Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Medical malpractice can have devastating consequences, including life-changing or fatal injuries. Victims and their families should contact an experienced law firm to discuss whether compensation may be available.

Galloway Jefcoat has been a tireless advocate for the injured in Louisiana for more than 25 years. Our law firm has obtained millions in compensation and our services come with no upfront costs. The initial legal consultation is also free of charge.

Medical malpractice cases are some of the most complicated personal injury cases, especially in Louisiana. Our Louisiana medical malpractice lawyers have extensive knowledge of state laws governing these claims and how to build a strong case. We know receiving compensation cannot change what happened. However, it can help victims treat their injuries and manage the many other complications that may result from the situation.

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What Is Medical Malpractice in Louisiana?

Under Louisiana Revised Statute 40:1231.1 (13), medical malpractice refers to an unintentional tort or breach of contract for health care services that were provided or that should have been provided to a patient. This can include a failure to provide services in a timely fashion or acts or omissions related to:

    • Procuring blood or blood components
    • Training or supervision of healthcare providers
  • Defects with medicines, transplants, tissue or blood
  • Defects or failures with prosthetic devices implanted in or used on a patient

In other words, medical malpractice represents a failure of a healthcare provider to uphold the standard of care when treating a patient. Sometimes this means doctors failed to do something and sometimes it means the doctor did something he or she should not have done.

Louisiana applies a local standard of health care. What this means is doctors and other healthcare providers are expected to provide a degree of care that is ordinarily exercised by other providers in a similar locale or community.

Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

If you were seriously injured during your medical treatment and you have reason to believe it could have been prevented, you should call an experienced lawyer to discuss the situation.

A lawyer can review your injuries and your medical treatment to determine if there may be a case. Your lawyer will need to know:

  • The injuries you suffered and their severity
  • What medical condition doctors were treating
  • If you have sought treatment for your injuries
  • The types of doctors you have sought treatment from
  • When you reported the injury that may have been caused by medical malpractice
  • And more

While some incidents of medical malpractice are obvious, like operating on the wrong body part, other incidents of medical malpractice are harder to evaluate, such as misdiagnosis or causing a patient to develop an infection.

If you think doctors should have done something differently during your treatment, such as taking additional steps to prevent an injury or refer you to a specialist, you should look into your legal options.

Types of Medical Malpractice

There are numerous examples of medical malpractice. If you have reason to believe you were a victim of any form of malpractice, our Louisiana medical malpractice lawyers are ready to help.

Surgical Mistakes

A lot can go wrong during surgery. However, while there are some acceptable risks, there are other risks that are unacceptable, such as:

  • Operating on the wrong body part
  • Leaving surgical tools and other objects inside patients
  • Causing an infection by using unsanitary medical tools
  • Damaging surrounding organs and tissues
  • And more


Sometimes doctors misdiagnose illnesses. They may diagnose a patient with one illness when the patient is suffering from something else. Doctors may also fail to diagnose an illness and tell the patient he or she has a clean bill of health.

Misdiagnosis can be especially dangerous with certain medical conditions, like cancer, a heart attack or a stroke.

Birth Injuries

These are injuries that occur during pregnancy, labor or delivery of a baby. For example, if doctors are not careful, the fetus could suffer a loss of oxygen that could cause permanent brain damage. Delivery can be dangerous, as the fetus could suffer a brachial plexus injury if doctors pull too hard or use medical tools incorrectly.

Failure to Resuscitate

Doctors need to act quickly to save some patients’ lives. Unfortunately, some doctors wait too long to act, or they do not take the appropriate steps to resuscitate a patient. Sometimes these cases boil down to a failure to closely monitor the patient.

Failure To Provide Post-Operative Care

While doctors need to be cautious during surgery, they also need to perform up to the standard of care afterward. For example, doctors need to closely monitor the patient in case his or her vital signs begin to crash. Doctors also need to watch for signs of excessive bleeding or infection.

Negligent Referral

Sometimes doctors need to refer patients to other doctors. For example, you may have an injury that needs to be treated by a specialist. Unfortunately, sometimes doctors fail to make a referral or they refer a patient to the wrong type of doctor.

Medication Errors

This includes errors with prescription medication and errors with anesthesia during surgery. For example, doctors could prescribe a medication that causes an allergic reaction or a dangerous interaction with another medication the patient is taking.

Anesthesia errors can be life-threatening, as patients could suffer permanent brain damage or a dangerous loss of oxygen. This is often caused by failing to properly monitor the patient while he or she is under anesthesia.

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Why Victims Should Discuss Their Injuries With an Experienced Lawyer

Proving medical malpractice is a complex task, particularly in Louisiana. One reason is claims against qualified healthcare providers must be submitted to a medical review panel before a lawsuit can be filed, according to the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act.

Qualified healthcare providers are those that have presented proof of financial responsibility and paid an annual surcharge to the state Patient’s Compensation Fund. While there are some non-qualified healthcare providers in Louisiana, most have taken the steps to become qualified.

The panel is composed of three healthcare providers who review the claim and issue an opinion as to whether the defendant failed to uphold appropriate standards of care. One of the panelists is selected by the victim’s attorney, one is selected by the defendant and the third is chosen by both sides together.

You can still file a lawsuit if the panel issues an unfavorable opinion, but it may be harder to get a favorable decision from a jury.

An experienced lawyer can determine if you may have a viable claim and whether the medical review panel is likely to issue a favorable decision.

Galloway Jefcoat’s experienced Louisiana medical malpractice lawyers also have detailed knowledge of the other laws that govern these cases, including:

  • Statute of limitations, including when the statute may be paused or “tolled”
  • Caps on damages from medical malpractice claims
  • Requirements for medical experts to testify in your lawsuit
  • How Louisiana’s comparative negligence law may affect your claim
  • And more

Another benefit to hiring an experienced lawyer is that he or she can manage the legal process on your behalf. That means your lawyer can communicate with the attorney or attorneys representing the defendant. Your lawyer can also:

  • Ensure legal documents are error-free and filed on time
  • Find the appropriate medical expert or experts to testify in your case
  • Thoroughly investigate your injuries and medical treatment to determine where doctors may have failed to uphold the standard of care
  • Evaluate your damages to determine how much compensation you may be able to recover
  • Quickly answer your questions and update you on the status of your case

Medical malpractice is difficult to prove and there is no way victims can accurately determine if they may have a case without talking to an experienced lawyer. There is limited time to act so it is critical to call a lawyer as soon as possible.

How Much Time Do You Have To File a Lawsuit?

Louisiana gives medical malpractice victims just one year to file a lawsuit. The one-year clock starts ticking on the date malpractice allegedly occurred. If you try to file a lawsuit more than one year from the date of the alleged malpractice, the other party can file a motion in court to have the case dismissed.

There is an exception for situations when negligence is hidden from view, such as when a medical tool was left inside the patient’s body during surgery. In these situations, victims have one year from the date they discovered possible negligence to file a lawsuit.

However, Louisiana sets a final limitation of three years on claims where negligence was not immediately apparent. What this means is no claim may be filed more than three years from the date of malpractice, no matter when the victim discovered malpractice.

What if the Victim Is a Minor?

Louisiana does not have a different statute of limitations for minors who may have been victims of medical malpractice. The same one-year deadline applies to claims involving minors.

The Statute of Limitations Is Paused For the Medical Review Panel

Once your lawyer submits a request for the medical review panel to review your case, the statute of limitations will be paused. The statute will not start running until 90 days from the date the panel does one of the following things:

  • Issues an opinion about your claim
  • Tells your lawyer the other party is not qualified for the medical review panel
  • Dismisses the claim because panelists were not chosen within one year

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Compensation From Louisiana Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice can cause catastrophic injuries that require additional medical treatment, which may include:

  • Surgery
  • Additional testing
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Use of durable medical equipment (wheelchair, powerchair, crutches, cane, brace, etc.)
  • Appointments with doctors
  • And more

Many victims miss work, resulting in lost wages. Some have permanent injuries that limit their ability to work for the rest of their lives.

There are also non-economic damages to consider, as medical malpractice can cause significant pain and suffering. These damages includes both physical and emotional pain and suffering. For example, victims may develop mental health issues because of how their injuries have affected their lives.

There can be lost enjoyment of life because victims can no longer take part in the activities they once enjoyed.

You might suffer lost companionship because your injuries have a negative effect on your relationship with your spouse.

Our Louisiana medical malpractice lawyers are prepared to pursue compensation for all the damages you suffered. We know how to evaluate these claims to determine all the damages that may be involved and how to establish their value. This assessment involves many steps, including gathering your medical bills and working with medical experts to determine future medical costs.

Does Louisiana Cap Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases?

Louisiana limits the amount of compensation medical malpractice victims can recover in a lawsuit to $500,000 plus interest and costs. While some states only limit noneconomic damages, Louisiana limits all medical malpractice damages.

That said, state law makes an exception for future medical bills. You may be able to seek compensation for these costs from the Patient’s Compensation Fund.

Liability For Medical Malpractice Injuries and Damages

Medical malpractice victims have the burden of proof, which means they must provide evidence of medical malpractice. There are four elements of medical malpractice:

  • Doctor-patient relationship – This relationship is established when you receive treatment or when you agree to receive treatment from a doctor.
  • Failure to uphold the standard of care – Your lawyer must provide evidence that the doctor or other healthcare provider failed to uphold the standard of care. In Louisiana, this means the provider did not exercise the degree of care expected of healthcare providers in a similar community.
  • Breach of the standard of care directly caused your injury – This is one of the central issues in a medical malpractice case. Your lawyer must establish that the healthcare provider’s actions directly led to your injuries.
  • Damages from the injury – You must provide proof of damages from your injuries, such as medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.

While doctors are often the ones held liable for medical malpractice, there are many other healthcare providers who could be held liable in Louisiana, including:

  • Licensed nurses
  • Certified nurse assistants
  • Pharmacist
  • Optometrist
  • Podiatrist
  • Physical therapist
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Chiropractors
  • Paramedics
  • Radiologists
  • Pharmacy technicians

While individuals could be held liable for medical malpractice, other entities that are licensed or certified by Louisiana to provide health care may also be held liable. These parties could include:

  • Limited liability partnerships
  • Limited liability companies
  • Corporations
  • Facilities

Galloway Jefcoat’s medical malpractice lawyers in Louisiana are here to help victims seek compensation. We know how to identify all liable parties and build a strong case to pursue the justice and compensation you need.

Contact Galloway Jefcoat today: 337-984-8020.

Call Our Louisiana Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

How do you know if you may have a medical malpractice case? How do you prove doctors failed to uphold the standard of care during your treatment?

These are complex questions that a licensed Louisiana medical malpractice lawyer can answer in a free legal consultation. Our firm has obtained millions for injured victims and our services are provided at no upfront cost.

We know how devastating medical malpractice can be. We also know how to hold liable parties accountable and secure compensation for economic and non-economic damages.

Unsure what to do after a medical malpractice injury? Call today: