Dundalk Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Dundalk Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Medical malpractice cases are often unpleasant. We place our trust in our chosen medical professionals and when they let us down, it can be a bit of a shock. Furthermore, their negligent behavior can lead to further injuries, growing medical costs, and a lot of stress.
You might be dealing with the consequences of their actions for months, potentially years to come. You may need long hours of physical therapy, further surgery to correct the error, and long periods off work.
It should not be up to you to pay the costs for the negligent actions of your healthcare provider. If your medical malpractice incident happened in Dundalk, MD, you fall under the state's medical malpractice rules and this means you may be entitled to seek compensation for your damages.
Here at Peter Angelos Law, our law firm prides itself on a reputation for fierce advocacy. Fighting in the courtroom since 1961, we have extensive experience, built from countless cases, and a long list of clients, happy with the outcome we won for them.
When it comes to the complex medical malpractice rules that exist in Maryland, our knowledge is unrivaled and our personalized approach to the client-attorney relationship is second to none.
Peter Angelos - Fierce Advocacy
Most good law firms are spearheaded by incredible attorneys, and Peter Angelos is no exception.
Boasting 50 years of experience fighting on the behalf of those who need him most, Peter Angelos is an attorney known for aggressive representation. Whether defending a single client in a medical malpractice case or taking on the entire tobacco industry for a $4.5 billion settlement, Peter Angelos is a great example of what an attorney should aspire to be.
How Does Maryland Define Medical Malpractice?
The term medical malpractice encompasses a number of different acts. At its core, negligence is defined as the failure to provide the same level of skill and care that another reasonable provider would have in the same situation. Malpractice happens when professionals deviate from standard medical practices.
Medical professionals all assume a duty of care to their patients. By breaching this duty of care with negligent behavior, they may become liable for any harm that results from their behavior. This duty of care demands that they treat you following the standard medical procedures and practices that they have been trained in.
Negligent behavior is classified as acting in a way that is grossly substandard from how a reasonable medical provider would have acted in the same situation.
This means that all medical malpractice claims are based on a degree of negligence. Medical malpractice involves medical professionals deviating from the standard practices of medical care and this deviation must cause injury or complication.
The best way to know if the circumstances that led to your injury classify as medical malpractice is to get in touch with a skilled medical malpractice lawyer at Peter Angelos Law.
We offer a free consultation to potential clients. In this consultation, we can evaluate your case and give you the space to ask questions you need to ask.
Common Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Here at Peter Angelos Law, we have been fighting on the behalf of clients for over 50 years. During this time, we have seen every form of medical malpractice. This gives us an advantage, allowing us to formulate the best plan of action and build the strongest possible case for our clients.
Here are some of the types of medical malpractice cases we have handled:
Newborn babies and their mothers are particularly vulnerable during pregnancy. Sometimes, many of the risks to their health come from the healthcare professionals responsible for keeping them safe.
There are a number of ways that a doctor may cause harm to the baby before it is born or during delivery, including failing to timely convert a mother for a c-section, failing to pay adequate attention to monitoring during the pregnancy, or causing physical harm to the baby during the labor and delivery process.
Failed and Delayed Diagnosis
If a doctor fails to diagnose a condition quickly and accurately, patients may not get the care they need quickly enough or even at all. If a doctor misses clear and obvious symptoms, they may discharge the patient without them ever receiving treatment.
Another common problem is misdiagnosis. This can often be more dangerous than if a doctor fails to spot the symptoms altogether.
Administering the wrong treatment to a patient with a serious illness or condition can cause horrific side effects or may even prove fatal in the worst cases.
Emergency Room Errors
Emergency room nurses and employees should be trained to a high standard. They need to know how to prioritize the oncoming flow of injured patients in a way that means people are seen in the correct time frame according to their injuries.
Sometimes, when hospitals are understaffed or the nurses and doctors working are not competent, they may fail to adequately triage patients in order of importance.
If you were left waiting for a long period of time and, as a result, you suffered injuries, you may be entitled to seek compensation.
Surgery is scary under normal conditions, and even when you have full faith in your surgeon, mistakes can still be made.
Surgical errors have the potential to be extremely severe, for instance, a nicked artery could easily cause a fatality.
If a surgeon makes a mistake through their own negligence, you deserve to seek compensation for your injuries, especially if the mistake happened because they did not follow the standard medical procedures they were meant to.
Before surgery is suggested, patients should be given the opportunity to try physical therapy, medication and other alternatives. Often we find that this is not the case as surgeons and physicians would rather bill for surgery as it costs significantly more.
Wrongful Death Claim
In to seek compensation for their emotional trauma and grief, loss of services, and care of the deceased, the family of a victim who has lost their life due to medical malpractice 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, along with certain beneficiaries, namely, a spouse, children, or parents.
Prescription Medication Errors
Doctors need to have extensive knowledge of the drugs they prescribe and their potential to interact with other drugs or conditions. They should know all of the potential side effects and should take due consideration to ensure they are the correct choice for you.
If you have been prescribed medication that has caused you harm through interactions with previously known conditions or your current medication, you may have a claim.
Post-Surgical Infections and Hospital-Acquired Infections
Hospital infections can be particularly nasty, especially as many patients in a hospital are already vulnerable.
To reduce the chances of these infections spreading, the hospital should be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly on a regular basis. In particular, special care wards and operating theaters should require full sterilization.
If you developed an infection during your time in hospital and believe it was down to negligent behavior, like a lack of cleaning or witnessing a doctor failing to wash their hands, there may be grounds for a claim.
To give anesthesia, doctors and nurses need special training. The anesthesia itself can cause harm if too much is administered.
Even worse, if you go in for a procedure and the incorrect amount of anesthesia is administered, you may have some feeling or wake up during the procedure.
This can be extremely traumatic and should never happen. If you have experienced either of the above, you need to get in touch with an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately.
If a patient is left in a certain position for too long without being moved, they may develop a deformity or an injury as a result. Patients should be repositioned in a timely manner during surgery to avoid injuries. Injury from a lack of repositioning is easily avoidable and shows that the nurses and surgeons did not act with due care.
Failure to Inform Patients of Risks
Before any procedure or medication, your doctor should sit down with you and explain what they are giving/doing to you, the potential risks, and the potential side effects.
Only after having this explained to you should you be allowed to give your full consent and if you underwent surgery without having the risks explained to you, and you suffered injury from a known risk, this is medical negligence.
If you have not had every aspect of the treatment explained to you but you have been asked to sign a consent form, this consent is essentially void, especially if you would have said no to the surgery had you known the risks.
Medical Record Errors
Keeping medical records up to date and filed correctly is something that you should not have to worry about. Your healthcare professionals are responsible for keeping all records up to date and when physicians or staff neglect to appropriately record treatments in a patient’s chart, medical errors can easily happen.
How to Choose a Good Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If you have been the victim of any of the above forms of medical malpractice, your next step will be to find a skilled and reputable law firm that handles medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice cases are more complicated than standard personal injury claims, so you will need to ensure that your chosen firm is skilled at dealing with medical malpractice cases.
When seeking an attorney, you should be looking at:
- Legal expertise – In a medical malpractice case, there are specific legal issues that are unique. This makes them more complex and often results in them taking a lot longer to settle or complete. Your case may drag on for years and this means finding an attorney that moves things along as quickly and efficiently as possible is crucial. To move things along, they will have impeccable knowledge of Maryland medical malpractice rules and regulations.
- Medical expertise – Your chosen attorney should also have a high level of understanding when it comes to the medical profession. Good medical malpractice attorneys will know about the science behind specific treatments. They will also have access to a quality pool of experts they can draw in to help act as your expert witness.
- Experience – One of the most important things to look at is a law firm's previous victories in cases just like yours. A good law firm will be more than happy to showcase its previous wins and provide glowing referrals from previous clients.
Statute of Limitations for a Medical Malpractice Claim in Maryland
There are a few time restraints to consider if you are seeking compensation.
Firstly, we highly recommend that you get in touch as soon as you possibly can after the incident. Personal injury and medical malpractice cases are always time restrictive. This means the longer you leave it to get in touch, the harder it is to win your case.
This isn't to say that you will lose if you hesitate, simply that your attorney will find it easier to build a strong case and discovery evidence of your claims the sooner you obtain their help.
The second time restraint is the statute of limitations.
This means you only have three years from the date the malpractice injury or error occurred. If in rare cases, you don’t discover the injury until later, you may have additional time, but your time to bring a claim will never be more than five years from the date the injury occurred or three years from the date the injury was discovered.
After these time periods, you are forever barred from making a claim relating to the incident in question so it is extremely important that you get in touch with a skilled attorney immediately if you believe you have a case.
Proving Medical Malpractice Claims in Maryland
In the state of Maryland, together, you and your attorney will need to prove four specific factors in order for it to be a valid medical malpractice case.
- As a patient, you were owed a duty of care by your health care providers.
- The health care providers that owed you a duty of care, breached it with their actions.
- Their actions caused you either physical, emotional or mental trauma/injury directly.
- The result of this breach in the duty of care has resulted in a measurable injury that needed medical treatment and caused you tangible damages.
If you can prove these things, then you have a valid case.
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:
- Nursing homes
- Aids or assistants
- Healthcare companies
- Other healthcare providers
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim in Maryland
The process of filing a medical malpractice claim in Maryland begins with submitting a claim to the Director of Maryland Health Claims.
You will then be asked to obtain a certificate of merit from a qualified expert, verifying that you do, in fact, have a valid reason to claim.
These steps will allow you to verify that your injuries arose through a breach of the standard accepted healthcare guidelines and that your healthcare professional’s negligence caused the damages you say they did.
Your medical malpractice attorney will have access to a huge panel of experts specifically for this task.
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 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.
Medical Malpractice FAQs
How long do medical negligence claim cases take?
Every case will be different. The circumstances that led to the case, the damages caused and the negligent behavior that caused the damages will vary wildly. This means that the time it will take for your case to settle will depend entirely upon those circumstances.
How are medical negligence cases funded?
Here at Peter Angelos Law, we work on what is known as a contingency fee basis. This means we do not take payment up front and you only pay if and when you win your case. Usually, this will take the form of a flat percentage-based payment taken from your settlement.
Do all medical negligence cases go to court?
No, if your attorney has built a strong case on your behalf, the other party may choose to settle out of court to prevent long and expensive legal battles they think they have a chance of losing.
Many cases do end up going the distance however, your attorney will be able to evaluate your case during the free consultation and advise you on how they see it proceeding.
Should you accept the first offer of compensation?
In the majority of cases, the first settlement offer will be lower than the defense are truly willing to go. They will often attempt to settle quickly, coming to you directly with an offer that may seem appealing.
You will need to make the decision on your own, but we recommend taking the advice of your attorney. Normally, the first offer will be a lot less than what the other party is truly willing to offer.
This is why it is important to hire a lawyer to help negotiate your claim so that you receive the best award possible while at the same time, eliminating the risk of having your case tried before a jury.
Our Dundalk, Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorneys May be Able to Help
To help you navigate through the difficult-to-understand, complex rules that surround medical malpractice cases in the state of Maryland, your best shot will always be if you obtain representation from a reputable medical malpractice attorney.
If you obtain the help of a skilled team of Maryland medical malpractice lawyers, you will have advocates ready to fight on your behalf. At Peter Angelos Law, our firm is made up of aggressive and knowledgeable attorneys with a long history of victories under their belts.
The sooner you get in touch, the sooner they can begin to build an air-tight case on your behalf.
Call us today at 410-705-2405.