Catonsville MD Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When we seek help from a nurse, doctor, physical therapist, or another medical provider, we expect them to be trained to aw certain level of competency and to follow all the standard medical practices. When they deviate from the practices they are mandated to follow, the results can be catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, or the worsening of previous conditions.
These injuries may lead to further costs, and may cause emotional trauma and pain and suffering. This isn't fair to the victim, and it should not be down to them to cover the expenses incurred as a result of medical malpractice.
Thankfully, as a victim of medical malpractice in the state of Maryland, you are entitled to recover all damages suffered and compensation for your pain and suffering. These damages include medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life, pain, and lost income.
To begin the process of recovering your damages, you need to seek representation from a skilled team of medical malpractice lawyers. They will help build your case and calculate your economic and non-economic damages. This will allow them to formulate a settlement offer and, if necessary, fight in court to recover what you are owed.
The Catonsville medical malpractice lawyers at Peter Angelos Law have over 50 years of experience representing clients in the Catonsville, MD area, as well as the rest of Maryland. Our extensive knowledge of the medical malpractice rules of the state, paired with our long history of successful cases and victories for previous clients, means we are the fiercest of advocates when it comes to Maryland medical malpractice cases.
We offer a free consultation and free case evaluation to all potential new clients in the Catonsville, MD, area, and we work on a contingency fee basis. This allows us to represent all victims, no matter what their financial situation so call our medical malpractice team today on 410-705-2405.
Medical Malpractice: Definition
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional who has been trained to follow the standard medical practices deviates from those practices or acts without due care and attention.
At the core, all malpractice occurs as a result of negligent behavior. Assigning liability relies on proving that the at-fault party acted negligently.
Negligence, as defined by the WEX legal dictionary, is:
"A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act (e.g., a duty to help victims of one's previous conduct). "
Breaking this down, all medical providers owe a duty of care to their patients and they act negligently if they act in a way that another medical professional would not have acted in the same situation.
Here, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about medical malpractice.
Four Elements to Prove in a Catonsville Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
You and your medical malpractice attorney will be expected to prove four elements if your case moves to court. Even if your case does not proceed to the courtroom, these will make up the core of your case, and your attorney will attempt to prove them in the investigation phase:
- 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.
How to Choose the Best Medical Malpractice Lawyer
To recover fair compensation and your damages, your best option is to obtain representation from an attorney with a history of fighting and winning Maryland medical malpractice cases.
It can be difficult to decide which attorney to retain, especially if you have no experience with the legal process or have never needed an attorney before. Your best option is to take advantage of the initial consultation to ask questions and make an informed decision on whether they seem capable of handling your case.
During the initial consultation and free case evaluation, here is what you should look for:
- Legal expertise – In terms of practice areas, your attorney should focus on medical practice and wrongful death. These cases require a high degree of specialized knowledge in the field.
- Medical expertise – As well as the extensive knowledge of the rules and regulations surrounding medical malpractice cases in Catonsville, MD, your attorney will also need to have a strong understanding of the medical field itself, such as the science behind treatments. They should also have access to a panel of medical experts ready to advise them.
- Experience – The best lawyers serving Catonsville will be more than happy to provide you with proof of their past victories and their referrals from previous clients. If you are speaking to an attorney that cannot provide this, you may want to look elsewhere.
Common Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Injuries
Certain medical malpractice cases are more common than others. Here are some forms of medical malpractice that we have dealt with:
Birth injuries are more common than you would think. During the pregnancy and the birth, both newborn babies and their mothers can easily come to harm if their doctor does not act with due care and attention.
During the pregnancy, the baby's doctor should screen and monitor the fetus correctly and should pay attention to any signs of problems.
During the birth, doctors and nurses should take care during the delivery so as not to cause trauma or damage to either the baby or the mother. If the mother is going to require a C-section, the doctor should convert them in a timely manner.
Failed and Delayed Diagnosis
Part of a doctor's training is the study of symptoms and what they indicate. A doctor should be able to accurately diagnose a patient based on the symptoms they exhibit and describe. If they cannot do so, they should consult with other medical experts quickly to avoid a delayed diagnosis.
A delayed or failed diagnosis can be extremely problematic. A delayed diagnosis may lead to a delay in receiving treatment in a timely enough manner and a failed diagnosis may mean that patients do not receive the treatment they need whatsoever.
Another medical malpractice case that is common is the misdiagnosis of a condition. Just like failed and delayed diagnosis, this can have serious consequences.
When patients are dealing with a serious condition and they are misdiagnosed, they can be given the wrong treatment or sent for the wrong testing, delaying the treatment they actually need.
Patients may suffer further injury or serious side effects when given the wrong treatment for a condition. In the worse case scenarios, this can lead to the death of a patient.
Emergency Room Errors
Understandably, the emergency room is a high-pressure environment, one where small mistakes can have drastic consequences. For this reason, emergency room employees should be trained to a high standard to be able to prioritize the incoming flow of patients correctly.
If you entered the ER with a serious injury or condition and were left for a long period of time without being seen, and this has led to further complications, you need to speak to a Catonsville medical malpractice attorney immediately.
Often, surgeons will push patients into undergoing surgery as it allows them to bill the highest amount. They may do this without offering patients the chance to try more conservative measures first. If you could have been offered medication or physical therapy but instead underwent surgery and suffered a known risk, you should speak to an attorney immediately.
The wrongful death of a patient is the most serious and tragic of all medical malpractice cases.
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.
Prescription Medication Errors
Doctors that are responsible for prescribing medication to their patients should be trained and educated in their uses, risks, side effects, and any potential interactions with previous medication and conditions.
They should also take the time to sit down with you and explain all of this before they prescribe it to you.
If you have not had the known side effects explained to you, or you have suffered a reaction that should have been predicted from your previous medical records and allergies, you should speak to an attorney.
There are a variety of errors that can occur as a result of medical negligence when administering or monitoring anesthesia. Hollywood sensationalizes “anesthesia awareness,” when too little anesthesia is administered resulting in the patient being aware during the procedure, but that is not the only error that can occur. Some other common errors include:
- Delayed delivery of anesthesia
- Patient monitoring failures
- Overly prolonged sedation
- Failure to recognize and/or respond to anesthesia complications
- Failure to properly inform a patient of instructions for before, during, or after the procedure
- Faulty equipment
- Ignoring or quieting the alarm on the pulse oximeter
- Failure to intubate
- Failure to notice adverse drug interactions
Failure to Inform Patients of Risks
You should have all the known risks and side effects explained to you in order for your doctors to get consent for any procedure they wish you to undertake. If they did not explain the known risks, and you gave consent before suffering one of those known risks, you have grounds for a claim.
Statute of Limitations for a Medical Malpractice Claim in Maryland
The state's statute of limitations is clear on the time restrictions you have to claim following personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases.
However, even though you have an end date for the time you have to claim, you should still act as quickly as possible. These cases are always easier to win when you get in touch with your attorney as soon after the incident as you can.
Maryland's statute of limitations states you have:
- Three years from the date the malpractice injury or error occurred.
- If, in rare cases, 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 when the injury occurred or three years from when the injury was discovered.
Who Can You Sue in a Medical Malpractice Suit in Maryland?
Here are some of the medical professionals that owe you a duty of care:
- Aids or assistants.
- Healthcare companies.
- Nursing homes.
- Other medical professionals.
Filing a Medical Claim
To begin the process and file your medical malpractice claim, you need to submit a claim to the Director of Maryland Health Claims.
You will then be required to obtain a certificate of merit. This must be obtained from a medical expert who meets certain requisites.
Once these steps have been met, you are ready to file a lawsuit in Circuit Court.
Your medical malpractice lawyer will be able to put you in touch with their panel of experts to support your claims and sign your certificate of merit.
Certificate Of Merit By A Qualified Medical Expert
In order to qualify to sign your certificate or merit, there are certain requirements your chosen medical expert must meet. Your attorney will have a panel of experts ready to go who meet the following:
- Firstly, they must be a healthcare professional with clinical experience in the same field as the medical provider responsible for your injuries.
- Secondly, they must have experience in the field within five years of the incident.
- Thirdly, they may not devote more than 25% of their professional time to giving testimony in personal injury matters.
Catonsville MD Medical Malpractice Lawyer FAQs
How long do medical malpractice claims take?
Every medical malpractice case that comes through our door is different and unique. There are many variables, and the situation and circumstances that led to the event, as well as the damages and injuries suffered, will always differ from case to case.
The time that a claim will take to complete will always depend upon the complexity of these variables. In a case where the liability and negligence are clear, your case may settle out of court and may settle relatively quickly.
In cases where the liability is difficult to prove, and the injuries are complex, the case may take a lot longer. It is common for these kinds of cases to take several years to complete.
How are medical negligence cases funded?
At Peter Angelos Law, we believe that all victims should have access to representation and should not have to forgo it because they do not have the funds to retain a lawyer upfront. To allow for this, we work on a contingency basis, meaning you do not need to pay us up-front, and you do not need to pay us at all if we do not win your case. If we win, we take our fees from your settlement.
This allows all victims of medical malpractice to recover compensation and their damages without fear of financial costs if they lose their case.
Do all medical negligence cases go to court?
This will depend entirely upon the case and its complexity. If the liability is clear, the other party may decide to settle instead of risking losing their case in court. If the case is more complicated, they may decide it is worth fighting in court. Sometimes, your attorney's reputation may affect this, so hiring a reputable law firm, like Peter Angelos Law, may play to your advantage.
Our Catonsville, Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorneys May be Able to Help
Obtaining compensation for your injuries and damages following a medical malpractice incident is a difficult task, and without a skilled attorney advocating on your behalf, you may find it hard to recover what you deserve.
When you need aggressive and reliable representation, contact Peter Angelos Law. We have won fair and reasonable settlements in numerous complex cases for clients in similar situations to you.
We can draw upon a long history of victories spanning 50 years of service to the state of Maryland.
Call us today at 410-705-2405.