Frequently Asked Questions of Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Protecting the rights of injured clients in Columbia, Baltimore and throughout the state since 1985
Medical malpractice lawsuits that have garnered big verdicts get a lot of press, which might lead the public to believe that it’s easy to just sue your doctor if something goes wrong. That could not be farther from the truth. Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complicated, and require in-depth investigations and research, finding medical experts who are willing to testify against another doctor, and gathering the evidence necessary to present a compelling case to the jury.
At Plaxen & Adler, P.A., we stake our more than 30-year reputation on our ability to obtain justice for our clients who have sustained serious injuries, or whose loved ones have died, because of an act of medical negligence. To help you make informed decisions about your case, we want to share with you some of the questions we hear most often about medical malpractice.
Q: What is considered medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional’s actions or failure to act deviates from the accepted standard of practice for their specialty, and that deviation from the standard of care causes injury to the patient and harms the patient. If you are still not sure that you understand whether your case might qualify, you may call us for a consultation.
Q: If am upset or dissatisfied about the results of my surgery, can I sue my doctor for medical malpractice?
No, you cannot. In order to bring a successful medical malpractice claim, you must be able to prove that an act of negligence occurred. Dissatisfaction is not grounds for a lawsuit.
Q: What do I have to prove to win a medical malpractice lawsuit?
To prevail in a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must prove that:
- A doctor/patient relationship existed, and the medical professional owed you a duty of care
- The doctor’s (or other medical professional’s) actions or inaction deviated from the accepted standard of care, thus breaching his or her duty
- That breach of duty was a direct cause of your injury
- An injury occurred as a result
Q: Can I sue my doctor because I was injured from being given the wrong medication?
If you were prescribed the wrong medication and suffered injurious side-effects, or if because you were given the wrong medication your health condition got worse because it remained untreated these may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. You can discuss the details of your case with one of our medical malpractice attorneys who can advise you about your case.
Q: How long after my injury from a medical error do I have to bring a lawsuit against my doctor?
In Maryland, you have three years from the discovery of the injury from a medical mistake or five years from the injury (whichever is earlier) to take legal action. Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-109(a)
Q: Am I required to hire a lawyer if I want to sue my doctor?
You are never required to hire a lawyer to represent you; however, we cannot stress enough how dangerous it is for you to try to represent yourself in court. Lawyers spend years learning and training to handle complex cases like these, so you want to work with someone who has experience.
Furthermore, hiring a skilled trial attorney can often be beneficial before you even make it to a courtroom. Because of our reputation as aggressive advocates who are willing and ready to try cases, insurance companies are often more willing to offer a just and fair settlement from the start, rather than try to win against us in front of a jury.
Q: How much does it cost to hire a lawyer for a medical malpractice lawsuit?
You do not have to pay our medical malpractice attorneys up front because we accept cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that you do not pay attorney fees unless we recover compensation for you.
Q: What kinds of damages might I receive if I win a medical malpractice lawsuit?
If you prevail in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you may recover compensation for the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Lost income/ diminished earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
Q: How long does a medical malpractice case take?
A medical malpractice lawsuit is a complicated endeavor. How long a case takes to resolve is impossible to predict without knowing all the facts of the case. Your medical malpractice attorney can give you a rough estimate, but as complications arise, it can add to the timeline.
How safe are Maryland hospitals?
The nonprofit health care advocacy group Leapfrog has created the Hospital Safety Grade program, which compiles safety grade information for hospitals around the country. This allows patients to see hospitals’ track records for their rates of hospital-acquired infections (such as C. difficile, MRSA and UTIs), surgical errors, error prevention practices, safety problems, communication, leadership, and safety training for doctors and nurses.
However, if you do a search on Baltimore area hospitals, here is the response you will find: “Unfortunately, no Maryland hospitals are able to receive a Hospital Safety Score. This is because hospitals in this state are not required to publicly report safety information. Without this data, there is not enough information to give them a score.” You will find some safety data for the top three Maryland hospitals on this list on the hospital safety grade website. The remainder of the more than 70 hospitals in the state of Maryland provide no answer at all.
Schedule a consultation with a compassionate medical malpractice attorney who will stand for you
Our medical malpractice legal team has extensive experience litigating aggressively on behalf of our injured clients. If you or someone you care about has suffered a serious injury at the hands of a medical professional, we can help. You are encouraged to call the Maryland medical malpractice attorneys of Plaxen & Adler, P.A. at 410.988.4449 or fill out our contact form. We serve clients throughout the state of Maryland, including Columbia and Baltimore. If need us, we will meet you in your home or at the hospital.