Brooklyn Park MD Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have suffered injuries as a result of medical malpractice, you should not be left financially devastated as a result. You should be able to recover all your financial losses and should be compensated for your pain and suffering and mental anguish.
We expect and deserve a certain level of competency when we seek help from a medical provider and when this level of competency is not met; you have every right to be angry and seek reparation.
Victims of medical malpractice and medical negligence might have to deal with additional injuries to what they had in the first place, along with the mental trauma that occurs when a trusted medical provider lets you down. This could prevent you from working in the same capacity and this means you might be facing a loss of income and financial stability on top of your other problems.
If you have been a victim of medical negligence, or you are unsure whether you have a case, your first and most important step should be to get in touch with a skilled and experienced medical malpractice attorney for a free consultation.
Here at Peter Angelos Law, our team of medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers are ready to help. Serving Brooklyn Park, MD, and the rest of Maryland since 1961, we have a long history of victories fighting on the behalf of injured victims.
We offer a personalized approach to the attorney-client relationship. Every attorney on our team will take due care and attention to listen to you compassionately and will dedicate time to keep you informed and educated on how your case is progressing.
Peter Angelos - Fierce Advocacy From a Dedicated Brooklyn Park MD Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Led by one of Baltimore's most experienced national trial lawyers, Peter Angelos Law has been representing victims for over 50 years. Our founder, Peter Angelos, has an exceptional reputation, most famously, the taking of the tobacco companies for a staggering $4.5 billion dollar settlement.
What Defines Medical Malpractice in Baltimore, MD?
In the state of Maryland, medical malpractice refers to the substandard behavior of a medical provider.
If they failed to follow the accepted standards of medical practice, they may be found to have breached their duty of care to the victim. This classifies as negligence and may lead to the victim suffering injuries or the worsening of a previous condition.
This is laid out in state statute Maryland Annotated Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings §3-2A.
The Medical Malpractice Act states :
“all claims, suits, and actions … by a person against a health care provider for medical injury allegedly suffered by the person … are subject to and shall be governed by the provisions of this act".
If a medical provider acts in a grossly substandard manner, whereas a "reasonable" medical provider in the same position would not have, this is negligence. Essentially, this means that every medical malpractice case has some negligence involved.
Four Elements to Prove in a Medical Malpractice Case
For you to succeed in a medical malpractice case, you and your attorney will need to prove four things.
- Firstly, you will need to prove that the medical professionals responsible owed you a duty of care.
- Secondly, the medical professional's actions meant that they breached this duty of care.
- Thirdly, this breach in the duty of care resulted in injury or harm.
- Finally, this harm resulted in you suffering an injury that required medical treatment and damages on your behalf.
Common Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
We expect our medical providers to be competent enough to diagnose an illness based on the information we have given them and their medical knowledge.
If a condition is diagnosed late or if a condition is not diagnosed at all, it can have serious consequences. A delayed diagnosis may mean that a patient does not receive the treatment they need in a timely manner. This could lead to the treatment being less effective or further injury or complications developing.
A failed diagnosis may mean that a patient does not receive the treatment they need and is discharged and sent home where their illness worsens.
A misdiagnosis can also have serious consequences. When patients are suffering from a serious medical condition and are misdiagnosed, they may be given medication or treatment that aggravates the condition and causes serious side effects or injury.
Emergency Room Errors
Emergency room nurses and employees should be trained to a high standard due to the nature of the ER. They need to be able to handle stressful situations with a clear head. This means analyzing the oncoming flow of injured patients and prioritizing the order they are seen so that the patients in desperate need of care are seen first.
When this is done incorrectly, a patient may be left in the ER with an injury that is serious for a longer period of time than they should have.
If you feel you have been left longer than you should have without treatment when visiting the ER and your condition or injuries were exacerbated as a result, speak to a medical malpractice lawyer as you may qualify to bring a claim.
A newborn baby is especially vulnerable, both during birth and while in the womb. If doctors act without the due care and attention that is expected of them, they may injure or cause the wrongful death of the child.
If a doctor does not adequately monitor the fetus, fails to convert a mother at the right time for a c-section, or harms the baby or mother during the birth, these are all grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
Prescription Medication Errors
As a patient, you should not be expected to know what possible interactions and side effects a prescription medication may have. Part of your doctor's duty of care to you is that they should sit you down and explain what the medication does and what the potential risks and side effects of the medication are. They should also check your medical record and ensure that the medication will not interact with previous or current conditions or medication.
If you have been prescribed medication without a full and reasonable explanation of the effects and you have suffered from a known side effect or interaction, you could have grounds to seek compensation. The same is true if you are given a medication that contains an ingredient that your medical records state you are allergic to.
There are also cases involving unnecessary surgical procedures that are performed before conservative measures have been exhausted. This may involve certain cases in which an orthopedic surgery is performed without allowing the patient an opportunity to first try physical therapy or certain medications or steroid injections to relieve their persistent pain.
We often find that surgeons are quick to perform surgery instead of recommending safer alternatives since physicians are able to bill significantly more for surgery than other treatment options.
Post-Surgical Infections and Hospital-Acquired Infections
Many patients in a hospital are classified as vulnerable. During this time, a serious infection could prove deadly, or lead to serious complications in the patient.
For this reason, all hospital wards, operating theaters, and waiting rooms should have a cleaning schedule. They should be cleaned to a high standard and disinfected on a regular basis. Doctors, nurses, and all other hospital employees should also follow a strict regime of hand-washing too.
If you felt that the hospital or its staff were not up to standard in terms of cleanliness, and you suffered from a hospital-acquired infection, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice case.
Failure to Inform Patients of Risks
We have strict consent rules here in the state of Maryland for a reason and in order to give this consent, certain prerequisites must be met.
To obtain your consent, your medical provider should:
- Sit down with you and explain the procedure or treatment and all it entails, including why it is necessary.
- Explain all the potential side-effects and known risks to the procedure in a way that is clear to understand.
- Ask if you have any questions in regards to the procedure or treatment and ensure your questions are answered accurately.
If you have given your consent and your medical provider failed to provide proper consent, and you have suffered a known risk that you did not have explained to you, this qualifies you to bring a claim. If you would not have undergone the procedure with that knowledge, you may be able to bring a claim.
Anesthesia is designed to ensure that you are pain-free during surgery. It requires that a competent provider administer such heavy-duty medication.
While under the effects of anesthesia, your anesthesiologist should ensure that you are moved at set periods during a lengthy surgery. You should not be left in the same position for too long as it can lead to injury or permanent deformity. These injuries can be avoided if the patient is properly re-positioned during the surgery at the correct intervals.
Medical Record Errors
Medical record errors can happen when physicians or staff neglect to appropriately record important data in a patient’s chart.
Proper medical record keeping should prevent accidents from happening, such as a patient being given a dosage of medication twice or sent for the same procedure or test twice.
The hospital should also ensure that your records are kept safe and up-to-date. Records that relate to a patient's previous conditions, treatments, or allergies are crucial. If they are not kept up to date, doctors may not see that a patient is allergic to treatment, or may administer a medication that interacts with previous conditions.
Statute of Limitations for a Medical Malpractice Claim in Brooklyn Park, MD Maryland
The statute of limitations in the state of Maryland places certain time restraints upon anyone who is receiving compensation for a medical malpractice incident.
This means you only have 3 years from the date the malpractice injury or error occurred. If in a rare case where you do not discover the injury until later, you may have more time, but your time to bring a claim will never exceed five years from the date the injury occurred or three years from the date the injury was discovered, whichever is less.
As well as the limitations placed upon you by this statute, it is worth remembering that your chances of success are always higher the closer to the incident you begin your claim. The sooner you get in touch with an attorney, the better your chances of recovering maximum compensation.
The more time you give your attorney to investigate on your behalf and build the strongest possible case, the better.
Who Can You Bring a Medical Malpractice Suit Against in Brooklyn Park, MD?
If your medical provider had a duty of care to you at the time of the incident and their negligent behavior breached this duty to you, you are eligible to bring a claim against them.
This means that you can bring a case against the following:
- Nursing Homes
- Healthcare Companies
- Aids or Assistants
- Many other medical professionals
What Damages Can You Recover Through a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
Damages in a medical malpractice case fall into two categories, economic and non-economic.
Your attorney will work with you to accurately calculate how much the damages you are eligible to recover are worth.
Economic damages are the ones that are simple to add up as they have a physical figure attached to them. It is easy to figure out what your medical bills and property damages are worth. Your attorney will take the receipts and bills you have and add up your economic damages. These damages can be supported by the necessary documentation.
Your non-economic damages are more difficult to work out and this is where the skill and past experience of your medical malpractice lawyer will be important. These damages include your pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, as well as any mental or emotional trauma. The more experience your attorney has in calculating the non-economic damages of victims in a medical malpractice case, the more accurate they will be in this task.
A medical malpractice lawyer from Peter Angelos Law will fight to ensure that you are compensated in full for any damages you have suffered, which may include:
- Medical bills - You can recover all medical bills, including treatment and procedure costs, physical therapy, rehabilitation and home nursing care costs, among other things as part of a medical malpractice claim. You should keep all receipts and bills as they will be helpful in calculating your out-of-pocket expenses.
- Loss of wages and earning capacity - If, as a result of the malpractice, you have had to take time off work, you may be able to pursue a claim for your loss of wages, both past, and future.
- Pain and suffering - Pain and suffering damages cover things like emotional trauma, physical permanent pain, and any physical or mental suffering you have had to go through as a result of the incident.
- Loss of consortium - In the most tragic medical malpractice cases, a victim may lose their life or suffer from a life-long serious disability. In these cases, the spouse of the victim may be entitled to seek compensation for their loss of income.
Filing a Medical Claim
The first step in filing any medical malpractice case is to submit a Claim to the Director of Maryland Health Claims.
After this has been submitted, you will be asked to provide a certificate of merit from a medical expert that verifies you have a viable case and that there has been a breach in the standard of care that caused you an injury.
Once these steps have been met, you will be in position to file a lawsuit in Circuit Court.
Your medical malpractice lawyer will have access to a range of different experts in a variety of medical fields to support your claims of malpractice.
Certificate Of Merit By A Qualified Medical Expert
There are certain requirements that your medical expert must meet in order for them to act as your medical witness and provide a certificate of merit:
- Firstly, they must be a medical provider with clinical experience in the same field as the medical provider responsible for your injuries.
- Secondly, they must have experience in the field within 5 years of the incident.
- Thirdly, they may not devote more than 25% of their professional time to giving testimony in personal injury matters.”
Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Due to Medical Malpractice in Brooklyn Park, MD
In certain cases, medical malpractice can be so serious that the result is the wrongful death of a loved one.
In these cases, the family of the deceased may bring what is known as a wrongful death claim. This claim can be brought by an Estate representative, often a Personal Representative appointed by the court, or a named representative in the decedent’s Will.
This allows them to seek compensation for their emotional trauma and grief, loss of services, and care of the deceased.
Medical Malpractice FAQs
Does someone who is not satisfied with the results of his or her surgery have a viable medical malpractice claim?
Not necessarily. Most procedures and treatments have some level of risk, and results can never be fully guaranteed. For a malpractice claim, there must have been damages resulting from a doctor's negligence and deviation from the standard of care applicable to that procedure or treatment.
How long do medical negligence claim cases take?
As each and every medical negligence and malpractice case has a number of variables, they are all unique. This means the time they will take will usually depend upon their complexity and whether or not the liability is clear.
Most medical malpractice cases can take several years to settle.
Can a medical malpractice case be re-opened after it has settled?
Medical malpractice cases are civil suits and this means that when a victim signs a settlement release, they agree to forgo any future legal action regarding the incident. This means you should take due care and consideration when it comes to agreeing and signing to accept a settlement.
How are medical negligence cases funded?
When it comes to medical malpractice claims, most attorneys work on what is called a “contingency-fee” basis. What this means is that your attorney will not require any up-front payment to represent you. They will build and fight your case for free. If they manage to win you compensation, they will take a percentage of the settlement figure. This will be discussed and agreed upon during the initial consultation. If you lose, you do not have to pay anything to your attorney, as a contingency fee basis is non-recourse.
Do all medical negligence cases go to court?
The complexity of your case will usually dictate whether the other party wants to settle out of court or not. If the doctor was clearly negligent, it is likely the other party will offer or accept your settlement figure, as they know they will not win in court.
In more complex cases, they may decide to drag it out and fight in court. In these cases, the skill of your attorney and the strong case they have managed to build on your behalf will be crucial in winning the compensation you deserve.
Should you accept the first offer of compensation?
A common insurance company tactic is to offer what seems like an appealing offer, quickly and directly, in the hopes that you accept as you need the money.
In the majority of cases, they will offer a lot less than they are truly willing to offer on the first attempt. We usually recommend that you decline the first offer, but the decision is ultimately, up to you. Talk it over with your attorney so that you can make an informed decision.
Our Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorneys May be Able to Help
It is not fair that anyone suffers through the negligence of a trained medical provider. We pay a lot for medical attention here in the United States and we deserve a level of competency and professionalism.
At Peter Angelos Law, we represent victims fighting for compensation after medical malpractice has occurred. Our team of aggressive medical malpractice lawyers are skilled advocates and will fight without rest to ensure you obtain a favorable outcome.
We will work with you every step of the way, keeping you informed and educated about the process.
Call us today at 410-705-2405.