Medical Malpractice Attorney in Baltimore
When you seek medical care, you put your health – sometimes even your life – in the hands of the medical professionals you trust. As a result, you have the right to expect that you will receive competent, careful medical treatment.
Most medical professionals recognize the serious responsibility they have and conduct themselves accordingly. However, our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at Cohen & Dwin, P.A., have seen time and time again that no matter how skilled and experienced a medical professional may be, avoidable mistakes still occur. In fact, tens of thousands of Americans die every year from medical errors.
Medical malpractice claims are incredibly complex. If you believe that you have a medical malpractice claim, you need experienced, knowledgeable Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers to help you pursue the justice and compensation you deserve. Since 1977, our respected attorneys have been fighting for the rights of injured victims in Baltimore.
Contact us now to schedule your free consultation.
What Is Medical Negligence?
The first step in pursuing compensation for medical negligence is to determine whether you have a viable medical malpractice claim. Many people simply assume that if something bad happens during medical treatment, it must be the result of medical malpractice. However, the practice of medicine is incredibly complicated. In many cases, a bad, or even fatal, outcome can occur from medical treatment even when medical professionals make no mistakes at all.
Under Maryland law, medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional breaches the applicable standard of care in the treatment of a patient, and the patient then suffers harm. The standard of care is usually described as the conduct that a reasonable medical professional of similar training and experience would undertake under identical circumstances. If a medical professional fails to undertake this conduct, and this failure harms a patient, then the patient may have a viable medical malpractice claim.
For example, if a patient comes to the hospital displaying certain symptoms, there is a process that must be followed to diagnose the cause of the symptoms. If a medical professional fails to follow this process, and as a result, the patient’s condition is not timely diagnosed – and the patient is harmed or injured by that lack of a timely diagnosis – the patient likely has a medical malpractice claim.
In some cases, the breach of the standard of care is extremely obvious, such as a surgical team leaving equipment inside a patient. Other cases can require an extensive investigation to determine exactly what happened and how the standard of care was breached. This is why it is crucial to have an experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer working for you.
Who May Be Held Liable in Medical Malpractice Cases?
Any medical professional, or any entity that employs a medical professional, can be held liable for injuries and damages that arise due to a breach of the applicable standards of care. Examples of medical professionals who are commonly held liable in medical malpractice cases include:
- General practitioner physicians
- Physical therapists
- Hospital administrators
In most cases, an injured patient can hold the entities that employ these professionals, such as hospitals, outpatient surgical centers, medical practices, or nursing homes, liable for their negligence.
Compensation for a Medical Malpractice Claim
If you were injured due to medical malpractice, you may be entitled to various types of compensation, typically falling into one of two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are intended to compensate an injured party for specific financial losses that he or she has suffered. Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses, which can include hospital bills, surgeries, doctor’s office visits, prescription medication, physical or occupational therapy, medical equipment, home alterations, home health care, and future treatment needs
- Lost wages due to time missed from work while recovering from the harm and injuries caused by medical malpractice
- Lost earning potential, which can result if you are temporarily or permanently prevented from returning to work due to your injury
Non-economic damages are meant to compensate an injured party for intangible, subjective losses. Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering, which is the emotional and physical anguish and distress caused by the injuries you have suffered
- Loss of quality of life, which can include disfigurement or physical limitations that leave you unable to participate in the daily tasks or activities you enjoyed before your injuries
If you have questions about the kinds and amount of compensation to which you may be entitled, contact the Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys at Cohen & Dwin. Let us evaluate your case for free and explain the types of compensation that you could recover in a medical malpractice claim.
How an Attorney Can Make a Difference in Your Case
If you were harmed by medical malpractice, you might find yourself unsure of how to go about seeking compensation for the losses you have suffered. Hiring an experienced medical malpractice attorney to represent you in your case can make all the difference, allowing you to focus on your health while your lawyer does all the legal legwork.
Medical malpractice cases are incredibly complex endeavors, requiring a thorough understanding of both medical principles and Maryland medical malpractice law. An experienced medical malpractice attorney will begin by evaluating your case to determine whether you have a viable medical malpractice claim. An attorney will have the skills and the resources to investigate your claim and collect all the evidence necessary to support your case.
An attorney will then help by aggressively negotiating for a full and fair settlement with the hospital or insurance companies. You may be suffering from long-lasting harm that will require medical treatment and keep you out of work long after any potential settlement. An attorney can ensure that you are pursuing a settlement that would fully compensate you for both past and future difficulties.
Finally, having an attorney representing you can make a difference in your medical malpractice case if you need to go to trial to pursue your claim. Most medical malpractice lawsuits require expert testimony to establish your claim to compensation successfully. An experienced attorney will have a network of respected experts who can provide support for your case. An attorney can also vigorously argue your claim before a judge and jury, presenting a persuasive case for total compensation.
Proving Fault in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
It is not enough to claim that you suffered some form of harm or injury during treatment by a medical professional. Several elements must be established to prove fault in a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- First, you must prove that a medical professional owed you a duty of care. In most cases, you will need expert testimony to describe the applicable standard of care in your case.
- Next, you must prove that the professional breached the applicable standard of care. Expert testimony is also needed to describe how the professional specifically breached the standard of care.
- You must also prove that the professional’s breach of the standard of care was the direct and proximate cause of your injury. In many cases, expert testimony is needed to prove that your harm is attributable to the professional’s breach of the duty of care and not a natural consequence of your disease, illness, or condition.
- Finally, you must establish that you incurred some form of compensable damages, like additional medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
Proving fault in a medical malpractice lawsuit is an extremely complicated task, requiring considerable knowledge of both medical principles and medical malpractice law. Since 1977, the Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Cohen & Dwin have worked hard to help injured patients across Maryland demand the justice they deserve from negligent medical professionals.
Types of Medical Malpractice Cases
There are numerous types of medical malpractice cases. Some of the most common examples of medical malpractice that our Baltimore personal injury lawyers encounter include:
- Surgical malpractice, including causing complications from surgery, performing the wrong surgery, performing surgery on the wrong site, or leaving equipment or materials inside a patient
- Anesthesia errors
- Birth injuries, such as crush injuries, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and brachial plexus injuries
- Delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis
- Medication errors, including giving the wrong medication or wrong dosage to a patient or failing to check for allergies or contraindications
- Emergency room malpractice
- Plastic surgery malpractice
- Psychiatric malpractice
There are many more examples of medical malpractice. No matter how you were harmed by the treatment rendered by a medical professional, contact a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney from Cohen & Dwin today. We can discuss your case for free and help you fight for the compensation and justice you deserve.
Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitations in Maryland
If you need to pursue a claim of medical malpractice, you have a limited period in which to file a lawsuit. This period is called the statute of limitations. If you do not file your lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations, the court can permanently dismiss your case.
In Maryland, the statute of limitations for a medical malpractice lawsuit is more complex than for other personal injury cases. Under Maryland law, a medical malpractice lawsuit must be filed within five years of the date that the patient was injured, or within three years of the date that the patient discovered his or her injury, whichever comes first. If a child is harmed by medical malpractice, the “clock” for the statute of limitations does not begin running, in most cases, until the child reaches the age of 18.
If you have questions about the statute of limitations in your case and how long you have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, contact the lawyers at Cohen & Dwin to learn more about your legal options.
Process for Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
If you believe you have been the victim of medical malpractice in Baltimore, there are steps you must take to pursue a claim for compensation. Most medical malpractice claims begin with informal negotiations between the parties, working toward an amicable settlement and resolution of the claim. Many medical malpractice claims are resolved through negotiations, reaching a fair settlement outside of court.
If you must pursue your claim in court, you will need to file a lawsuit against the party or parties you believe were responsible for the malpractice. Under Maryland law, medical malpractice lawsuits have special requirements. Within 90 days of filing a lawsuit, you are required to file a document known as a “certificate of a qualified expert.” In this, a medical expert must state, under oath, that he or she has reviewed your case and explain his or her opinion as to how the medical professional failed to act within the applicable standard of care. Except in limited circumstances, if you fail to file this certificate, the court can dismiss your lawsuit.
Talk to an Experienced Baltimore Medical Malpractice Attorney Now
The first step in pursuing compensation in your case is to determine whether your case qualifies as a medical malpractice claim. This is trickier than it might sound.
For those who have suffered injuries, or for surviving family members of those who lost their lives during a medical procedure, it seems simple enough: Something awful happened while in the care of a medical professional, and that’s malpractice. But the law sees it differently.
Contact the Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Cohen & Dwin to schedule a free initial consultation with our legal team. We can review the details of your case and answer all your questions about your legal rights.