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What You Need to Know

Did you know?

If you negligently cause a catastrophic injury or death to someone else, there is no “cap” on the damages that could be awarded against you, unlike wealthy hospitals, nursing homes and their insurance companies who only have to pay up to $100,000.00 no matter how severe the injury may be.
man in hospital bed with visitor holding his hand

The Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act

Louisiana’s Medical Malpractice Act was enacted by the Legislature in 1975 when Gerald Ford was president of the United States. The cap on damages was imposed without any cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) modifier built into the statute to account for inflation over the years.

Since 1975, Social Security general benefits have been indexed to cost of living adjustments (COLA) that maintain the level of benefits against inflation. For example, in 2022, the SSA increased benefits for 2023 by 8.7%.

Louisiana’s Medical Malpractice Act cap on damages has never been adjusted for cost of living increases since 1975 and lobbyists for the healthcare industry have resisted every attempt to raise the cap in the Louisiana Legislature since then.

Facts About The Cap

Louisiana’s Medical Malpractice Act cap on damages has never been adjusted for cost of living increases since 1975 and lobbyists for the healthcare industry have resisted every attempt to raise the cap in the Louisiana Legislature since then.

The $100,000.00 provider “cap” set in 1975 would be worth $551,667.29 in 2023 dollars based upon cumulative inflation of 451.67% since 1975.

This cap is a “hard cap” of total damages that can be paid and includes loss of income and all other forms of damages except medical expenses. Only six other states have “hard caps” like Louisiana. Other caps exclude loss of income, for example.

The Problem

Louisiana’s Medical Malpractice “trifecta” protects wealthy hospitals, nursing homes and the medical industry while severely restricting the rights of their victims.

The medical review panel system, hard cap on damages and the future medical trust fund are the three parts of the trifecta that limits full, fair compensation for life-altering injuries and death from medical malpractice.

Louisiana’s one year statute of limitations for medical malpractice is the shortest in the nation and designed to limit victims’ rights to seek compensation. No other state in the Deep South has such a short time limit.

No lawsuit can be filed against a medical institution or provider covered by the Act until it is first submitted to a medical review panel of Louisiana doctors who decide if one of their professional colleagues or hospitals committed malpractice. These panels are conducted in secret and are not made public unless a lawsuit is filed.

What about the future?

Future medical damages and compensation for future medically related services cannot be awarded for medical malpractice that causes lifelong injury and need for medical care, such as paralysis or birth injuries.

Instead, funds for future medical care are “held in trust” by a state agency (the Patient Compensation Fund or “PCF”) and only paid directly to medical providers as the Patient Compensation Fund deems them warranted.

With the future medical trust fund, victims and their families do not control their own future medical care; a state agency does and is free to dispute a victim’s right to treatments, medications, or other related benefits.

hospital bed floor

Are you or a loved one a victim of medical malpractice?

Your story matters, and we want to hear it.