Question

Do I have a valid medical malpractice case in Maryland?

Paul D. Bekman - Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Paul D. Bekman

Bekman, Marder & Adkins, LLC
Baltimore, MD
Phone: 410-539-6633
Fax: 410-625-9554

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Do I Have a Valid Medical Malpractice Case in Maryland?

Two years ago, you had a routine operation with one of the best surgeons in Baltimore. You thought everything was fine, but you’ve had severe ongoing abdominal pains since then. After getting a second opinion, you learn that the doctor failed to remove a medical sponge during surgery. This is known as “surgical error.” Now you’re wondering whether you have a valid medical malpractice claim in Maryland. Read on to learn about how medical malpractice cases are treated under Maryland law.

Medical Malpractice and Contributory Negligence

Medical malpractice occurs when a physician, nurse, dentist, or other medical professional is negligent, and that negligence leads to a patient’s injury or death. Doctors, and other health care providers, are expected to act as a reasonably prudent medical provider would do under the same or similar circumstances.  Negligence means the doctor didn’t use reasonable care to avoid causing injury or death to his or her patient. The main issue in most cases is proving fault on the part of the medical professional.

Maryland is one of the few states that still follow a controversial rule known as “contributory negligence.” Simply put, a patient is prevented from recovering damages if he or she is at-fault for any portion of his or her injuries. For example, let’s say after a lengthy trial, a Maryland jury found that your surgeon was 95 percent responsible, but you were also inadvertently 5 percent responsible for your injuries. If that’s the case, unfortunately, you won’t recover a dime. However, there are certain limits on contributory negligence.

Damages Limit

Also known as a “damages cap,” the maximum amount of money you can recover in a Maryland medical malpractice case is $755,000.00 for non-economic damages. This includes things that aren’t always easy to measure in a dollar amount, like pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, and emotional distress. The damages cap increases every year by $15,000. It’s important to note, however, that this cap doesn’t include any expenses you incurred as a result of the injury.

Certificate of Merit

The Old Line State also requires all plaintiffs to file a certificate of merit within 90 days of beginning a Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit. Your attorney will handle this part of the case by contacting a qualified expert to review your medical records and certify that the original medical professional did not meet the standard of care, which resulted in your injuries.

Time Limits

In Maryland, all medical malpractice claims must be filed either within five years of the date the medical malpractice occurred or within three years from the time the injury was discovered. This time limit is known as a “statute of limitations.”

Consult with a Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer 

If you have a medical malpractice case, but are unsure who is liable or where to start, a skilled Maryland medical malpractice lawyer can help you answer these questions. A great first move is to have your claim evaluated by an attorney today. 

Contact Paul Bekman at 410-539-6633 for a thorough and complete evaluation.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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