Despite increased regulations, advances in technology, digital documentation and extensive opportunities for continuing education, patients are victims to medical malpractice on a regular basis. Although most medical malpractice cases do not involve medical professionals who intended to cause harm, they do have long-term financial and physical consequences for patients. As in many states, Louisiana has a statute of limitations, requiring patients to file any suspected malpractice claim within a year of which the incident occurred.
Recently, in another state, a patient's malpractice claim was dismissed because it did not fall within that state's statute of limitations. According to the lawsuit, a patient suffering from a kidney stone underwent surgery to remove it. In the process of attempting to extract the stone, the surgeon used a guiding wire that the surgeon was not able to remove; consequently, it remained in the patient's kidney. Reportedly, the surgeon notified the patient of the wire the same day of the surgery.
Two months after the first surgery, the same surgeon performed surgery on the patient in an attempt to remove the wire, but was unsuccessful. Another couple of months later, a different surgeon made another attempt, but was only successful in removing the wire because he removed the entire kidney. The patient filed a malpractice claim several months later against the original surgeon, but the courts dismissed it. An appeals court dismissed the case due to it not being commenced within the state's statute of limitations. They ruled that the first surgery began the year within which he would have been allowed to file a claim.
Medical malpractice costs for a patient can add up quickly. In this case, the patient had to receive two additional surgeries which would have prolonged his recovery time, extended any needed therapy to recover and extended lost time at work. When focused on recovery, a patient may not realize the extent of the impact that medical malpractice can have on his or her life. Louisiana lawyers can advise patients who suspect they have been a victim of medical malpractice understand their litigation rights and options within the state's allotted statute of limitations.
Source: norcalrecord.com, "Medical-malpractice claim regarding wire in patient dismissed by California appellate court", Jessica Caimi, Feb. 15, 2017