Crofton, MD Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When we make an appointment with a medical specialist, pick up a prescription from a pharmacist, or get examined by a general practitioner, we rely on their professional expertise. A great deal of trust is placed in doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals of all kinds. However, to err is only human, and medical professionals make mistakes just like everyone else. Sadly, sometimes, those mistakes have dire consequences for patients. Illnesses can be misdiagnosed or not be noticed at all, surgeries can be messed up, and other negligent acts can be done to the great detriment of the unfortunate patient on the receiving end.

If you suffered an injury because a medical professional was negligent, you may be entitled to financial compensation. We can work with you through the process of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit so you can take those who wronged you to task in court and get justice and damages.

To have a free analysis of your claim, call our medical malpractice attorneys from Rice, Murtha & Psoras by dialing (410) 694-7291.

What Are Crofton, MD Medical Malpractice Claims?

A medical malpractice lawsuit is a type of personal injury lawsuit where the plaintiff alleges that a medical professional’s negligence resulted in an injury that could have been avoided. There are some things to keep in mind when pursuing medical malpractice lawsuits in Maryland:

Statute of Limitations

Every state has sets of laws called statutes of limitations which put time limits on how long you have to sue for a given grievance. Under Md. Code, Cts. & Jud. Proc. Art., § 5-109, a lawsuit for medical malpractice can be brought within either 1) five years of the injury taking place or 2) three years from when the plaintiff discovers that they are injured – whichever comes first. It is very important to contact our medical malpractice attorneys as soon as you discover an injury, because some of the statutory period may already be used up.

Sometimes, it can take a while for a plaintiff to know that they are, in fact, the victim of medical negligence. For example, suppose a plaintiff goes in for a checkup to see if they have cancer, and the doctor tells them that everything looks good. A year or so later, the plaintiff gets another checkup and finds out that not only does they have stage 4 cancer, but that the cancer was there for a while and could have been fixed had it been diagnosed earlier. In that case, the plaintiff was actually injured when the first doctor said they were fine, but they did not discover the injury until much later, so that is when the statutory period would begin.

Alternatively, suppose a patient undergoes invasive surgery but feels pain in the operated-on area for longer than is normal. The doctor reassures the patient that this is “just a side effect.” The patient then has intermittent pain for years until they undergo another surgery where the surgeon finds an old surgical sponge the previous doctor left inside the patient. In that case, even though the patient felt the injury for years, it was not discovered until the second surgeon discovered the sponge the first doctor left there.

Standard of Care

Another important part of medical malpractice lawsuits is establishing the standard of care in the case. In most personal injury cases, the standard that will be applied to the defendant is whether they acted in the way that a reasonable person would under the circumstances. Not so in medical malpractice cases. Medical professionals are held to different standards in a professional context because they have skills, knowledge, and training beyond your ordinary person. Therefore, the standard is what a reasonable medical professional of similar skill and experience would have done under the same circumstances.

Expert Witnesses

Another key part of virtually all medical malpractice cases is the use of expert witnesses. Medical cases have issues at hand that jurors and judges are not going to know about – they are regular people, not doctors. Therefore, medical professionals active in the relevant medical field testify as to whether the defendant-doctor acted reasonably under the circumstances. Both plaintiffs and defendants will employ expert witnesses in an attempt to persuade the jury to agree with their line of argument.

Settlements in Medical Malpractice Cases in Crofton, MD

While trials may look flashy and make for good television, the reality is that most personal injury cases are resolved outside of the courtroom before they make it to trial. This is especially true for medical malpractice lawsuits because there is a mandatory claims process you have to go through before suing and because the arguments being put forth in these lawsuits are very technical. A jury may get confused despite the absolute best efforts of both sides of the case. Additionally, medical malpractice cases can often take a very long time – something that is undesirable to both plaintiffs and defendants. For those reasons and others, medical malpractice lawsuits settle more often than other kinds of cases.

Accepting a settlement offer is not necessarily a bad thing. Remember, your objective is to get a “win,” which means getting all the compensation you need to cover your injuries and damages. Accepting a good settlement offer may accomplish that goal, and our attorneys can help you evaluate whether a settlement offer is good or not.

However, all this talk of settling a case should not dissuade you from going to trial should you wish to do so. There are a lot of potential downsides to settling a claim. For example, you may be able to get more in the way of financial compensation at trial than in a settlement – although that is not guaranteed. Ultimately, whether you should settle or go to court needs to be determined on a case-by-case basis, so you should talk about it with our attorneys.

Discuss Your Case with our Crofton, MD Medical Malpractice Lawyers Today

Get free case analyses from Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s medical malpractice attorneys when you contact our office at (410) 694-7291.