Do I Need a Lawyer for a Medical Malpractice Case in Maryland?
There are no laws in the state of Maryland that state that you cannot pursue a compensation claim against a negligent medical provider by yourself. However, in most cases, it is not a smart idea to do so.
Firstly, you will be up against an aggressive, highly trained legal team that will be defending their client. Their only job is to reduce the payout of the insurance company and they spend every day working on cases just like yours. By yourself, without legal training or a full understanding of the laws and rules of malpractice lawsuits in Maryland, your chances of success are lower by yourself. With an advocate that has legal training and experience winning cases just like yours, you level the playing field.
Secondly, the case may run for several years, and if you are dealing with injuries as a result of the malpractice, the best thing you can do is focus on your recovery and mental health, and fighting a lengthy case by yourself could further aggravate your injuries.
Remember, most victims of malpractice that obtain legal representation from a skilled attorney go on to win more compensation overall, even with fees deducted. As most medical malpractice claims are fought on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay for nothing upfront, or if you lose your case, it makes the most sense to bring in a skilled attorney as your advocate.
Medical Malpractice in Maryland State
Medical care is more expensive in the United States than anywhere else in the world and by a fair margin ($5000 more per person on average at $12,000 per person. Germany is the second most expensive at $7000).
You would expect that this additional cost would bring the most competent and highly trained medical providers possible, but unfortunately, the state of Maryland still sees a high rate of malpractice, birth injury, and wrongful death cases that occur every year.
Your medical providers should be competent and highly trained. They should follow the standards of medical practices to the letter, as they have been taught, and should always give their patients the full due care and attention they deserve. When they do not, and they cause a patient to suffer an injury, or the aggravation of a previous injury, this may be malpractice, as the injuries could have been prevented.
As the victim of malpractice, you are most likely furious at your medical providers, and you may be wondering what your options are, especially if you have suffered damages such as unexpected medical bills and lost wages for unplanned time off.
If your medical malpractice incident happened in Maryland, you should get in touch with one of our team here at Peter Angelos Law.
Peter Angelos – Representation from One of Maryland’s Finest Malpractice Attorneys
One of the most important goals on our agenda here at Peter Angelos Law, is to provide the opportunity to all victims of medical malpractice in Mayland to hold their medical providers accountable. If you have been the victim of malpractice, you deserve the chance to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering, and if you have incurred any damages, you deserve to recover them.
We work on a contingency fee basis and offer a free case evaluation to all potential clients. We can ask some simple questions and evaluate your case. You can ask your designated Maryland medical malpractice lawyer the questions you need to ask, and if you are comfortable, we can set things into motion immediately. There are no fees to find upfront, and if we cannot win your case, you won’t have to pay us anything. If we win, our fees come out of your settlement, meaning you never have to pay us anything direct.
How is Medical Malpractice Defined by Maryland Law
If a medical provider acted negligently while they owed you a duty of care, then this is malpractice, and any injury they cause could be seen as preventable.
Negligent behavior doesn’t have to be an act; it can be an omission of an act or a lack of due care and attention. Incorrect medical records, a lack of monitoring, or a deviation from standard medical practices can also be seen as malpractice.
During the evaluation, we will ask questions that allow us to deduce whether or not we will be able to prove that malpractice did, in fact, occur. To prove this, there are four important elements to consider.
Simplified, if a normal competent medical provider would have behaved differently in the same situation, then the behavior may be seen as unreasonable.
Four Elements of a Medical Malpractice Case
- Firstly, you will need to prove that the party responsible owed you a duty of care. Almost all medical providers automatically assume a duty of care to their patients.
- Secondly, the medical providers actions meant that they breached this duty of care.
- Thirdly, this breach in the duty of care directly caused your 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
When you go to a medical provider, they should be able to diagnose what is wrong with you based on your symptoms, in a timely manner. When this is not the case, and they either fail to diagnose your condition or take longer than they should to diagnose you correctly, you may suffer from injury or aggravation of your condition.
When doctors take too long to diagnose you, there is a good chance that you will not receive the treatment you need in the timeframe that it is most effective. In some cases, a delay may mean that more serious treatment and medication then becomes necessary.
If a doctor cannot diagnose the condition at all, you may not receive any treatment at all.
In both cases, the patient may suffer from injuries that would have been entirely preventable had the doctor diagnosed them in a timely manner.
Sometimes your medical provider might not just delay or fail to diagnose you; they may diagnose you incorrectly. In many cases, this is even more serious, as you may be given treatment or sent for procedures for the wrong condition. In the best-case scenario, this will simply mean your true diagnosis is delayed. In the worst-case scenario, you may be given treatment that negatively interacts with what is truly wrong with you. This could prove fatal in the most serious of cases.
Emergency Room Errors
Emergency room errors can be caused by a variety of factors, such as staff negligence or inexperience, communication breakdowns, or equipment failures. In the state of Maryland, some of the most common errors that occur in emergency rooms include:
- Failure to diagnose a medical emergency
- Delay in providing treatment
- Wrong or delayed diagnosis
- Medication errors
These errors can have serious consequences for patients, including death, serious injury, or long-term health problems. In some cases, patients may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit in order to seek compensation for the damages they have suffered.
If you have been left in an emergency room for a long period of time, and your injuries worsened as a result, you may be entitled to make a claim.
The most common preventable birth injuries are caused by medical malpractice. When a doctor or other medical provider provides negligent care that leads to an injury to a baby, it is considered a birth injury. Some common birth injuries that can be prevented with better care include cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and brain damage.
Prescription Medication Errors
Prescription medication errors can leave victims with preventable injuries. One reason this may be grounds for a medical malpractice case in Maryland is that prescription medication errors can often be traced back to negligence on the part of a healthcare provider.
For example, a healthcare provider may not properly review a patient’s medical history before prescribing them medication, which could lead to an adverse reaction. Additionally, a healthcare provider may not properly monitor a patient’s medication dosage or interactions between different medications, which could also lead to serious injuries.
Surgical errors are preventable mistakes made by medical providers that can lead to serious injury or death. Common causes of surgical errors include fatigue, lack of training, and poor communication among staff members. These errors can be prevented by having a clear chain of command, implementing rigorous training and safety standards, and establishing protocols for communication among staff members.
Victims of surgical errors can suffer from a variety of physical and emotional injuries. These can include pain, infection, paralysis, organ damage, and even death. Victims may also suffer from emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. Victims may also be left with permanent physical disabilities or disfigurement.
The best way to prevent surgical errors is to ensure that all medical staff are properly trained, that communication is clear, and that protocols are in place to prevent mistakes. If a surgical error does occur, medical negligence must be taken seriously, and victims should seek medical attention and legal advice to seek compensation.
There are a number of errors that can occur when it comes to anesthesia, such as:
- Anesthesia dosage error
- Delayed delivery of anesthesia
- Patient monitoring failures
- Dangerously prolonged sedation
- Failure to recognize and respond to anesthesia complications
- Failure to properly inform a patient of instructions for before, during, or after the procedure
- Faulty equipment
- Shutting off the alarm on the pulse oximeter
- Failure to intubate
- Failure to notice adverse drug interactions
Statute of Limitations for a Medical Malpractice Claim – Maryland
In Maryland, if you plan to make a medical malpractice claim, you need to bear in mind that there is a legal time limit placed upon you by the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims.
You have 3 years from the date of the malpractice to make a claim, with the only exception being if you have not discovered the injuries until a later date. In these cases you have 3 years from the date of discovery but the total time from the initial incident cannot be more than 5 years.
When these time limits have passed and you try to raise a claim, the other party will have it thrown out.
Regardless of the statutes, you should always involve your attorney at the earliest possible moment so that they have enough time to build a compelling case. The earlier you involve them, the easier it is for them to investigate what happened and the longer they have to calculate your damages.
What Damages Can You Recover Through a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
When it comes to Maryland medical malpractice cases, the amount of compensation that may be on offer to you will rely upon the severity of your injuries and the damages you have incurred as a result of them.
Your attorney will need to assess what your economic damages are worth, as well as how severe your pain and suffering and non-economic damages are. Usually, your economic damages, which are the ones that have cost you money or will cost you money, will be added up. This figure will then be subject to a multiplier between 1-5, depending on how bad your non-economic damages have been. This will give your attorney a figure to use in their negotiations for settlement.
In any personal injury or medical malpractice case, your attorney will need to consider how much your damages are worth. This will form the basis of any settlement offers. To calculate how much the damages you wish to recover are worth, they will need to first sum up your economic damages.
Economic damages include the costs of treatment and medical bills, as well as your lost income. They are easily calculated and hard to dispute as long as you have copies of receipts and bills. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering and your loss of enjoyment of life. These are harder to work out, and your attorney will need to use their past experience and may need to speak to a qualified medical expert to gauge how serious they believe your pain and suffering to have been.
Here are the most important damages that you should be aware of:
In a malpractice claim, you may be able to recover all of your medical bills. This includes the cost of your initial treatment, as well as any cost incurred by the malpractice that has occurred. You can claim for all historic bills that you have already paid, and if you are going to require further treatment, you can recover these in advance.
If you are going to require long-term treatment, it is important your attorney discusses your case with medical experts so they can accurately deduce what this cost may look like. This will ensure you have the financial means to pay for your future treatment.
You should ensure that you keep records and copies of all medical bills and receipts for proof. A daily diary including a brief statement on how you feel and the pain you are in will be really useful to your attorney when they need to work out how bad your pain and suffering has been.
Lost Income and/or Earning Capacity
For most victims of malpractice, there will be the need for time off work to deal with what has happened. This may be for further treatment or to recover, physically or mentally from the incident.
Medical malpractice law allows for victims to recover any lost income that has resulted from the malpractice. This includes all income lost so far and any income lost in the future. Your attorney may need to speak to financial experts to help them calculate what your future loss of earnings are worth, especially if you will never be able to return to work in the same capacity as a result of your injuries.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are subjective, meaning your attorney will decide what they are worth as there are no clear guidelines and no clear cost.
Your attorney will need to decide how serious your pain and suffering have been, which includes physical pain from the injuries, mental trauma, and emotional distress.
They will also account for loss of enjoyment of life, which applies to any negative changes in how you live your life. If you can no longer go fishing, play basketball or ride your bike on the weekends, you deserve compensation for this loss.
Filing a Wrongful Death Medical Malpractice
When things go drastically wrong, there is a real possibility that medical malpractice can lead to the death of a patient. These tragic cases are extremely complex, as an Estate representative of the deceased will then file a wrongful death claim against the medical provider who is responsible.
Navigating a wrongful death claim requires an attorney with a lot of experience in medical malpractice cases, as they are notoriously complex, often lasting several years.
A wrongful death claim allows for the family and loved ones of the deceased to pursue financial compensation for their grief, as well as for loss of services, support, and care for their loved ones.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Medical Malpractice Case in Maryland?
Do I need a lawyer for a valid medical malpractice case in Maryland?
While there is no law that prevents you from pursuing compensation alone, it is rarely a good idea as you have no legal training and will be up against an aggressive, highly trained legal team, all while you are still recovering from your injuries.
What is considered medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is considered to be any negligent behavior carried out by a licensed health care provider that leads to injuries that could have been preventable.
How do you know if medical malpractice occurs?
Medical malpractice occurs when your medical provider deviates from the standard medical practices they have been taught to adhere to, or act without the due care and attention their patients are owed. The best way to know if your case was indeed malpractice is to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. They will look at your case, consider Maryland medical malpractice law and speak to medical experts and evaluate your case and tell you if it was indeed malpractice caused by your healthcare providers.
How do you prove a medical malpractice claim?
To prove a medical malpractice case, you will need to speak to an attorney. They will contact a medical expert in the relevant field and obtain their expert testimony to prove the case. They will also need to prove the four elements of negligence, the duty of care, breach of the duty of care, causation and damages.
How long can you wait to file a Maryland medical malpractice claim?
There is a 3-year statute of limitations in place in Maryland when it comes to medical malpractice. This means you have 3 years to file your lawsuit or 5 years if you discover the injuries at a later point. In this case you will still only have 3 years from the date of discovery and five years from the initial incident. Wrongful death claims must be made within 3 years of the death also.
Can you still bring a medical malpractice claim if you didn’t follow your doctor’s instructions?
If you fail to follow your doctor’s treatment instructions, you can still bring a medical malpractice claim as long as your failure to follow the instructions was not the direct cause of your injuries. If the failure to comply with the instructions was the primary cause of your injuries, then your medical malpractice claim will not be successful.
What is the first step in bringing a Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit?
The very first step in bringing a lawsuit against your medical providers is to contact a reputable law firm that handles malpractice cases. They will be able to review and evaluate your case and determine if it indeed was malpractice. It is crucial that you speak to an attorney as they will have access to a panel of medical experts who are needed to provide expert testimonial in your case.
Will I need my medical records for a medical malpractice lawsuit?
You will not need your medical records for the initial consultation, although they will definitely help. At some point you will have to obtain all historical medical records as they will be crucial in your case.
Do most medical malpractice cases settle?
70% of medical malpractice claims result in an out-of-court settlement, meaning your chances of settling are higher than your chances of proceeding to court. However, you should always be prepared that your case may need to be heard in court in order for you to receive what is owed to you, and it is crucial you pick a Maryland medical malpractice attorney that has a proven track record for litigating cases similar to yours.
Contact Our Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Peter Angelos Law
Here at Peter Angelos Law, our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys have a long history of success. We have won countless settlements for clients in similar situations to you, and we are prepared to litigate fiercely on your behalf if the other party does agree to our settlement negotiations.
We take the time to build a confidence-inspiring client-attorney relationship, and we believe keeping our clients educated and informed throughout every stage of the process is an important quality in any medical malpractice law firm.
Contact us today to speak to one of our skilled and experienced attorneys about your case at 410-705-2405.