Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney

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When you seek medical care, the last thing you expect is to suffer from injuries, or worse, due to your treatment. The law requires health care professionals to provide you with medical care that reaches a specific standard, or standard of care.

If you or someone you care about was injured by way of medical malpractice in Maryland, you need a medical malpractice law firm that will hold healthcare professionals liable for the damages they cause.

Medical malpractice claims are legally complicated. To learn more about filing a medical malpractice claim in Maryland, continue reading below or contact our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers for a free consultation.

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How Does Maryland Define Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice refers to a healthcare professional’s failure to provide the care and exercise the skill that other healthcare professionals in a similar practice would exercise in similar situations. Medical malpractice law can hold medical professionals accountable when they fail to adhere to appropriate standards of care. This failure to provide appropriate standards of care can apply to general practitioners and specialists alike, to nurses and therapists, and to nearly any other healthcare provider or facility.

You may have a medical malpractice case in Baltimore if the healthcare professional that treated you violated the standard of care. Standard of care is the generally accepted procedures and practices used by medical professionals when treating a particular disease or disorder.

A September 2017 survey by the National Patient Safety Association (NPSA) reports that most patients consider their experiences within the U.S. healthcare system to be positive, but that 21 percent of adults believe they’ve experienced a medical error. The survey also found that when medical errors do occur, the effects are often long-lasting and can impinge on the affected patient’s physical and emotional health, financial well-being, and family relationships. This survey, in effect, confirms that medical malpractice is too common and that its impact can be overwhelming.

What Is The Difference Between Negligence Vs Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a form of negligence, however, in the eyes of the law, these two terms are defined differently. The difference between these terms may determine if you have a negligence case or a medical malpractice claim.

Negligence refers to a lack of care due to inattentiveness, lack of care, or violating the general standard of care for the situation.

Medical malpractice refers specifically to the breach of the standard of care by a medical professional, resulting directly in physical, emotional, or mental harm suffered by the patient.

Medical malpractice claims are based on the legal theory of negligence, which is the failure to exercise adequate care toward another that a reasonable or prudent person would exercise in a similar situation. In the case of medical malpractice, this negligence can involve an act or an omission.

To reach the level of medical malpractice, this diversion from the accepted standard of medical care must be shown to be the direct cause of the harm suffered by the patient. To prevail in a medical malpractice claim, in other words, you—as the injured patient—must be able to demonstrate four distinct elements:

  1. You were owed a duty of care by the doctor.
  2. The doctor breached this duty of care owed to you.
  3. The doctor’s breach directly caused you harm.
  4. As a result, you suffered a measurable injury that required verifiable medical treatment and resulted in expenses.

Common Types Of Medical Malpractice Claims

At Rice Law Firm, we recognize that every medical malpractice case is unique, however, there are some injuries and medical errors that our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers commonly see including:

  • Birth injuries
  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis
  • Hospital errors
  • Defective medical equipment
  • Emergency room errors
  • Surgical errors
  • Prescription medication errors
  • Failure to properly treat conditions
  • Post-surgical infections
  • Anesthesia errors
  • Failure to adequately inform patients about the risks associated with a surgery
  • Failure to properly record a patient’s medical history

Any of these can lead to serious physical and emotional complications for the patient. When you’re facing significant medical procedures or treatments, you’re especially vulnerable. When, during those procedures or treatments, you become the victim of medical malpractice, it can lead to devastating consequences.

Proving Medical Malpractice Claims in Maryland

To prove you have a valid medical malpractice case in Maryland, your claim must meet four distinct requirements:

  • You were owed a duty of care by a doctor, nurse, or another healthcare provider.
  • The healthcare professional breached this duty of care owed to you.
  • The healthcare professional’s breach directly caused you physical, emotional, and/or mental harm.
  • As a result, you suffered a measurable injury that required verifiable medical treatment and resulted in expenses.

Who Can You Sue in a Medical Malpractice Suit in Maryland?

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Technicians
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Aids or Assistants
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing Homes
  • Healthcare Companies
  • HMOs
  • And more!

Filing A Medical Malpractice Claim In Baltimore, Maryland

Before bringing a medical malpractice claim against a medical provider in Maryland, there is a formal process that needs to be followed. Under the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Claims Statute, malpractice attorneys in Maryland must first submit their claim to the Director of the Maryland Health Claims Arbitration Office.

In Maryland—like other states—a formal process must be followed before bringing a claim against a health care provider, and this includes participating in a mandatory arbitration process before formally filing in court. This means that you must first submit your claim to the Maryland Health Claims Arbitration Office with a certificate of merit (verifying the veracity of your claim) by a qualified medical expert (as referenced above). This process verifies that the health care provider you’re suing breached accepted healthcare standards and that this breach caused you injury, pain, and suffering. Our attorneys can guide you through every step of this process to protect your rights.

Medical malpractice claims are legally complicated. One of the most difficult barriers to overcome in any medical malpractice case is that every patient accepts some degree of risk in receiving medical treatment. While medical science continues to make incredible advancements, human error can never be eradicated. As a patient, you accept risk, but if a healthcare provider departs from the established standards of care while treating you, you can hold that medical professional accountable in a medical malpractice claim.

Your medical malpractice lawyer then has 90 days to submit a certificate of merit by a qualified medical expert, as described below. This process verifies that the healthcare provider you’re suing breached accepted standard of care and that this violation caused injury, death, or pain & suffering.

Certificate Of Merit By A Qualified Medical Expert

To substantiate your medical malpractice claim, an expert witness generally must testify that the act constituted malpractice. Under Maryland law, expert witnesses for a medical malpractice claim must have:

  • Clinical experience in the medical subject of your malpractice claim
  • Provided medical consultation related to that clinical experience
  • Taught in the medical field in which the defendant specializes, in a related medical field, or in the field in which the defendant treated you as a patient within 5 years of the alleged malpractice

In some cases, the expert witness must be board certified in the medical area of relevance. A law firm that regularly handles medical malpractice cases will have access to knowledgeable and qualified experts who can help prove your claim.

The Role Of Informed Consent Forms In A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

One of the most difficult barriers to overcome in any medical malpractice case is that every patient accepts some degree of risk in receiving medical treatment.

Before medical procedures, a patient will typically be required to sign an informed consent document. This document is to state that the doctor or medical provider has discussed the risks of a given procedure and the patient has understands the risk associated.

Even if you signed one of these documents, it is still possible to sue a medical provider, if they did not perform their duties in adherence to the acceptable standard of care for the procedure.

Just because a medical procedure is not successful does not automatically make it eligible for a medical malpractice claim. An experienced Baltimore medical malpractice law firm will be able to help you determine the validity of your medical malpractice claim.

Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice Claims in Maryland

When it comes to medical malpractice claims, patients have a certain amount of time to file their malpractice lawsuit before it becomes invalid in a Maryland court of law.

To file a medical malpractice lawsuit in the state of Maryland, a patient has either:

  • 5 years from the date the malpractice or injury occurred; or
  • 3 years from the date the malpractice injury or error was discovered.

There are also other time limitations and considerations that may affect whether your medical malpractice claim is valid in Maryland. These extra limitations and details can be complex and based upon a number of factors. A personal injury lawyer with experience in medical malpractice law will be able to help you determine whether it is too late to bring a malpractice case to court.

Discuss Your Options With a Baltimore Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

If you or someone you care about has been injured by medical malpractice, you know just how harrowing that can be. You sought medical care to restore your health and ended up enduring greater injury. The impact of medical malpractice can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating—and you deserve just compensation.

At the Law Offices of Randolph Rice, we have the experience, skill, and dedication to pursue your medical malpractice claims with focused precision. Our knowledgeable Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys are here to help. Your health and your rights matter, and we’ll fight to guide your claim toward its best possible outcome.

If you’ve been harmed by medical malpractice, please don’t hesitate to contact our personal injury law firm online or call us at (410) 694-7291 for a consultation today.