Pursuing a claim for medical negligence can be vital to your physical, mental, and financial recovery after a medical error injures you. However, it is no simple task and is best undertaken with the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
This article will discuss the basics of medical negligence, the initial steps to making a claim, and what you might expect along the way.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice can involve many scenarios and several individuals, but at its core, it means that a medical professional has deviated from the accepted standard of medical care applicable to similar providers under similar circumstances.
Specifically, when a physician or other medical professional makes a mistake that injures a patient, worsens an existing condition, or harms the patient in any way, they may be liable for medical malpractice.
Whom Can I Sue for Medical Negligence?
When you think of medical negligence, you are likely to think of doctors, but medical errors extend to any healthcare provider involved in patient care. While doctors may be the usual suspects in medical negligence, depending on the situation, they may not be liable, or other parties may be involved in the medical mistake.
Potentially liable defendants in your medical negligence lawsuit might include:
- Outpatient centers,
- Optometrists, and
An experienced attorney will help you investigate all potentially liable parties to hold them responsible.
How to Make a Medical Negligence Claim
If you’re considering making a medical malpractice claim against a doctor or other medical professional, as the injured plaintiff, you will have the burden of proving your case. Medical malpractice claims can be some of the most intricate and complex legal matters. It is not as simple as showing the doctor made a mistake.
There are four central elements to establishing your medical malpractice claim.
- The physician or other medical provider owed a duty of care. The applicable duty or standard of care is the level of accepted care a physician with similar experience and skill level would have provided to a patient under similar circumstances.
- The physician violated the applicable duty of care. If the physician deviates from the accepted standard of care, they breach their duty to you.
- If you can establish the first two elements, you must show you suffered an injury due to the physician’s breach of duty. You must prove their mistake caused your injury.
- Lastly, you must prove that you suffered damages due to your injury. Even if you are injured but suffer no tangible loss, you may not be successful.
Proving these elements and the causal relationship between medical negligence and your injury can be challenging. It is best to engage a seasoned medical malpractice attorney to assist you.
Remember, the defendants and insurance companies on the other side likely have deep pockets to dispute your allegations vigorously. Our experienced lawyers are fearless in taking on these challenges to get you the compensation you deserve.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Maryland
The applicable statute of limitations will be crucial in pursuing a medical negligence claim in Baltimore. A statute of limitations is the timeframe you have to bring about legal action. If you intend to bring a medical negligence lawsuit in Maryland, you must file your case:
- five years from the date your injury occurred or
- three years from the date the injury was discovered, whichever is earlier.
There are exceptions to the general rule, which may shorten or lengthen the time you have to file your claim. Your attorney can discuss the deadline applicable to your case.
Steps to Take to in Pursing a Medical Negligence Claim in Baltimore
There are three initial steps to take if you intend to pursue a medical malpractice claim in Maryland.
Speak to a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If a doctor or healthcare provider injures you, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible to preserve your right to file a lawsuit and to relay the facts and circumstances while they are still fresh in your memory.
During an initial consultation, your attorney will listen to your story, assess your situation, guide the following steps, and discuss the legal recourse you might have.
Next, your attorney will gather your medical records and other relevant documentation.
Your attorney will assist you with this process and will likely have you sign authorization release forms so that your medical providers can release your records to them. You should provide copies of any documents already in your possession to your attorney as soon as possible.
File a Lawsuit and Comply with Pre-Trial Requirements
After you have identified potentially liable parties, your lawyer will formally file your lawsuit with the court and serve the necessary parties.
Every state has its requirements and procedures for this process. In Maryland, an essential step is to file a certificate of a qualified expert and filing in the Healthcare Alternative Dispute Resolution Office.
A plaintiff must obtain a certificate from a qualified medical expert demonstrating a reasonable basis for their claim, and it must be filed within 90 days of filing your claim; otherwise, you risk dismissal of your claim.
How Long Does a Medical Negligence Claim Take
We are often asked how long my medical negligence claim will take. When will I see compensation for my injury? While it is not the answer people want to hear, it can vary widely among victims and cases. Some medical negligence claims can resolve quickly, while others can last several months or even years.
Many individual factors will influence how quickly a claim is resolved, but one of the most pertinent factors is whether the case settles or proceeds to trial.
If your case settles, especially early on, before a lawsuit is filed, or at the beginning of the discovery process, you can see your compensation reasonably quickly. Once a case settles, payment will be forthcoming typically within around 60 days.
On the other hand, if your case proceeds to trial, it will extend the length of the case for several reasons, including:
- The lengthy discovery process,
- Motion practice, and
- Congested court calendars.
Just because the ligation process can be long does not mean you should accept a settlement. Every case is unique, and your attorney will discuss the pros and cons of both situations and whether they recommend a particular settlement to you.
Baltimore Medical Negligence Law Office
You need strong representation if a Baltimore doctor injured you or a loved one. At Baird Mandalas Brockstedt & Federico, LLC, we know what to expect from these insurance companies and corporate defendants. We bring our unique legal expertise to each client on a personable level. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.