Severna Park, MD Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical treatment is not always easy. Treatment can be physically painful, psychologically traumatizing, and it does not always work. Patients who are injured because of doctor negligence can sue for medical malpractice.
When filing a medical malpractice claim, you must jump through the same hoops required in ordinary lawsuits and abide by additional requirements, including the need for a certificate from a qualified expert. Not every instance of treatment gone wrong is malpractice. Malpractice is characterized by treatment that falls below standards of care. Damages are often quite substantial. Economic losses might include the cost of additional or future medical care to treat your injuries, while non-economic losses like pain and suffering might also be very high. Punitive damages might also be on the table, depending on how your injuries occurred. You must also be aware that damages in these cases might be high, but statutory caps might limit actual compensation. While there might be various pieces of evidence, your medical records will likely be our primary focus.
Schedule a review of your injuries and legal options with our medical malpractice attorneys by calling Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.
How to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Severna Park, MD
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is not the easiest endeavor, and it would be wise to speak to an attorney about your case as soon as possible. The act of filing a lawsuit is quick, often done in less than a day. However, preparing the case to be filed is where the real work happens, and it might be months before your case is ready.
One of the first steps we must tackle is having your claims evaluated by another medical professional. Since medical malpractice cases are steeped in medical and scientific particularities that most attorneys, judges, and jurors do not fully understand, we rely on assistance from experts. In fact, Maryland requires that medical malpractice plaintiffs submit a certificate from a qualified expert attesting to the validity of their claim.
Essentially, we need another medical professional, preferably one versed in a field relevant to your injuries, to assess your injuries and opine whether they occurred because of medical negligence. In short, we need a doctor to agree that your injuries happened because you received treatment below the standard of care.
Our medical malpractice attorneys must also help you assess damages and obtain evidence. We need information about your damages and how much compensation you are entitled to for the initial complaint. Similarly, we need at least some evidence in the complaint to show the court that you have a valid claim and that your case warrants a trial.
How Do I Know if I Have a Medical Malpractice Case in Severna Park, MD?
It might be difficult to distinguish medical malpractice injuries from ordinary pain associated with certain medical procedures like surgery. Not every medical injury or instance of treatment gone wrong may be considered malpractice. There is almost always a certain amount of risk involved in medical treatment, and the mere fact that your treatment did not pan out as you had hoped does not definitively establish malpractice.
Medical malpractice often looks like a lot of different kinds of injuries and occur under varying circumstances. Still, the defining characteristic of malpractice is medical treatment that falls below the standard of care. The standard of care is the type of treatment a reasonable doctor would provide to a patient under similar circumstances. If you received treatment that no reasonable doctor would even consider providing under your specific circumstances, you might have a malpractice case on your hands.
Understanding the standard of care is difficult, so we rely on medical experts in these kinds of cases. Often, the certificate from a qualified expert is intended to directly address the issue of what the standard of care is in your case and whether your doctor met that standard.
Damages Available in Severna Park, MD Medical Malpractice Cases
Damages should account for your losses and injuries, economic and otherwise, in your claim. In medical malpractice lawsuits, damages tend to be substantial as plaintiffs are often very badly injured. Damages also tend to be high because medical injuries can be especially traumatic and have long-lasting consequences.
Compensatory damages should adequately compensate you for your injuries and losses. Compensatory damages include damage for financial losses related to your injuries in addition to non-economic losses or injuries.
Monetary losses are primarily composed of medical expenses. In many cases, injuries are so severe that they require additional medical care the plaintiff would not have needed had it not been for the defendant’s negligence. Often, plaintiffs have long-term medical complications or permanent disabilities that require ongoing and future care. As such, we can assess costs of future medical care and add it to your total damages.
Compensatory damages also include non-economic injuries. Commonly summed up as “pain and suffering,” non-economic damages may include physical pain, mental anguish, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of your life, and other painful personal experiences.
Punitive damages are not awarded to compensate you for your losses but instead to punish the defendant for their behavior. To get punitive damages, we must show that the defendant acted with actual malice, often characterized by evil intent. As such, punitive damages tend to be rare.
If awarded, they may be very high, as they are often awarded based on the value of compensatory damages. For example, a jury might multiply your compensatory damages by a certain value to get your punitive damages. The multiplier value may be higher if the defendant’s behavior was especially abhorrent.
You should keep in mind that actual economic damages are only limited to the amount of money you lost because of your injuries. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are capped by statute. Under the law, non-economic damages in Maryland malpractice cases are capped at $875,000 as of 2023.
Punitive damages are not capped by statute and may be very high. However, courts may intervene and reduce punitive damages so large that they are disproportionate to the harm caused or the defendant’s actions.
Call Our Severna Park, MD Medical Malpractice Lawyers for Assistance
Set up a review of your damages and injuries with our medical malpractice lawyers by calling Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.