is the Louisiana statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit?
First, readers who aren’t fluent in “legalese” could probably
use some background information. A
statute of limitations is a state law that sets a limit -- expressed in years
-- on the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit after you have suffered
some type of loss or injury. There are different deadlines depending on the
kind of lawsuit you want to file.
Like a lot of states, Louisiana has a dedicated statute of limitations
for a medical
malpractice lawsuit, and it specifies that the injured patient must file
their claim within one year of the health
care provider’s alleged action (or failure to act) that forms of the basis of
the case. Or, if the malpractice is not known of right away, the case must be
filed within one year of the date on which it is actually (or could reasonably
be) discovered by the plaintiff. Keep in mind that if you are relying on
this “discovery rule,” as the plaintiff you have the burden of proving that you
did not discover, and you could not have reasonably discovered, the occurrence
of the malpractice until the time when you finally took action.
You can read the full text of Louisiana’s medical
malpractice statute of limitations online at Louisiana Revised Statutes
The Louisiana law goes on to mandate that
every medical malpractice lawsuit “be filed at the latest within a period of three years from the date of the
alleged act, omission, or neglect.” This is known as a “statute of repose,” and it means that no
lawsuit can be filed if more than three years have passed since the malpractice
occurred, no matter how serious the medical
error might have been, and regardless of
whether the patient had a reasonable opportunity to discover that he or she was
harmed by it.
Having read all of this, you may be wondering what happens if
Louisiana’s statute of limitations deadline has passed, but you try to file
your medical malpractice lawsuit anyway. In that scenario, it’s a safe bet that
the doctor or health care facility you’re trying to sue will ask the court to
dismiss the case, and the court will grant the request. If that happens, that
will be the end of your lawsuit. That’s why it’s so important to understand the
statute of limitations Learn more about the Statute of Limitations in a Medical Malpractice Case.
by: David Goguen,