Opelousas Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Doran & Cawthorne, P.L.L.C. Is Here to Help You
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider fails to provide a patient with a standard of care that is known to be necessary for them to receive proper treatment. This can occur in a variety of ways, from an incorrect diagnosis to a misread test result. In some cases, a doctor will prescribe a treatment that is known to be dangerous for a patient, such as a medication that interacts badly with another medication the patient is taking. In other cases, a doctor will make a mistake during a surgery, causing serious injury or even death.
If you or someone you love has suffered harm due to medical malpractice, you should talk to a medical malpractice lawyer at Doran & Cawthorne, P.L.L.C. We can help you understand your legal rights and can guide you through the process of filing a claim for compensation. Our firm handles cases throughout the state of Louisiana, including in the cities of Lafayette, Lake Charles, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport.
Request an initial consultation by calling (337) 222-3526 or by submitting an online request form. Our Opelousas medical malpractice attorneys are ready to help you fight for the compensation you need and deserve.
What Types of Medical Malpractice Cases Does Our Firm Handle?
Medical malpractice is a broad term that covers many different types of negligence. Our firm handles all types of medical malpractice, including:
- Misdiagnosis: A misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor fails to diagnose a patient's condition or disease, even though the correct diagnosis is reasonably possible. This can occur when a patient is incorrectly tested for a certain disease or condition, when a test is read incorrectly, or when a doctor fails to consider other possible causes of the patient's symptoms.
- Failure to Diagnose: A doctor's failure to diagnose a condition can also be considered medical malpractice. In some cases, a doctor will fail to diagnose a condition even after the patient has specifically asked for a certain test.
- Failure to Treat: A doctor's failure to treat a condition is also considered medical malpractice. In this case, the doctor will know that the patient has a condition that requires treatment but will not provide it. This can occur when a patient with a severe infection is not given antibiotics or when a patient is not given a necessary surgery.
- Misdiagnosed Infection: A doctor's misdiagnosis of an infection can also be considered medical malpractice. In some cases, a patient will be diagnosed with a condition that is not an infection but will be treated as if it is. If the patient is treated for the wrong condition, they may be exposed to other infections or may not receive the treatment they need to fight the infection.
- Unnecessary Treatment: A doctor's unnecessary treatment of a condition is also considered medical malpractice. In this case, the patient will be given a treatment that is not known to be necessary for their condition. This can occur when a patient is given a medication or treatment that interacts badly with another medication or treatment they are already taking.
- Failure to Obtain Consent: A doctor's failure to obtain a patient's consent before performing a procedure or surgery is also considered medical malpractice. In this case, the doctor will perform a procedure or surgery on the patient without their consent or will fail to explain the risks and benefits of the procedure or surgery.
- Failure to Monitor: A doctor's failure to monitor a patient after a procedure is also considered medical malpractice. In this case, the doctor will perform a procedure or surgery on the patient but will fail to monitor them to ensure that they are recovering properly.
- Misdiagnosed Dental Problems: A doctor's misdiagnosis of a dental problem is also considered medical malpractice. In some cases, a patient will be diagnosed with a dental condition that is not an infection but will be treated as if it is. If the patient is treated for the wrong condition, they may be exposed to other infections or may not receive the treatment they need to fight the infection.
- Failure to Diagnose Preexisting Condition: A doctor's failure to diagnose a preexisting condition is also considered medical malpractice. In this case, the patient will have a condition that they already have when they see a doctor for a new condition. If the doctor fails to diagnose the preexisting condition, they may misdiagnose the new condition.
- Failure to Treat Preexisting Condition: A doctor's failure to treat a preexisting condition is also considered medical malpractice. In this case, the patient will have a condition that they already have when they see a doctor for a new condition. If the doctor fails to treat the preexisting condition, they may misdiagnose the new condition.
- Surgical Errors: Surgical malpractice involves mistakes made during surgical procedures, such as operating on the wrong body part, leaving surgical instruments inside the patient, or performing unnecessary surgery.
Proving Medical Malpractice
To succeed in a medical malpractice claim in Louisiana, plaintiffs (the individuals bringing the lawsuit) must typically prove several key elements. Louisiana law has specific requirements and procedures for medical malpractice cases. Here are the essential elements that plaintiffs must establish to succeed in such claims:
- Duty of Care: The plaintiff must demonstrate that the healthcare provider owed them a duty of care. In medical malpractice cases, this duty is generally established by showing that a doctor-patient relationship existed.
- Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must show that the healthcare provider breached the duty of care owed to them. This means demonstrating that the healthcare provider's actions or omissions deviated from the accepted standard of care. The standard of care is determined by what a reasonably competent healthcare provider in the same specialty would have done under similar circumstances.
- Causation: The plaintiff must establish a causal link between the healthcare provider's breach of duty and the harm suffered by the patient. In other words, the plaintiff must show that the healthcare provider's actions or negligence directly caused the patient's injuries or damages.
- Damages: The plaintiff must prove that they suffered actual harm or damages as a result of the healthcare provider's breach of duty. Damages can include physical injuries, emotional distress, medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.
Proving medical malpractice can be challenging, as it requires demonstrating that the healthcare provider deviated from the standard of care and that the deviation caused the patient's harm. Our experienced attorneys have the knowledge and resources necessary to investigate your case thoroughly and build a strong case on your behalf.
To prove medical malpractice, we may:
- Gather Medical Records and Other Evidence: We'll gather medical records, witness statements, and other evidence to help us understand what happened and who may be responsible for your injuries.
- Consult with Medical Experts: We'll consult with medical experts to help us understand the standard of care that should have been provided in your case, and to help us determine whether the healthcare provider deviated from that standard.
- Build a Strong Case: We'll use the evidence we've gathered to build a strong case on your behalf. We'll negotiate with insurance companies and, if necessary, take your case to court to seek the compensation you deserve.
Who is Liable for Medical Malpractice?
In a medical malpractice case, liability can extend to various parties. The specific individuals or entities who may be held liable for medical malpractice depend on the circumstances of the case.
Here are the primary parties who could potentially be held liable:
- Healthcare Providers: This category includes doctors, surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, physicians' assistants, and other licensed medical professionals who directly provide patient care. Healthcare providers can be held individually liable for their own negligent actions or omissions that result in harm to a patient.
- Hospitals and Medical Facilities: Hospitals, clinics, surgical centers, and other healthcare facilities can be held liable for medical malpractice under certain circumstances. Hospitals may be held vicariously liable for the actions of their employees, such as nurses or technicians, if the negligence occurred within the scope of their employment. Additionally, hospitals may be held directly liable for issues such as inadequate staffing, improper maintenance of equipment, or negligent hiring practices.
- Medical Staff and Employees: Besides healthcare providers directly involved in patient care, other medical staff members such as pharmacists, laboratory technicians, and administrative personnel may also be held liable for medical malpractice if their actions or negligence contribute to patient harm.
- Healthcare Corporations or Organizations: In cases where healthcare is provided by large corporations or organizations, such as managed care entities, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), or group medical practices, these entities may be held liable for medical malpractice if their policies, procedures, or systemic failures contribute to patient harm.
- Manufacturers of Medical Devices or Pharmaceuticals: If a medical device or pharmaceutical product is defective or unreasonably dangerous, and its use results in patient harm, the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of the product may be held liable under product liability laws. This type of claim is separate from a traditional medical malpractice claim but may overlap in cases involving medical devices or medications.
- Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities: Facilities that provide long-term care to elderly or dependent individuals can be held liable for medical malpractice if they fail to provide a reasonable standard of care, resulting in harm to residents. This may include issues such as neglect, abuse, medication errors, or inadequate supervision.
Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases
If you've been the victim of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Damages in medical malpractice cases can include:
- Medical Expenses: Medical malpractice can result in significant medical bills, including expenses related to hospital stays, surgeries, and ongoing treatment.
- Lost Wages: If you've had to miss work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
- Pain and Suffering: Medical malpractice can cause physical pain, emotional distress, and other forms of suffering. You may be entitled to compensation for these damages.
- Wrongful Death: If your loved one died as a result of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, funeral expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
Why Choose Doran & Cawthorne, P.L.L.C.?
At Doran & Cawthorne, P.L.L.C., we understand how overwhelming it can be to deal with the aftermath of medical malpractice. We're here to provide compassionate, effective legal representation to help you recover the compensation you deserve.
Our attorneys have decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases, and we've recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients over the years. We're dedicated to helping our clients understand their legal rights and options and providing personalized attention throughout the legal process.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means you don't pay anything unless we win your case.
Contact Us Today!
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice in Opelousas, Louisiana, or the surrounding areas, don't wait to seek legal representation. Contact Doran & Cawthorne, P.L.L.C. today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys. We're here to help you seek justice and recover the compensation you deserve.
An injury is a devastating thing to have to deal with and a legal case on top of it can seem impossible. Our firm’s personal injury attorneys are able to offer peace of mind when you know that someone with experience and commitment is handling the situation.
When a case can’t be worked out through negotiation, Doran & Cawthorne has no qualms about taking the matter to court. Whether before a judge, or jury, we will gather the evidence necessary to present your case before the fact-finder in the best light.
It is all too common for insurance companies to offer less than what they know to be fair. Our lawyers will negotiate on your behalf, and won’t compromise for anything less than the amount they know you should be receiving.
Our lawyers don’t just talk it…we strive to deliver. You can rest assured you’ll have experienced personal injury counsel with Doran & Cawthorne on your side.
Having handled hundreds, if not thousands of injury cases in Louisiana, Texas and elsewhere, we can assess the best options for each case.
Our firm’s attorneys will guide you in the right direction to make sure your case is developed effectively to your advantage.