In Louisiana, the total amount recoverable for medical malpractice claims for injures to or death of a patient, not counting future medical care and related benefits shall not exceed $500,000, plus judicial interest. This means that the highest judgment one can receive against a doctor or other healthcare provider for an injury received from substandard care is half a million dollars plus interest from the date the claim is filed. However, any medical expenses you might incur as a result of the injury may still be paid by the Louisiana Patient Compensation Fund in addition to any judgment received. Any damages you might have such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of earning capacity are all subject to the cap on medical malpractice awards and the total of all damages cannot exceed $500,000. There is a similar cap on damages for healthcare providers working for the State of Louisiana.
The majority of healthcare providers in Louisiana are enrolled in the Louisiana Patient Compensation Fund or the State. Private healthcare providers who are enrolled in the fund pay surcharges, which may vary on the type of practice they are in, and the fund acts as an “excess insurer” for the provider. Participation in the Patient Compensation Fund deems the healthcare provider as “qualified.” Qualified healthcare providers are only financially responsible for the first $100,000 of any judgment for damages rendered against them for malpractice. The balance of any reward is payed directly by the Fund. Accordingly, if the maximum judgment of $500,000 is imposed on a qualified healthcare provider, the provider will only be personally responsible for one fifth of the award or $100,000.
Generally, medical malpractice claims must be filed within one year from the date of the malpractice or one year from when the malpractice has been discovered. Regardless of when the injury is discovered, all claims must be filed within three years of when the malpractice occurred. This means that you only have one year from the date the malpractice is discovered until you can file a claim with the Louisiana Compensation Fund and at the most, three years after when the malpractice occurred. If a claim is not brought timely, then you will be barred from recovering any damages from the doctor or hospital that committed the malpractice against you.
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If you have suffered an injury due to substandard medical care, and you are considering filing a personal injury/medical malpractice claim, contact an experienced 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.