| Read Time: 3 minutes | Medical Malpractice
proceeding with medical malpractice case MD

Unlike in some other states, an injured patient cannot simply file a medical malpractice suit in Maryland against a healthcare provider and proceed directly to court.

Maryland requires plaintiffs to overcome specific procedural hurdles before a medical malpractice case can proceed in court.

For example, in order to proceed with a medical malpractice case for significant injuries, a Plaintiff must file a “certificate of a qualified expert” and report.

In addition, if the anticipated damages exceed a certain amount, a Plaintiff must first file the medical malpractice case with Maryland’s Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office. 

A court may dismiss your case if you do not comply with these obligations.

Therefore, It is advisable to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.

What Is a Certificate of a Qualified Expert?

In order to proceed with a medical malpractice lawsuit, a Plaintiff must provide all parties with a certificate from one or more qualified experts within the time prescribed by Maryland law.

This Certificate(s) must include language that the defendant’s treatment violated the standards of care and was a proximate cause of the alleged injury. Not just anyone can sign a “Certificate of Merit.” Indeed, Maryland law requires the qualified expert to certify that he or she has clinical experience, has provided consultation relating to clinical practice, and/or taught medicine in the Defendant’s specialty or a related field of health care, or in the field of healthcare in which the Defendant provided care or treatment to the Plaintiff within five (5) years of the alleged act or omission. 

In Maryland, the requirements for a medical doctor to issue a certificate of merit in a medical malpractice case are stringent. The doctor must demonstrate:

  1. Recent clinical experience relevant to the defendant’s specialty or related healthcare field.
  2. Consultation involvement regarding clinical practice within five years of the alleged malpractice incident.
  3. Teaching experience in medicine within the defendant’s specialty or relevant healthcare field during the specified timeframe. Additionally, except for specific circumstances, board certification in the relevant medical area is mandatory.

Maryland law also requires qualified experts to certify that less than 25% of their professional activities in the twelve (12) months immediately before the filing of a malpractice claim have been devoted to activities that directly involve testimony in personal injury claims. 

Which Cases Must Be Filed in Maryland’s Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office?

In medical malpractice cases where the damages exceed a certain amount, a plaintiff must first file his or her claim with the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (HCADRO). 

The Plaintiff can waive the jurisdiction of HCADRO, upon filing the necessary certificate of qualified expert(s) and report(s). 

Act Promptly

The statute of limitations is a deadline within which you must file an action in order to preserve your rights.

Unless a medical malpractice lawsuit is brought on behalf of a child, a Plaintiff, with certain exceptions, must bring a medical malpractice lawsuit within three (3) years from when the Plaintiff reasonably should have discovered the injury, or five (5) years from the date of the injury, whichever is earlier.

Therefore, it is extremely important that a Plaintiff does not wait too long to file a lawsuit.

Why Choose Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico to Handle Your Lawsuit for Malpractice?

When a healthcare provider causes life-changing injuries, you need an experienced medical malpractice attorney who will fight for the highest possible recovery.

The award-winning lawyers at Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico have represented medical malpractice victims in Baltimore and throughout Maryland for decades.

They are intimately familiar with Maryland’s unique medical malpractice requirements and have extensive trial experience.

Our attorneys also understand how important it is to communicate with our clients throughout the litigation process.

Contact our office today to discuss your claim.

Author Photo

Phil Federico is a partner at Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico where he helps lead the Mass Tort / Class Action and Environmental Law practices, transitioning into these areas after beginning his career as a medical malpractice litigator.

Phil has led and been involved in historic and groundbreaking litigation with verdicts and settlements exceeding one billion dollars.

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