Medical malpractice involves the willful negligence of a healthcare provider that results in serious implications for the health of the individual under the provider’s care. Medical malpractice laws in Maryland are severe if a patient can prove that a medical professional did not conform to the required standard of treatment and that this caused serious harm. Healthcare providers and anyone caring for someone else in the medical field can be responsible for medical malpractice, including doctors, nursing home staff, dentists, nurses, pharmacologists, etc.
Processing a Medical Malpractice Claim
The first step in filing a lawsuit against a healthcare provider due to medical malpractice is to find an experienced lawyer. The lawyer will have to prove the four elements of negligence, which are:
– The medical professional owed the patient a duty of care
– The medical professional violated that duty of care
– The medical professional directly caused damage to the patient
– The patient was damaged as a result of the negligence
A medical malpractice case is no different than any other type of negligence case, except that a medical professional or professional healthcare is at fault. In the case of medical malpractice, the offender is also held to a higher standard of care than a person involved in an ordinary case of negligence.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in Maryland
The state of Maryland provides statutes of limitation or time limits on medical malpractice cases. Actions against a medical professional have a time limit of whichever of these two scenarios happens first: five years from the date when the negligence was committed or three years from the date when the patient discovered the injury.
If the medical malpractice act was committed against a child under the age of 18 the statute begins to run when the victim turns 11 years of age. If the action against a minor involves a foreign body or harm to the reproductive system, the statute begins to run when the victim turns 16 years of age.
A medical malpractice case that resulted in the wrongful death of the patient must be filed by the deceased person’s dependents within three years after the death occurred.
Common law doctrine is still in use in Maryland in regards to contributory negligence. If there are joint tortfeasors, or parties responsible for committing civil wrong against someone else, all tortfeasors are liable and must take responsibility for the act. The amount of shared responsibility is to be determined by the judge.
Healthcare providers are not the only ones who can get sued for medical malpractice. Under certain circumstances, hospitals can also be responsible for negligence. For example, if a hospital does not give correct instructions to the physician and this results in harm to the patient, it can be considered medical malpractice on the part of the hospital.
The Requirement of Expert Testimony in Medical Malpractice Cases
The law in Maryland states that in order for a medical malpractice case to be complete, there needs to be an expert testimony submitted within 90 days of filing the claim. In other words, the patient (claimant) is required to file a certificate from a specialist that confirms the injury was caused by medical malpractice from the point of view of the specialist providing the expert testimony.
If you feel that you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice, contact us today and we’ll review you case at no-cost. We’re always here to help.