Patients trust medical professionals to provide competent, reliable health care. Unfortunately, physicians, nurses and other personnel can make mistakes that cause debilitating, life-altering injuries and illnesses.
As the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains, victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to compensation to pay for their medical expenses, lost income and other damages. However, this is a legally complex area of personal-injury law, and if you or a loved one was injured by a medical provider, then you should consult a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
If the incident happened in Louisiana, contact the Bowling Law Firm. David A. Bowling is a medical malpractice lawyer in New Orleans who can help you navigate the claims process. He has more than 30 years of trial experience.
Here are five important steps in a Louisiana medical malpractice claim:
1. Discuss the problem with your doctor immediately.
As soon as you realize that something is not right, call the doctor who is responsible. Schedule an appointment to discuss exactly what happened and the available options to resolve the issue.
Surgical complications are common and are sometimes easy to fix. Your physician will likely offer the treatment for free. However, if the malpractice caused an incurable complication, then it may be in your best interest to make a claim.
2. Get advice from a medical malpractice lawyer.
A New Orleans medical malpractice attorney can provide valuable insight into your legal options. Winning a medical malpractice claim requires strong evidence, and your lawyer can guide you through the claims process. He or she can also help you avoid mistakes such as settling for an amount that will not cover your ongoing medical bills.
3. Learn the statute of limitations.
You have one year to file a medical malpractice claim in Louisiana. This year begins on the day of the malpractice, or on the day that you found out about it.
If the statute of limitations expires, then you may not be able to recover compensation. You should also know that there is a cap on how much you can receive in these claims. In Louisiana, the cap is $500,000, according to the Louisiana Law Review.
4. Participate in an independent medical exam.
To verify the existence and extent of your injury, the defendant will likely request an independent medical examination. Unfortunately, the findings often support the hiring party. You should get your own independent opinion because an expert’s testimony may validate your claim.
5. Calculate the damages with the help of your medical malpractice attorney.
Settling early may be wise if your injury is not particularly serious; however, you should never accept a settlement unless it covers all of your past, present and future damages related to the malpractice. Your medical malpractice lawyer can calculate the damages and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf.
If you were the victim of a health-care worker’s negligence, contact the Bowling Law Firm. As a New Orleans medical malpractice attorney, David A. Bowling can help you fight for the maximum compensation. Call (504) 586-5200 to schedule a consultation.