When you seek treatment at a hospital, you trust in doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other hospital staff to take care of your well-being.
Sometimes, that trust is rewarded. But in some instances, the action or inaction of a healthcare professional at a hospital can result in serious harm.
If you or a loved one has suffered harm because a healthcare provider at a hospital was negligent, you might be entitled to compensation for hospital malpractice.
What Is Hospital Malpractice?
Hospital malpractice is a form of medical malpractice that occurs when a medical error is made at a hospital.
The mistake may be the fault of a medical professional, an employee of the hospital, or the institution itself.
Common causes of hospital malpractice include the following:
- Failure to order appropriate tests,
- Anesthesia errors,
- Laboratory errors,
- Surgical errors,
- Failure to properly interpret test results,
A hospital or other healthcare institution is generally liable for the actions of their employees as long as those employees are acting within the scope of their employment.
This could include doctors, technicians and nurses.
What Constitutes a Valid Hospital Malpractice Lawsuit?
In order to file a hospital malpractice lawsuit, you will have to prove the hospital or an employee of the hospital did not comply with the standards of care.
The standard of care is that degree of care and skill that would be used by a reasonable healthcare professional in the same or similar circumstances. The failure to meet the standard of care is called a breach of the standards of care.
How to Sue a Hospital for Malpractice in Maryland
Medical Malpractice cases can be complicated. There are also several procedural requirements for filing a medical malpractice claim in Maryland.
Therefore, it is important to receive appropriate legal guidance.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations
In Maryland, generally speaking, you must file a medical malpractice lawsuit within the earlier of five years from the date the injury was committed or three years of the date the injury was discovered or could have reasonably been discovered.
There are exceptions to this rule for minors and mental incompetence.
Certificate of Qualified Expert
Within 90 days from the date of filing a medical malpractice claim, Maryland law requires a Claimant/Plaintiff to file a “Certificate of Qualified Expert” signed by a health care provider who, among other qualifications, has had clinical experience in the field of health care in which the defendant provided care or treatment to the plaintiff, within 5 years of the date of the alleged negligence.
This certificate must attest to a departure from standards of care, and that the departure from the standards of care is the proximate cause of the alleged injury.
Cap on Medical Malpractice Damages
Maryland has a cap on noneconomic damages for medical malpractice cases, including hospital malpractice.
Noneconomic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, anxiety, depression, loss of society and companionship, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
The amount of the cap depends on when the injury occurred.
For example, the cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases for causes of action arising between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022 is $860,000.00.
The cap increases by $15,000 beginning on January 1 of each year. Noneconomic damages for wrongful death are limited to no more than 125% of that year’s cap.
If your hospital malpractice claim in Maryland involves damages more than the limit of the concurrent jurisdiction of the District Court, you must file the initial claim and Certificate of Qualified Expert with the Maryland Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office.
The claim can be “waived” to Circuit Court if certain procedural requirements are satisfied.
Choosing a Baltimore Hospital Negligence Lawyer
Do not let the complexities of the Maryland legal system deter you from seeking the compensation you deserve. Talk to a Baltimore hospital negligence lawyer today.
The legal team at Baird Mandalas Brockstedt Federico & Cardea is dedicated to providing compassionate and responsive legal services.
Our team is results-driven and trial-tested. Medical malpractice can have a lasting impact on victims and their families. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.