Epidurals are most commonly used for patients giving birth, but they can be used in other medical treatments. For example, epidurals are sometimes used for other surgical procedures and for chronic pain.
Regardless of why you needed an epidural, you could be entitled to compensation if your doctor did something wrong and the epidural caused additional injuries or infections. If the doctor failed to properly administer the epidural and you suffered severe pain anyway, that could also be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Additionally, other epidural complications could rise to the level of malpractice if the doctor made a mistake or an unacceptable error in judgment.
For a free review of your potential case, call our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers today. Reach out to Rice, Murtha & Psoras by calling (410) 694-7291.
Can You Sue a Doctor for Mistakes and Complications with Epidurals in Maryland?
Generally speaking, a doctor can be sued for any medical mistakes and errors that they make if those mistakes rise to the level of negligence. Complications and mistakes involving epidurals are no different; if your doctor made a mistake that injured you, caused an infection, or otherwise left you with additional complications or pain, you could potentially be entitled to sue them for medical malpractice.
Elements of Malpractice
To prove medical malpractice, your Harford County medical malpractice lawyer will need to show that the care you received went wrong in some way. More specifically, they must show that the doctor deviated from the “standard of care” in how they treated you.
Examples of Potential Medical Malpractice Involving Epidurals
This could involve mistakes like the following:
- Failing to properly sterilize the site of the epidural injection, resulting in infection
- Failing to properly administer the epidural, resulting in the pain of the procedure proceeding unchecked
- Mixing an epidural with other medication in a dangerous way
- Failing to administer a requested epidural without medical or practical justification
- Causing nerve damage during the administration
- Failing to check for a patient’s known health history issues with epidurals
These and other issues could potentially constitute malpractice. However, it is important to understand that the decision of whether or not your case does constitute malpractice will be one that the defense will fight.
Proving a Malpractice Claim
Often, these cases need to be decided by a judge or a jury to get to the heart of the question: did the doctor do something wrong? Both sides will usually provide testimony from experts who can analyze what happened and opine on whether the doctor did or did not commit malpractice. It is then up to the jury to make the final decision as to whether the issue was a reasonable mistake, a normal complication, or actual malpractice. Our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers will support your case every step of the way and prove that what happened to you did indeed involve malpractice.
How Do You Know if an Epidural Went Wrong?
Before you can consider filing a lawsuit for what happened with your epidural, you need to know whether something actually went wrong in the first place. It can be difficult for a patient without medical training to identify whether their experience with an epidural involved any problems to begin with. It can then be even harder to identify whether the problem was a normal complication or malpractice. Our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers can help you figure out the answers to both questions by consulting with experts.
Did Something Go Wrong?
First, you will want to seek a second opinion on what happened to determine whether there as a problem. After being treated with an epidural, you might feel that things aren’t right. This could include tingling sensations, an infection, lumps or bumps, or a suspicion that the epidural didn’t seem as effective as it should have been.
You might not be able to identify whether any of these suspicions are correct until you have another doctor review what happened to you. Our Maryland personal injury lawyers can help set you up with a second opinion so a doctor can help you determine if anything went wrong and what care you might need to treat the mistakes.
Does it Constitute Malpractice?
Second, we will need an expert to examine you and determine whether malpractice was the cause of the injury.
Before medical malpractice cases can be filed in Maryland, Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 3-2A-04 requires the plaintiff to seek a “certificate of qualified experts.” This is sometimes called a “certificate of merit” and is essentially a statement from a medical expert saying that they believe that the patient has a valid malpractice claim.
You will again need an expert to testify in court and give their expert opinion as part of the case itself. Here, it is likely that the defendant will produce their own expert witness, and much of the case might come down to whether the jury believes your expert or the defendant’s expert. It is important to have an experienced Baltimore personal injury attorney present and argue your case to put you in a strong position to meet the burden of proof and prove your epidural malpractice case.
Damages for Epidural Mistakes in Maryland Malpractice Cases
If the court does find in your favor that your doctor’s mistakes with your epidural constituted medical malpractice, you could be entitled to any damages resulting from the injury. This could include additional medical appointments and surgeries to treat the complications. It could also include the cost of ongoing rehabilitation, lost wages, and other effects of serious complications. Talk to our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers for more details about the damages in your specific case.
Call Our Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers for Epidural Mistakes
For a free review of your potential medical malpractice case, call our Ocean Cty personal injury attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras today. Our phone number is (410) 694-7291.