Catonsville, MD Medical Malpractice Lawyer

Doctors are expected to provide medical care to the best of their knowledge and abilities. If a doctor’s treatment falls short of standards of care, patients might be injured, and the doctors might be liable for malpractice.

Not all instances of medical mistakes or failed treatments are considered malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to provide treatment that meets the standard of care. Some common examples include serious mistakes made during surgery, failure to warn patients of treatment risks, and failure to diagnose. To begin a lawsuit, we need to submit a certificate of a qualified expert supporting your medical malpractice claims. At this point, we can either go through mandatory arbitration or waive arbitration and proceed to a trial in the Circuit Court. Damages in medical malpractices are often very high, as many plaintiffs live with long-term complications, disabilities, and pain. Talk to your lawyer about when to file your case. There are strict deadlines that vary based on the plaintiff’s age and when they discovered the malpractice.

Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a private case review free of charge from our medical malpractice attorneys.

Examples of Medical Malpractice in Catonsville, MD

As mentioned above, not every case of failed treatment or medical mistake is considered malpractice. In fact, medical mistakes and errors happen all the time, but many of these errors are not considered malpractice. The main point here is that doctors must provide treatment that meets the standard of care in each patient’s case. This does not mean treatment must be perfect, but many issues do still qualify as malpractice.

A common example of medical malpractice is a mistake made during surgery. Surgical procedures are complicated as they are, and doctors should exercise an abundance of caution in the operating room. In some cases, surgeons leave surgical tools inside a patient’s body. These foreign objects are not discovered until later when the patient experiences complications or pain. Complications during surgery are one thing, but no doctor should be leaving tools or surgical sponges inside someone’s body.

Another possibility is that the doctor did not properly warn or advise you of the risks of treatment. A basic element inherent in the standard of care is advising patients of possible treatment risks or side effects. Suppose you experience painful complications from treatment, and those complications are a known possibility; you might have a claim for malpractice if your doctor did not advise you of the risks. When patients are not adequately warned, they cannot make informed decisions about their care and treatment.

Another possible instance of malpractice is a failure to diagnose. Diagnosing a patient can be difficult, and not everyone gets the correct diagnosis right away. While getting an incorrect diagnosis or no diagnosis is not necessarily malpractice, it can be if the average doctor in a similar situation would determine the correct diagnosis.

How to Begin a Lawsuit for Medical Malpractice in Catonsville, MD

Before taking your claims to court, we need to jump a few legal hurdles. First, according to Md. Code Cts. and Jud. Proc. Art. § 3-2A-06D(b), our medical malpractice lawyers need a certificate from a qualified expert. This is essentially documentation from a medical expert who has reviewed your medical records and agrees that your injuries are the result of malpractice. Courts are not hospitals, and judges and lawyers are not qualified to make determinations of a medical nature. Instead, we rely on the skills, experience, and knowledge of medical experts.

In Maryland, medical malpractice cases must go through mandatory arbitration before the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office before you can file a case in the Circuit Court. The review panel may determine that you are the victim of malpractice and award compensation. However, contrary to what the name implies, mandatory arbitration is not actually mandatory. Either party may waive their right to arbitration after the certificate of a qualified expert is filed.

Most medical malpractice cases do not go through arbitration. Even so, it would be best to discuss this option with your lawyer. If you have greater odds of success through arbitration, it might be worth considering.

Potential Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases in Catonsville, MD

Damages in medical malpractice cases are known to be significant. First, many plaintiffs rack up enormous hospital bills. Not only are they expected to pay for the negligent medical care that caused their injuries, but they often end up paying for even more treatments to correct the medical mistakes made by the defendant.

Additionally, many plaintiffs lose income while they stay home and recover from their injuries. For many, they must take an extended leave of absence from work or quit their jobs altogether. We can help you estimate the income you have lost so far and the income you might continue to lose going forward and add it to your claims.

Non-economic damages are more subjective as they are based more on subjective painful experiences rather than dollars and cents. You may claim significant non-economic damages for your emotional and psychological trauma. Victims of medical malpractice often feel deeply violated by the whole situation. Many have difficulty trusting doctors ever again. Still, others must mentally and emotionally come to terms with new changes to their body. Chronic pain or even long-term disabilities are not unusual in malpractice cases.

Your Deadline to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Catonsville, MD

Talk to your attorney about when the medical malpractice occurred, and they can calculate when the deadline to file your case expires. According to Md. Code Cts. and Jud. Proc. Art. § 5-109(a), an adult plaintiff has 5 years from the date of the malpractice or 3 years from the date the injuries are discovered by the plaintiff to file the case, whichever is shorter.

Under Md. Code Cts. and Jud. Proc. Art. § 5-109(b), if the plaintiff is younger than 11 when the malpractice happens, the clock does not begin to run until the plaintiff turns 11. If a minor experienced injuries to their reproductive system or a foreign body negligently left inside the body during surgery, the statutory period of 3 years does not begin until the plaintiff turns 16.

Contact Our Catonsville, MD Medical Malpractice Attorneys for Assistance Now

Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a private case review free of charge from our medical malpractice attorneys.