may be considering filing a medical malpractice suit against the negligent doctor. One of the terms that they may find themselves coming face to face with again and again might be 'standard of care'. It is important to understand what this means and how this is relevant to a plaintiff's case.
According to an AARP scorecard on states' performances on meeting standards for long-term care for elderly people and disabled people, Louisiana ranked 40th. This study highlighted the need for the state to step up its pace to meet changing demographic demands and do justice for its elderly population.