Along with your complaint there is a filing fee of $100 per health care provider that has to be paid. Once the complaint is filed and the filing fee is paid, a Medical Review Panel will be formed. A Medical Review Panel consists of three doctors. The claimant gets to pick one of the doctors, the health care provider gets to pick one of the doctors and then those two doctors choose a third doctor to serve on the panel. The whole medical review panel will be overseen by an attorney called the Attorney Chairman whose job it is to see that the panel meets and renders its opinion in compliance with the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act.
At the meeting of the medical review panel, the doctors meet and review your complaint and evidentiary submissions by both you and the health care provider and render an opinion as to whether they think the health care provider committed malpractice. Not surprisingly, the three doctors almost always find that the health care provider did not commit malpractice. Most health care providers have had a complaint filed against them and they all know that their actions might be reviewed by a medical review panel one day.
The medical review panel process can be long and complicated but in Louisiana you cannot file a medical malpractice lawsuit against certain health care providers until you have gone through the medical review panel process.