If you underwent surgery and developed complications, you may wonder how long you have to sue your doctor after surgery in Maryland.
In this article, we will discuss the answer to this question and talk a little about what you need to prove for a medical malpractice case.
If you are a victim of medical malpractice, it is best to have an experienced lawyer on your side.
At Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federic, LLC, we have a team of seasoned lawyers who have the tools and experience to take on even the most complex medical negligence cases.
Our attorneys have recovered millions in compensation on behalf of their clients, and they are here to help you get the justice and compensation that you deserve.
What Is a Malpractice Lawsuit?
A medical malpractice claim, otherwise called a medical negligence claim, can be initiated when a doctor or medical professional does not follow the applicable standard of care with their patient, which in turn causes injury to the patient. The harm or injury can be physical, financial, or psychological in nature.
A medical malpractice suit allows an injured party to bring a claim against their medical professional. Through this suit, the injured party can seek something called damages.
Damages are meant to compensate the injured party for any losses sustained as a direct result of the injury.
Malpractice suits are often complex, and they usually require expert testimony from medical professionals. An experienced lawyer can assist you in finding medical experts to testify on your behalf.
Can You Sue for Surgery Complications?
You probably can, but there are limitations. To be able to sue, your doctor or surgeon must have been negligent in some way. We will address what it means to be negligent later in this article.
Some situations where you can sue for surgery complications include:
- When the doctor did not obtain informed consent before the procedure,
- When the doctor did not explain the risks involved with the procedure,
- When a doctor made an error during the surgery,
- When the doctor failed to diagnose a complication, and
- When the doctor failed to timely treat a complication that arose from the surgery.
It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive. If your surgeon was negligent in one of the above or a different way, an attorney can help you file a malpractice claim against them.
Maryland’s Surgical Malpractice Laws
The amount of time you have to bring a lawsuit is governed by the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is the law that sets the maximum amount of time a party has to bring a suit against the at-fault party in a dispute.
Maryland’s statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases is the earlier of three years after the injury was discovered or five years after the injury was committed.
However, there are exceptions to this law if the injured party was a child at the time the malpractice occurred.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice in Maryland
Medical malpractice claims are governed by the rules of negligence. To show that your doctor or surgeon was negligent, you will have to show the following elements:
- Duty – that your doctor owed you a duty of care;
- Breach – that your doctor breached their duty of care to you;
- Causation – that the doctor’s breach of duty caused your injury; and
- Damages – that your injury led to damages or losses.
A successful malpractice suit must also show that the injuries sustained by the patient are compensable by money. In other words, the patient must be able to show that money would help make them whole after their injury.
Types of Damages in Malpractice Lawsuits
In a malpractice suit, there are generally two types of damages that you can recover: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages, sometimes called pecuniary damages, compensate the injured party for losses that are reasonably quantifiable in nature. In other words, they compensate the injured party for their losses that are easy to calculate in terms of monetary value.
Some examples of economic damages include compensation for:
- Hospital visit costs,
- Doctor’s bills,
- Costs of medication,
- Costs of therapy or treatment,
- Lost wages, and
- Lost future earnings.
As you can see, these types of damages are easily calculable financial losses. Your lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to show to be able to recover these damages.
Non-economic damages, or general damages, compensate the injured party for their losses that are a bit harder to calculate. Some examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Permanent or temporary disfigurement, and
Non-economic damages are subjective in nature, so they are less definite in regard to how much you will be able to recover. However, an attorney can help you maximize the amount of compensation that you will be able to receive.
Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico Is Here for You
We are passionate about victims’ rights at Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico. We believe doctors should treat their patients with the highest levels of care. And when they don’t, they need to be held accountable.
Our award-winning attorneys have been recognized nationally, and they have what it takes to stand up for your legal rights.
The attorneys at Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico have helped hundreds of injured patients get the justice and compensation they deserve, and we are available to take on your case.