What Do I Do if I Have Been Misdiagnosed?
Quick Answer - Speak to an Attorney About a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
The best thing to do if you have been misdiagnosed by your medical provider, is to speak to a trained medical malpractice lawyer about your options. They will inform you if your case qualifies you for a medical malpractice claim or not, and they will answer any questions you have.
Here at Peter Angelos Law, we offer a free consultation and initial case evaluation to all new clients. If you have suffered injuries due to a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis in Maryland state, contact us today at 410-705-2405.
Medical Malpractice in Maryland
With the growing cost of medical care in Maryland, you should be able to seek the help of your medical provider without worrying about their competency. They should prioritize the doctor patient relationship and should be trained to the highest possible standard. This means they should not make diagnostic errors such as misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis. When we seek help, they should be able to provide a correct diagnosis quickly and accurately when presented with the symptoms and problems.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
When medical providers act without due care and attention or deviate from the standard medical practices, the results can be catastrophic. This may qualify the patient to make a medical malpractice claim.
What is Medical Negligence and Medical Malpractice in Maryland?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider acts negligently, resulting in preventable injuries. Negligence is the failure to act how another reasonable medical provider would act in similar circumstances. Negligence can be an act, an omission of an act, or a lack of due care and attention.
Examples of what this could look like are:
Negligent act - A negligent act may be a surgeon performing the wrong surgery on a patient.
Omission of an act - An omission of an act would be a medical provider failing to provide adequate fetal monitoring during the patients' pregnancy.
Lack of due care and attention - A lack of due care and attention may be if your medical providers fail to move you regularly during surgery, leaving you with a deformity or injury.
Do not worry if you are unsure about your situation, the best way to check if your injuries qualify you to make a medical malpractice claim is to seek a consultation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
They will be able to evaluate your case on your behalf and will inform you if your injuries were preventable and if they believe the medical provider in question did in fact, act negligently.
How To Prove Medical Negligence in Maryland
In order to prove that your case is valid, your attorney will need to prove 4 important elements in your case. These are the four elements of negligence:
- As a patient, you were owed a duty of care by your medical providers
- The medical 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
Misdiagnosis/Failed and Delayed Diagnosis
When you approach your medical provider, they need to be able to diagnose correctly and in a timely manner. A failure to miss obvious symptoms may lead to a misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis and or in some cases a failed diagnosis altogether.
If a doctor fails to make a proper diagnosis, and fails to send for the correct diagnostic tests they may sign a patient off and send them home without any treatment for their condition. Patients may trust their doctor's judgment and refrain from seeking further help, leaving their problem to fester and worsen. This can lead to serious injuries or in the worst case scenario, the death of the patient.
A medical misdiagnosis can be equally serious. If a doctor diagnoses your condition incorrectly, they may arrange for you to undergo treatment for the wrong condition. At best, this means your condition is not being treated. At worst, they may prescribe treatment that interacts or worsens your previous condition.
If you have suffered an incorrect diagnosis, delayed treatment or a missed diagnosis, and you have suffered injuries as a result, you should speak to a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible.
Other Common Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
As a law firm that has dedicated most of its professional time over 60 years to fighting on behalf of medical malpractice, wrongful death and birth injury malpractice cases, we have seen most forms of medical malpractice lawsuits.
Every case is unique, and will require a bespoke, tailored strategy, but experience in similar cases is invaluable. Here are some of the lawsuits we have brought on behalf of our clients:
During pregnancy and the physical birth, both newborn and mother are particularly vulnerable and every step needs to be taken to ensure they have the best chances of a healthy birth.
Medical providers should conduct extensive fetal monitoring during the pregnancy, and if they have failed to do so, and your child is born with an injury, it may have been preventable.
They should also take all due care and attention during the birth. If a doctor fails to convert the mother to a c-section in a timely manner, or they decide to proceed with a forced birth using a vacuum, and your baby has been injured, you may have a case.
One of the risks that are involved in serious surgeries is the need for anesthesia. Anesthesia should be carried out by a competent and trained anesthesiologist. They should review the patients records, ensure there are no drug interactions or allergies and should formulate a plan using the right combination of anesthesia drugs.
While anesthesia carries a level of risk, errors are often caused by negligence, not the anesthesia. If your anesthesiologist fails to provide a proper standard of care, the doctor or anesthesiologist can be held accountable for any resulting injuries.
Anesthesia malpractice can occur at multiple points of the process. It may be down to a lack of due care and attention during the pre-op review or it may occur during the surgery itself. In the most serious of cases, an allergic reaction to anesthesia can be fatal. Serious injuries can also occur if the patient has been on medication for their condition that has direct negative interaction with the anesthesia drugs.
Another common anesthesia error is when your medical providers do not reposition you during surgery. If you are left in a position for too long, you may suffer injuries or deformities.
As a patient, surgery is scary enough without the worry that your anesthesiologist is incompetent or negligent. If you have suffered a reaction or injury due to your anesthesia, you should speak to an attorney immediately as you may have a valid medical malpractice claim.
Here are the most common anesthesia errors:
- 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 incubate
- Failure to notice adverse drug interactions
Emergency Room Errors
Without the proper management and competent emergency room employees, the emergency room can be a chaotic and problematic place. Hospitals should ensure their emergency rooms are well staffed and the employees are given enough rest and help to ensure they do not make mistakes under the immense stress.
When you need emergency help, you go to the emergency room expecting a certain level of care and competency and if you have been left waiting for a long time with a serious condition and your injuries have worsened and you have suffered as a result, you may have a claim.
Surgery should be the last option explored if there are other conservative measures on offer. In many cases, surgeons and physicians push for surgery because it allows them to bill higher for these procedures when in fact, the patient could have explored other options.
If you have agreed to surgery without being offered things like physical therapy or medication, and you have suffered from a known surgical risk, you may have a claim, especially if you would have taken those options if you had been offered them.
Prescription Medication Errors
As a patient, you should not have to worry if the medication you have been prescribed interacts with allergies or previous conditions. Your doctor should have your full file and should make sure they check it for allergies and previous conditions before they prescribe you medication.
They should also sit down with you and explain all of the known risks and side effects that may occur if you take the medication. They should not prescribe it until you have agreed with them.
If you have suffered an allergic reaction, a negative interaction with a previous condition or you have suffered a known risk you were not told about, these are all medical errors that may entitle you to make a claim.
Failure to Inform Patients of Risks
When you have to undergo a procedure, you have to give full consent. This consent must be given under the right circumstances. You should have all known risks explained to you and any potential side effects. If these have not been explained, and you suffer known risk or side effects, your consent may have been invalid and you may have a claim.
Medical Record Errors
Your medical records should be kept up to date and accurate to prevent interactions and allergic reactions from occurring. Every instance of treatment or care should be documented, providing each new medical provider with a full and accurate medical history.
If you have suffered a reaction or interaction because your medical records were not updated or accurate, you should get in touch with an attorney.
How to Choose a Good Medical Malpractice Attorney in Maryland
Medical malpractice lawsuits are particularly complex and will require an attorney with experience and skill. However, many victims who come to us have never had the need for legal representation before and this can make the decision on who to choose to represent you, a difficult one.
Your attorney may be the difference between you pursuing and winning compensation that accurately covers you for both your past damages and your future medical costs or not.
Here is what we advise you to look for in a medical malpractice attorney:
Compared to personal injury cases, there are a lot of unique factors to a medical malpractice lawsuit. Medical malpractice cases are always complex and can often take several years to complete. Your attorney needs to be ready and prepared for a lengthy battle and should have the knowledge and the experience to push your case to completion without letting off the gas.
Whilst not many lawyers will have medical training, medical malpractice attorneys should have a better understanding of the medical field than other attorneys. They should understand basic principles and where their knowledge is not sufficient they should have medical experts on hand to advise them.
Medical malpractice lawsuits are one of the hardest to win. You will be up against your medical provider and their insurance companies. Due to the historically large payouts medical malpractice cases result in, medical insurance companies now hire incredibly skilled and aggressive attorneys to defend their clients.
This means you need to hire an incredibly skilled attorney of your own and the best way to know how skilled your potential attorney is, is to look at their track record. An attorney who has won numerous cases and is backed by a law firm with a strong reputation will level the playing field.
They should never settle for less and they should always be willing to fight the long and tough battle your case may end up being.
Statute of Limitations for a Medical Malpractice Claim in Maryland
In order to protect medical providers from being sued decades after an incident, the state has a statute of limitations that places a time limit on your case. You will have a set period after the day of the incident, or in the event you do not not discover your injuries until later, from that date instead.
Under these statutes, you have:
3 years from the date, the malpractice injury or error occurred, or in rare cases where you do not discover the injury until later, the claim you bring will never exceed less than 5 years from the date the injury occurred or 3 years from the date the injury was discovered.
Besides this legal time limit, there are other reasons to act in a timely manner. The sooner you get an attorney involved after your accident, the easier it will be for them to prove causation and find evidence that supports your claims. They will have longer to build your case and to calculate your damages too.
The sooner you manage to inform them you wish to open a medical malpractice case, the sooner they can begin to investigate on your behalf.
Who Can You Sue in a Medical Malpractice Suit in Maryland?
You are entitled to bring a malpractice case against any medical provider that owed you a duty of care that acted negligently. If their negligence led to you suffering injuries, you are entitled to bring a claim. This includes the following medical providers:
- Nursing Homes
- Healthcare Companies
- Aids or Assistants
Medical Malpractice FAQs
Our Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorneys May be Able to Help
Medical malpractice lawsuits may be complex and difficult to navigate, but if you have suffered from a medical provider's negligence, you deserve to hold them accountable, no matter how difficult it is.
The best way to do so, is to contact a skilled attorney that has experience winning cases similar to yours, like those here, at Peter Angelos Law.
Every member of our team is a fierce advocate, and every attorney has won countless cases for clients in similar circumstances to you. We have taken on the biggest corporations around, winning $4.5 billion from the state's tobacco giants, the biggest settlement in Baltimore history!
We prioritize the attorney-client relationship, and we take time to educate our clients, keeping them in the loop throughout the entire case.
Call us at 410-705-2405.