Leonardtown Medical Malpractice Attorney: Helping Those Who Suffered as a Result of Negligent Healthcare
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor, nurse, or other health care professional or institution fails to provide adequate care and thereby causes harm. In these situations, it can be difficult to identify exactly what went wrong. An experienced Leonardtown medical malpractice attorney will be able to analyze the facts and circumstances of your case to identify the cause of the harm you have suffered and whether it rises to the level of filing a lawsuit.
Maryland Medical Malpractice Claims Require Knowledge and Experience
While medical malpractice is a type of negligence, it is far more complex than the typical negligence claim. This is because there is rarely any guarantee of success when it comes to medical treatment. There can also be harmful side effects.
In order for your medical malpractice claim to be successful, you need to be able to demonstrate that the treatment provided was below the standard of care that applies in your case. As part of this analysis, you must consider the training and experience of the physician, the age and general physical health of the patient, the nature of the medical condition, and a variety of other factors. In order to prove your case, you will likely have to rely upon expert testimony to prove that the treatment provided did not comply with the standard of care. For these reasons, medical malpractice claims can be almost impossible for non-lawyers to pursue. If you believe that you are the victim of medical malpractice, you should discuss your case with a Leonardtown medical malpractice attorney before taking any action.
Where Medical Malpractice Can Occur
Medical malpractice cases arise from a variety of contexts beyond a careless physician who makes a mistake. For example:
- ER Negligence – Even though these are high-pressure, fast-paced environments, physicians and hospitals are still held to professional standards. Misdiagnoses are common, which can lead to serious health problems. A Leonardtown medical malpractice attorney will be able to evaluate your case and determine whether malpractice occurred.
- Hospital negligence – Hospitals have a legal obligation to ensure that physicians, nurses, and other staff have adequate supervision and the resources they need. They can also be held liable for lab or testing errors, as well as errors that occur with medications dispensed by their pharmacy.
- Pharmacy errors – Pharmacies can also be held liable for medication errors. Dispensing the wrong medication or the wrong dosage can result in serious health problems and dangerous side effects.
Of course, medical malpractice can also include surgical errors, misdiagnoses, prescribing the wrong medications, or failing to review the patient’s medical records.
Our Leonardtown Medical Malpractice Lawyers Break Down Maryland Rules for Malpractice Claims
Filing a medical malpractice claim in Maryland is government by Maryland Code Annotated Courts and Judicial proceedings Section 3-2A-04 (6) (4). Under this statute, medical malpractice lawyers must file a Certificate of Qualified Expert with the Director of the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office within 90 days from the date of the complaint.
The Certificate of Qualified Expert must contain an opinion from a qualified physician stating the physician has reviewed the plaintiff’s medical records and that, in the physician’s opinion, the defendant(s) were more likely than not negligent in treating the plaintiff. The Certificate must state the specific injury complained of, the alleged breach of standard of case, what the defendant doctor or doctors should have done to meet the standard of care, and must infer that the defendant doctor(s) breached of the standard of care proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
Defendant physicians in Maryland medical malpractice claims must also file Certificates from Qualified Experts indicating that they either complied with the standard of care or that the alleged breach did not cause the plaintiff’s injury.
Arbitration is no longer mandatory; it can be waived for medical malpractice claims, so you can proceed directly to court after filing your Certificate. If both parties agree to try arbitration the arbitrators will decide whether the health care professional has any liability, and will also create an itemized list of damages.
Either party can reject the arbitration, and doing so does involve some risk that your Leonardtown medical malpractice attorney will explain. All findings made by the arbitration panel are taken into consideration by the judge or jury and are deemed to be accurate unless the judge rules otherwise. Furthermore, if you reject the arbitration panel’s findings and then lose in court, you will be forced to pay the opposing sides’ cases.
Our Leonardtown Medical Malpractice Attorney Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have a claim for medical malpractice?
It isn’t always easy to tell if you have a claim for medical malpractice, particularly for non-lawyers. You need to be able to determine whether or not the treatment you received deviated from the standard of care and that you suffered harm as a result. An experienced Leonardtown medical malpractice attorney will be able to review your case and determine whether you may have a claim for compensation.
What is informed consent?
Informed consent is where the physician or other medical professional obtains your authorization to proceed with a specific medical treatment. Part of this process involves disclosing any known risks and potential side effects. The physician or medical professional should also discuss alternative treatments as well as the option to forgo treatment and the various possible outcomes. Once the treatment has been thoroughly discussed, the patient should be required to sign a form authorizing the physician to provide treatment.
The patient may not be able to provide their informed consent in emergency situations before treatment is given. However, the physician should advise the patient accordingly as soon as possible and obtain their informed consent before continuing treatment.
Failure to obtain your informed consent could be medical malpractice. However, the fact that you signed an authorization consenting to treatment does not waive any possible medical malpractice claims. The best thing to do is to discuss your case with a Leonardtown medical malpractice attorney.
Who do I sue for medical malpractice?
The answer to this question depends on the nature and circumstances of your case. Nurses, doctors, hospitals, and other facilities can all be held liable for medical malpractice. In many cases, you may need to sue more than one party.
Pursuing your claim against the correct party is vital to the success of your case. Suing the wrong party could jeopardize your claim and you may lose your rights to pursue compensation. A Leonardtown medical malpractice lawyer will be able to determine who the parties are that should be held accountable in your case.
What are some common types of medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice actually encompasses a broad spectrum of medical errors. These errors can include the following:
- Diagnostic errors such as failing to diagnose an illness or diagnosing the wrong illness
- Surgical errors such as operating on the wrong body part, leaving medical equipment inside the body cavity, or causing damage to internal organs, tissues, or nerves
- Medication errors such as prescribing the wrong dosage or prescribing a medication you are allergic to
- Birth injuries such as cerebral palsy or birth asphyxia
- Anesthesia errors
If you have suffered harm as a result of medical treatment, a Leonardtown medical malpractice lawyer will be able to determine whether you have a claim.
How long do I have to pursue my claim?
In the state of Maryland, you must file your medical malpractice lawsuit within five years of the date you received treatment or within three years of discovering your injury, whichever occurs first. Failure to pursue your claim within these time periods means that you will lose all of your rights to compensation.
Call Leonardtown Medical Malpractice Attorney Thomas E. Pyles Today
If you are suffering health problems as a result of medical malpractice, you need a determined advocate on your side who knows how to get results. At the Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles, we have the knowledge and skill to get you fair compensation, backed by over 30 years of experience. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 301-705-5006 or contact us online to discuss your case and how we can help.