The Medical Review Panel is a group of three health care professional who review your case and determine whether or not the doctor, nurse or hospital you sued committed medical malpractice. The Medical Malpractice Act devotes a section to how this panel is convened for the purposes of assessing your malpractice claim.
One do is chosen by the Plaintiff, another doctor is chosen by the Defendant and the third doctor is chosen by both doctors. There are some rules if there is disagreement, but, generally, this is how the panel is formed. The doctors must be licensed in the State of Louisiana and must practice in the specialty of the doctor who you are suing.
So if an obstetrician or mid-wife injured your baby at birth, then the health care providers comprising the panel must be the same. This way, it is presumed panel members will have in-depth knowledge about the standards of care required to assess the Defendant’s actions.
The Medical Review Panel is allowed to make only four determinations:
(1) The evidence supports the conclusion that the defendant or defendants failed to comply with the appropriate standard of care as charged in the complaint.
(2) The evidence does not support the conclusion that the defendant or defendants failed to meet the applicable standard of care as charged in the complaint.
(3) That there is a material issue of fact, not requiring expert opinion, bearing on liability for consideration by the court.
(4) When Paragraph (1) of this Subsection is answered in the affirmative, that the conduct complained of was or was not a factor of the resultant damages. If such conduct was a factor, whether the plaintiff suffered: (a) any disability and the extent and duration of the disability, and (b) any permanent impairment and the percentage of the impairment.
In about 95% of the cases, the Medical Review Panel finds in favor of the defendant doctors. So, it is important that you make the best case possible the first time, so you don’t lose your chance at the panel. And, even if you lose – which happens in most instances – you can still file a law suit in court, within 90 days of being notified by mail that the panel ruled against you. After that, you are likely out of luck.
If you have any questions about Medical Review Panels, how they are formed and what to do to ensure you get the best chance of winning your clam, give us a call at 504-684-5455 so you can get the answers to your questions for FREE.