In 1975, the State of Louisiana passed the Medical Malpractice Act which greatly changed the way medical malpractice claims must be brought in Louisiana. The two most significant changes in the law were a limitation on the rights of recovery of the victims of medical malpractice, and the Medical Review Panel process.
The limitation on recovery, or “cap,” is $500,000.00 for all pain and suffering, disability, loss of support and loss of income. This cap applies to victims of medical malpractice, as well as their surviving family members in the case of wrongful death. Despite a number of legal challenges to this limitation of rights, courts in Louisiana have held this law to be constitutional.
The second most significant change in the law involves the Medical Review Panel. A Medical Review Panel is formed each time a plaintiff files a medical malpractice claim, and is comprised of three healthcare providers. Their job is to review the evidence submitted in a fair and impartial manner, and then render an opinion as to whether the claims of medical malpractice are supported by the evidence. Although a Medical Review Panel is supposed to be fair, impartial and objective, the panels overwhelmingly rule in favor of the defendant doctor or hospital. This suggests that the panels are biased in favor of the healthcare providers and against their victims. Once the panel rules, and regardless of how it rules, a plaintiff may then file their suit in court.
If you are seeking an attorney for potential medical malpractice claims, it is essential that you select an attorney with experience in this complicated area of law. At Nowalsky & Gothard, we have represented the victims of medical malpractice, before Medical Review Panels and at trial, for 30 years.
Nowalsky & Gothard, APLLC
1420 Veterans Memorial Boulevard
Metairie, Louisiana 70005