Louisiana Jury Instructions: Less than Even Chance of Survival – Lost Chance of Survival

Even if the negligence of a doctor did not cause the patient’s death, because he was likely to have died anyway, damages can still be awarded if the doctor’s negligence caused the patient to lose a less-than-even chance of survival. A loss of a chance of survival in any degree is compensable in damages. To establish causation in a situation when the patient dies, the survivor need only prove that the defendant’s medical negligence resulted in the patient’s loss of a chance of survival. The survivor does not have to prove that the patient would have survived if properly treated. Martin v. East Jefferson General Hosp., 582 So.2d 1272, 1278 (La. 1991); Hastings v. Baton Rouge General Hosp., 498 So.2d 713, 720 (La. 1986); and Smith v. State, 95-0038 (La. 6/25/96); 676 So.2d 543, 547.