Hiring the right attorney to represent you in a Maryland medical malpractice case is one of the most important decisions you can make. If you believe you or someone you love was harmed or died as a result of mistakes made by a health care professional, you need an experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer. Randolph Rice is adept at handling medical malpractice cases and taking all necessary action to protect your rights and recover the money you deserve.
Understanding Maryland Medical Malpractice Law
Malpractice laws are enacted at the state level and Maryland malpractice law has several unique features. In order to prove medical malpractice, you have to show that the health care professional who treated you or your family member violated the standard of care. Simply put, the standard of care covers any procedures or treatments that the medical community generally accepts as appropriate and/or necessary for a particular injury or illness. In Maryland malpractice law, the standard of care depends on a number of factors. These may include the patient’s age and medical history, as well as the condition that brought him or her under the doctor’s care in the first place.
Here are some circumstances that may qualify as medical malpractice in Maryland:
- Misdiagnosing a illness or injury, or missing it altogether
- Not providing treatment in a timely manner or withholding treatment altogether
- Prescribing the wrong medication or the wrong dosage
- Making a surgical error
- Improper patient supervision that results in injury, such as a fall
It’s important to know the statute of limitations for Maryland medical malpractice cases. Generally, the case must be filed within three years of when the harm or injury is first discovered, or five years from the date that the actual act of malpractice occurred. There are special limitations on medical malpractice and children. Consult a Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible after you suspect malpractice has occurred so you don’t forfeit your right to damages by missing the statute of limitations.
Choosing a Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Maryland medical malpractice law is a highly specialized field and there are not a lot of experienced malpractice lawyers in Baltimore. It’s important to get the best representation for your case as soon as possible. Most malpractice lawyers either focus on representing plaintiffs or on defending medical professionals, but rarely both. Your first step is to make sure any lawyers you are considering are “plaintiff’s lawyers.”
Keep in mind that most Maryland medical malpractice cases involve doctors and hospitals in large health care networks such as Medstar, University of Maryland, and Johns Hopkins. These organizations have long-standing relationships with lawyers who are paid to minimize liability for their doctors and hospitals. These attorneys will strongly contest and defend against your claim. You need a lawyer like Randolph Rice who has experience fighting these large corporate teams. Mr. Rice knows how to protect your rights and guide you through the process.
Once you’ve identified potential malpractice lawyers in Maryland, it’s a good idea to do some research before you schedule a consultation. Look on consumer-based legal review websites such as Avvo.com and peer-influenced sites like SuperLawyers or BestLawye
rs to see how your lawyer rates. Check the lawyer’s website for client testimonials and reviews and get an idea of how much of the practice is focused on Maryland medical malpractice law. Narrow your list down to two or three lawyers you’d like to interview.
Interviewing a Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When you schedule a consultation with a Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer, think of it as a job interview, and go prepared with questions to help you choose the right attorney to handle your case.
- How long has he been practicing malpractice law? What percent of the practice is dedicated to medical malpractice?
- What was the outcome of the most recent medical malpractice case he handled?
- Has he ever taken a case to trial? What was the outcome?
- Has he won sizeable awards for other medical malpractice clients?
Handling Your Case:
- Will the lawyer handle your case himself or associate within the practice?
- Do other law firms ever refer medical malpractice cases to your lawyer?
- Does the lawyer have working relationships with expert witnesses, medical investigators, and other professionals necessary to win a medical malpractice case?
- What percentage of any award with the lawyer take?
- How are other costs charged? Can the lawyer estimate advanced costs such as medical records, expert testimony, etc., necessary to pursue your case?
- What will you be charged if you lose?
What to Bring to Your Medical Malpractice Consultation
Maryland medical malpractice cases are highly complex, and a good Baltimore malpractice lawyer will want to know everything he can about your situation before deciding whether or not you have a winning case. To make sure your lawyer has the information he needs to best advise you about your rights and options in a medical malpractice case, be sure to bring the following information with you to your consultation:
- A summary of your medical history. At this point, it isn’t necessary to have your complete medical record, but you do need a summary of your health before the event and your condition since the event. A medical malpractice lawyer also need a summary of the nature of the event itself and any treatments you’ve gone through to correct the situation. Also, be prepared to provide contact information for any medical professionals who are currently treating you or who have treated you since the event, and a list of prescription medications.
- All medical bills related to the event. This includes bills you’ve paid yourself and ones covered by your insurance company.
- Any correspondence between you and your insurance company. This will help the lawyer determine how the insurance company is willing to handle the claim.
- Potential items of evidence. This can be anything to help your lawyer evaluate your case. Do you have emails from a doctor or hospital? X-rays or medical reports that support your claim of injury? Photographs or videos that show the patient before, during and after the injury occurred are also critical.
Your consultation with a Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer is your opportunity to get to know the lawyer and decide if you feel comfortable with him or her, and to get an honest evaluation of any damages you may be entitled to as a result of your medical malpractice case.
The Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., helps victims of medical malpractice and their families get the money they need to recover from an injury caused by a health care professional. Mr. Rice, a former Assistant State’s Attorney and Avvo-ranked Superb Attorney, understands Maryland malpractice law and has the experience to stand up for you and protect your rights. Contact him today for a free consultation at (410) 694-7291.