The Maryland Medical Malpractice System

What is Medical Malpractice?

In Maryland, medical malpractice is an area of tort law that deals with the negligence of health care professionals. This section will give a brief overview of the law and procedures in a medical malpractice case in Maryland. More information on each topic is available by clicking on the links below.

Acceptable Care & Liability In Maryland Medical Malpractice

The standard of care that doctors must use when treating patients has changed and evolved over time. The applicable law will vary depending on a number of factors including the state where the claim is brought and whether the doctor is a specialist in his or her field. Organizations such as the American Medical Association set the ethical and professional guidelines that physicians must abide by when treating patients.

How Vicarious Liability Works

Employers, like hospitals and other healthcare facilities, can be held liable for the negligent actions of their employees, including physicians. Whether or not an employer can be held liable for medical negligence will depend on the facts and circumstances of each particular case. A number of factors can affect employer liability, such as if the doctor who committed malpractice was an independent contractor.

Is It Considered Medical Malpractice In Maryland?

Medical malpractice can occur in a number of ways from misdiagnosis to leaving a sponge behind after surgery. In order to hold a doctor liable for negligence, the patient will need to show that there was a doctor-patient relationship, that the doctor breached the applicable standard of care, and that the patient was injured as a result of this breach.

Damages In Baltimore Medical Malpractice Cases

If a patient can show that his or her injury was the result of negligent care, the patient may be able to recover damages from the negligent parties. Damages is a legal term that refers to monetary compensation. There are three main categories of damages: economic damages, noneconomic damages, and punitive damages. A state may have a damage cap for medical malpractice claims, limiting the amount of damages a patient can recover.

Who Is Legally At Fault In Medical Malpractice Cases?

Sometimes in a medical malpractice case more than one party may be at fault for the plaintiff's injuries, including the plaintiff. Plaintiffs can bear some of the blame if, for example, they didn't follow their post surgery instructions or didn't take their medication properly. When there may be more than one party at fault, the defense of comparative negligence may be raised by the defendants.

Informed Consent and Medical Malpractice

In order for a patient to make a decision regarding a particular medical treatment, he or she must give informed consent. A treating physician is required to give the patient enough information about a course of treatment or medical procedure so that the patient can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to receive the treatment or undergo the procedure. Failure to do this can result in liability for the doctor. In addition, doctors are allowed to give opinions on what they think the patient should do, but they cannot pressure their patients into doing something that patient don't think is right for them.

How Long Do I Have To Bring A Medical Malpractice Claim In Maryland?

The law limits the amount of time that a plaintiff has to bring a legal claim against another person or entity. This time limit is called the statute of limitations. The length of the statute of limitations will depend on a number of factors including: the claim at issue, the law of the state, who the lawsuit is being filed against, and whether any exceptions apply.

Discovery In Medical Malpractice Cases

Prior to and during litigation, discovery is conducted in order to obtain information and build a case. In a medical malpractice case, one of the main types of information that will be used are the patient's medical records. These records can be obtained from wherever the patient received medical treatment. Some methods that can be used to obtain this information include requests for production, subpoenas and direct requests.

Let Us Help

If someone you are close to has been seriously injured or worse, you are naturally devastated not only by what has happened, but by the effect that the injury or loss has had on you and your family. At a time when you're vulnerable, traumatized and emotionally exhausted, you need a team that will support you through the often complex process that lies ahead.

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