Just because a court finds that a doctor committed medical malpractice, this does not mean the doctor will lose his or her medical license. Actually, in the vast majority of cases where the doctor is found to be guilty of malpractice, the doctor does not lose their license. An article published by the Times-Picayune stated that in a ten year span, only 27 doctors had their licenses revoked while approximately 1,000 doctors were found guilty of malpractice. While this may be disheartening to some patients that were injured due to sub-standard treatment by a physician or other health provider, it is not the duty of the civil justice system to regulate the healthcare industry.
The purpose of the civil justice system is to make the person that was injured “whole” again. The court is there to provide an outlet for injured victims to be compensated for their injuries. The jury determines whether or not the doctor breached the standard of care required by the profession. If the jury finds the doctor did in fact breach the standard of care, the jury will then determine damages (subject to the medical malpractice cap in Louisiana). The judge or jury do not impose criminal or professional sanctions on doctors unless the doctor’s actions are found to be intentional. However, most medical malpractice cases deal with failure to follow accepted standards of care and unintentional injuries. Medical standards of care are like motor vehicle rules of the road or traffic signals that are sometimes violated and cause serious injury, even when the doctor acted in good faith and did not intend to cause injury. In those situations, money damages should be properly awarded to an injured patient in a civil suit, but will not affect the doctor’s license to practice medicine.
Medical licensing sanctions will usually involve situations where the general public is at a significant risk of harm by allowing the doctor to continue to practice medicine and the doctor has conducted his or herself in a manner detrimental to his patients or the public, either knowingly or with gross neglect. In those cases, there is a potential for both civil liability and professional sanction. However, as the Times-Picayune has reported, less than 3 doctors have had their licenses revoked annually, while unfortunately medical malpractice is much more common, and injured patients should be fairly compensated where weight of the evidence establishes a violation of the standard of care.
Contact an Experienced New Orleans Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you have been involved in an incident where you are considering filing a medical malpractice personal injury claim, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer first. The attorneys at Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC can advise you of your legal rights and work closely with you to develop a strategy for your claim. Our clients benefit from our years of combined experience, and so can you. Schedule a consultation now at 844-285-0267 or fill out our online contact form with your questions.