If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, you deserve just compensation. Here, the personal injury attorneys at AFSL explain just what medical malpractice is, as well as the basic requirements to undertake a medical malpractice case.
If you are considering a medical malpractice claim, it is important that you first understand the distinct legal definition and process for pursuing such a claim. Dissatisfaction with the outcome of a medical procedure does not necessarily constitute medical malpractice, unless the medical professional fails to correctly and competently perform their medical duties. To file a successful medical malpractice claim, one must be able to prove several things:
- That you hired the medical professional, and that they agreed to perform a medical procedure
- That the medical professional was not “reasonably skillful and careful” in performing the procedure, and violated the appropriate “standard of care” required for the treatment
- That the negligence caused injury, and that the injury caused you some sort of suffering in the form of physical loss, work or pay loss or emotional suffering, among other negative outcomes
There are several types of situations that can constitute medical malpractice. Failure to diagnose can be claimed when a patient has a medical condition, disease or health defect that a competent doctor should reasonably have been able to diagnose, and the specific doctor in question failed to do so properly. In many failure to diagnose cases, the patient suffers immensely from their doctor’s error, and may face additional complications due to the oversight.
A patient can claim that a doctor “failed to treat” them when a doctor treats a condition in such a way that no competent doctor would, or fails to complete a standard treatment. This action, or inaction may have led the patient to suffer additional injury or ailment, and in some cases, can leave a patient permanently injured or cause death.
Failure to warn a patient of risks claims can be made if informed consent was not received by the medical professional prior to performing surgery, prescribing medication or issuing other treatment. A doctor or medical professional should always adequately explain the risks and benefits of the treatment they wish to provide. If you did not receive the information regarding your treatment that you are entitled to and you suffered injury or harm as a result, then you may have grounds for a medical malpractice case.
Under Maryland law, a statute of limitations exists for medical malpractice cases. This means that a case can only be brought to court within five years of the date of injury, or three years after the injury was discovered, whichever came first. If the person harmed is a minor, the statute of limitations may be extended—under certain circumstances—to account for this.
Because of unique aspects of Maryland medical malpractice law, having an experienced and competent lawyer is critical to defending your rights. For more information about patients’ rights, or to acquire legal representation for your medical malpractice claim, contact the experienced attorneys at AFSL today.