The Reality of Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, it feels like you cannot go anywhere without hearing about Coronavirus. It is certainly filling everyone’s thoughts each day. There is so much that remains unknown, but during these times of doubt, the health and safety of our community is the top priority. coronoa

However, for some individuals, reality of the virus has already set in. Day after day, we watch the numbers of individuals being diagnosed with Coronavirus rapidly increase. Many families are also having to deal with death of loved ones as a result of this illness. Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID Director, recently revealed that between 100,000 and 240,000 of our fellow American’s could die from COVID-19.

With the quick spread of the virus across the nation, health care professionals have seen an influx of patients who need their attention. The high demand for treatment comes with concerns about potential liability of doctors and other health care workers for failing to diagnose or treat CVOID-19. We are human; we all make mistakes, but when we put our lives in the hands of a medical professional, we trust that we are receiving the best care possible.

Many hospitals are filling up fast, and beds and medical supplies are becoming scarce. During these difficult times, doctors are faced with the heavy responsibility of deciding which patients they believe should be admitted, which should be discharged, and who should be sent to ICU for critical treatment. Under the special circumstances of this pandemic, it would be a miracle if not one healthcare worker did not make an incorrect judgment call.

Medical professionals around the country are asking for protection from potential medical malpractice suits as Coronavirus continues to emerge. These concerns stem from the fact that many physicians are having to practice outside of their specialty areas, having to use unfamiliar equipment, or are working with limited resources.

doctor helping patient

Some states have passed orders granting temporary immunity to licensed health care workers in response to the virus. Because these healthcare workers are risking their lives and working outside of their comfort zones every day to save patients, the future of malpractice lawsuits related to Coronavirus remains unpredictable.

The applicable standard of care regarding COVID-19 is still uncertain. With the circumstances of this crisis, the bar to prove negligence for Coronavirus medical malpractice cases will likely be higher. With that said, a plaintiff who has been misdiagnosed or mistreated should still be protected if they have a valid claim.

According to Louisiana R.S. 9:2794, a plaintiff has the burden of proving:

(1) the degree of knowledge/ skill possessed or the degree of care typically exercised by health care providers of its kind in Louisiana or other similar locations;
(2) the health care provider lacked this degree of knowledge/ skill or failed to use due reasonable care and diligence; and
(3) as a result of a lack of knowledge/ skill or failure to exercise due care, the plaintiff suffered injuries which would not have occurred otherwise.

If you believe that you have been misdiagnosed or mistreated for COVID-19, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Although this may be a heavy burden to carry, a knowledgeable attorney who believes you have a valid medical malpractice claim can help to ensure you do not fall victim to this pandemic or the healthcare system.

medical malpractieIf you or a loved one has been affected by Coronavirus and would care to discuss your case, please contact us today. PHONE CARDONE at 504-522-3333 or 1-888-892-2736 or email us at ccardone@cardonelaw.com.

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