Part of living a high-quality life means being and staying healthy. We head to our primary care physicians for check-ups. We go to doctors when we have medical issues that need treatment. Nerves are often associated with seeing doctors. Most patients expect to receive proper treatment. Then, they can return to their everyday lives. Sometimes, this isn’t the case.
When a doctor or physician acts negligently, they can injure their patient. The patient now has to deal with their original ailment and the injuries their healthcare provider has caused them. This can cause significant stress and hardship in a person’s life, but those who were wrongfully injured do have options. If you’ve sustained injuries and believe negligence was the cause, legal assistance may be available. A Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer from Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC can help.
Most medical procedures are routine. This means we expect our physicians to know what they’re doing and will act accordingly. If an emergency occurs, we’re to trust that the hospital team will take care of us. They’re supposed to have training and be well-versed in a variety of emergency situations. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why preventable medical errors occur. Something can go wrong in hospitals, doctor’s offices, or during an ambulance trip that results in serious injuries that could take a long time to heal or the injuries could be permanent.
Learning to live while you’re recovering from an injury or adjusting to life with a permanent one is both extremely difficult and shouldn’t have happened in the first place. While you may feel like you’re dealing with this on your own, know that there are people who can provide help.
When medical malpractice has occurred, you may be wondering where to start first. We’ll discuss the following topics to provide you with the information you need:
- Defining Medical Malpractice
- Are Hospital Errors A Common Occurrence?
- How Does Medical Malpractice Happen?
- What You Need to Know About Filing a Claim in Maryland
- Our Lawyers Can Assist You With the Following Types of Medical Malpractice
- The Consequences of Medical Negligence
- Our Medical Malpractice Lawyer Will Fight for You
- What Can You Do If You Were a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
- Finding Experienced Medical Malpractice Representation
Having representation acting in your best interests can provide you with peace of mind. You’ll know you have experienced and skilled attorneys diligently working for you to get justice. We’ll be at your side every step of the way. To file a successful medical malpractice claim, it’s best to have some background knowledge on the area of law. Let’s start with how Maryland defines malpractice.
Defining Medical Malpractice
While state laws vary, there’s a general consensus of when medical malpractice occurs. It’s when a physician or other health care professional neglects the standard of care. This injures the patient as a result. Then, the patient suffers monetary and emotional damages from the injury. Understanding medical malpractice has many benefits. The main one is how it can help when you’re building a case with your Baltimore attorney.
Standard of care is a legal term. It refers to the degree of skill and care the average doctor would provide to a patient. So, it’s what the average physician would do when presented with similar circumstances. If a doctor acts in a way that most would not have, then they didn’t follow the standard of care. Your lawyer can use this to prove that they negligently injured you. Additionally, they will show that another doctor would have treated you differently. You likely wouldn’t have sustained injuries under another doctor’s care.
Often times, negligence and malpractice are used interchangeably. However, these words have their own definitions that carry their own weight. Malpractice is technically a form of negligence. Negligence is blatant inattentiveness from the reasonable standard of care. Malpractice refers to a doctor’s breach of the standard of care. Anyone can be negligent. But only professionals can be guilty of malpractice.
Are Hospital Errors a Common Occurrence?
If you believe you are the victim of a medical mistake, you are not alone. Hospital errors occur frequently. This is according to a study completed by Johns Hopkins in 2016. Patient safety experts analyzed medical death rates over an eight-year period. According to their calculations, more than 250,000 deaths per year are the result of a medical error. That makes hospital errors the third-leading cause of death in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list the top three causes of death. They are heart disease, cancer, and accidents resulting in unintentional injuries. However, their third cause only resulted in 161,374 deaths. This is nearly 100,000 fewer than mistakes in the medical field. Johns Hopkins researchers make an important note about the CDC’s national health statistics. The CDC fails to classify medical errors separately on death certificates.
The study noted many reasons for the high number of medical deaths. Most errors are the result of poorly coordinated care and fragmented insurance networks. Errors also happen when safety nets and protocols aren’t in place. The lack of accountability for physicians is also an important factor.
How Does Medical Malpractice Happen?
When our lawyers begin investigating your case, we’ll look for how your injuries happened. We’re familiar with the multiple ways that medical malpractice can occur. It’s possible one of the following reasons is what led to your injuries and losses:
- Inexperience. Medical professionals need to have the necessary training and experience in their practice area in order to provide their patients with the best care possible. When you see a doctor or other medical professional, you expect them to have that experience and trust they’ll be able to help you. However, this may not always be true. There may be a situation where a physician who studied in a different specialty is treating a patient with a background the physician doesn’t know as well. Another example could be a resident who is training and doesn’t have enough experience to treat the patient. In these cases, the medical professional may make a mistake that harms the patient.
- Fatigue/Exhaustion. If a hospital doesn’t have enough staff on hand, it can mean the current staff are pulling long hours and double shifts. When medical providers are overworked and don’t get enough sleep, they can make mistakes that result in terrible injuries. This could be forgetting important details about a patient, making a surgical mistake, or possibly mixing up one patient’s symptoms with another’s.
- Drug/Alcohol Abuse. Healthcare professionals have extremely difficult jobs. They often have multiple people depending on them to take care of their health. While many healthcare professionals have healthy methods to deal with this intense and stressful environment, others may not and could turn to abusing drugs or alcohol. When a person is impaired, they could endanger a patient’s life when trying to provide care. An intoxicated surgeon could lose control of their scalpel and cause a permanent injury.
- Poor Communication. A patient’s care can be in the hands of more than one medical professional. For example, if someone went to the emergency room and was admitted to the hospital, their information could be handed over from the ER to a different team. Passing information between multiple people leaves room for error—important details about the patient could be lost or someone may not get updated. Inexperience can also be a factor in this.
- Administrative Errors. Records give doctors and other healthcare providers the information they need to be on the same page. If a patient’s chart isn’t updated or an error occurs and information is lost, then there’s a chance a medical error could occur.
- Unsafe Environment. A hospital is likely to have immunocompromised patients or patients who are more at risk to get sick and have trouble fighting off the illness. Hospitals are supposed to have measures and protocols in place to keep their environments sanitized and protect those who are at risk of illnesses like the flu and common cold. A hospital that doesn’t take these measures and has a dirty environment where it’s easy for germs to spread.
It’s possible one of these reasons is why your injury or illness occurred. If you recognize one of the reasons above, you may have grounds for a med mal claim. Our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers from Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC are ready to help you find the best course of action so you can move forward. Get in touch with our office today.
What You Need to Know About Filing a Claim in Maryland
While medical malpractice cases are incredibly complex, your lawyer will build your case to show the following points:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed.
- The medical professional acted negligently and failed to meet the standard of care.
- Their negligence caused your injury.
- You suffered losses and damages as a result of the injury.
You need to prove a doctor-patient relationship exists, which can be you visiting the doctor, explaining your ailments, and they agree to treat you and proceed to do so. It’s vital to establish this relationship as there are situations where someone may have sustained an injury, but it wasn’t due to medical negligence. For example, overhearing a doctor’s conversation or looking for advice online doesn’t constitute a doctor-patient relationship. It’s also important to know that being dissatisfied with your doctor’s care doesn’t necessarily mean malpractice occurred. By having the appointment on file, you can show this relationship was established.
Then, you’ll need to show that they acted negligently, thus failing to meet the standard of care. The standard of care would be how healthcare providers with similar training and experience would have treated you.
Typically, this can be shown with an expert witness. Their testimony will be an essential part of your case. The lawyers at Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC will consult with a medical expert to look at what happened to you and help determine that you were a victim of medical malpractice. There are important qualifications a medical expert has to meet:
- The expert witness needs to have clinical experience, have provided consultation relating to the same practice, or taught medicine in the same specialty or related area as the defendant within five years of the incident.
- The expert needs to be board certified in the same specialty if the defendant is board certified. However, this isn’t necessary if the defendant was treating the plaintiff outside of this specialty.
As we gather evidence about how you were treated and how the treatment resulted in injury, the medical expert can provide their expert testimony on how they would have acted had they been in charge of your care. When the expert witness does this, they can provide essential information on how your healthcare provider did not meet the standard of care. By failing to meet this, they failed to act in a competent manner. Others in their position with a similar background and training wouldn’t have acted the same. Then, because of failing to meet the standard of care, your injury ensued, and you suffered losses and damages.
While these are the basic components of a medical malpractice claim, there are many other factors that can make it more complex. Our attorneys are familiar with these factors and are ready to explain the process to you. Let’s go over these components and what you’ll need to do to give your claim the best chance of success.
You’ll need to understand the state’s medical malpractice laws. This way, you’ll be able to file a claim against a physician or hospital in Maryland. Your attorney will be able to guide you through the process. We’ll make sure to meet all deadlines and that there’s plenty of time to present your claim against the medical professional. Then, you can proceed to why you deserve compensation to aid in your recovery.
First, you’ll need to make sure you file your claim within the statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a time limit. It’s the window an individual has to take legal action against another person or entity. These limits exist primarily because evidence does not last over time. Because of this, proving a case can be difficult and costly.
In Maryland, you have five years to file your claim. The start date is when the alleged malpractice incident occurred. You may also need to file within three years from the discovery of the injury. It’s important to note that minors are not subject to the statute of limitations until 11 years of age. It also doesn’t apply to those up to age 16 if the injury is to the reproductive system or involves a foreign object.
Besides meeting the time restriction, the state requires something else. Plaintiffs need to file a certificate of merit. This certificate must come from a qualified medical expert.
There are 90 days to file the initial complaint and state the specific injury. You also need to include several items. You’ll show the evidence of the alleged breach of care, what the doctor should have done, and how it resulted in injury. After the filing of the certificate, the parties have two options. They can decide if they want to go through arbitration or straight to court.
Maryland is one of a few states that recognizes contributory negligence. A plaintiff can’t recover damages if they were at fault for any part of their injuries. A judge or jury will decide this. Even if a doctor is 99 percent at fault, the one percent will prevent any recovery. If recovery is possible, there is a cap on the damages.
Your Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer will determine what you are eligible for. We’ll carefully assess what happened to you and the losses you’ve incurred. To schedule an initial free consultation, get in touch with our office today.
Our Lawyers Can Help with these Types of Medical Malpractice
Unfortunately for hospital patients, they can be wrongfully injured in many ways. We’ve discussed how many mistakes are the result of miscommunication, understaffing, fatigue, and blatant negligence. Often, the standard of care shows how a medical professional didn’t provide safe care. As a result, their patient didn’t get the treatment they needed and deserved.
Medical malpractice can occur in different types of injuries. We help as many victims as possible recover from what they’ve been through. Some of the most common types of medical malpractice we see include the following:
Expecting a child is exciting. However, the labor and delivery process can be stressful. With the right doctor and medical team, it’s likely the birth will go as planned. But when someone is negligent, the mother or infant could sustain a birth injury. Birth injuries may heal over time, but some could have permanent consequences. For example, if a baby goes without oxygen, they could suffer from brain damage and have a disability. Taking care of a child with special medical needs can be expensive and overwhelming to parents. You shouldn’t have to worry about the financial aspects of your child’s medical care. Our medical malpractice attorney will fight so you can provide your child with the medical care they need, and you can focus on being there for your child.
Undergoing a surgical procedure is often a complicated process. Having a knowledgeable and prepared team is important. The procedure will go as planned and they’ll handle possible complications. Negligence from the surgeon or surgical team can result in life-changing surgical errors. This could result from mistakes during surgery, the surgeon performs the wrong surgery or operates on the wrong limb, or leaves tools inside the patient. When this happens, it could be because a surgeon isn’t experienced enough to do the procedure or if there’s a lack of protocols in place to prevent these events from happening.
These mistakes may require additional surgeries. When patients have to undergo a surgery to correct mistakes, they’ll need more time to recover and will probably have to anticipate their healing process taking longer than expected.
Often, patients receive a form of anesthesia before a surgical procedure. Anesthesiologists need to make sure they’re giving the right drug in the correct dosage to the right patient. If they make a mistake, the patient’s life could be put in danger. Too little a dose of anesthesia could result in the patient waking up during surgery. They could feel the pain of the surgery but may not be able to communicate that they’re awake. If the surgical team doesn’t notice, the patient could remain in that state. This can be an extremely traumatic experience for the patient.
There are also concerns about an overdose of anesthesia. An overdose could result in a patient not being able to wake up from surgery and having a prolonged state of unconsciousness. The overdose could also cause a brain injury, where the patient suffers from the damage and will have to adjust their life to live with the injury. In most severe cases, an overdose can result in death. Anesthesia can also cause death if the patient is allergic to the drugs they receive. An allergic reaction may not always cause death, but further injuries are still possible.
Lack of Informed Consent
Before undergoing a surgical procedure, you should be given information about the surgery. During this meeting, your healthcare provider will go over what the procedure does, how it can help you, and also inform you about the risks. You will have all the facts so you can make an informed decision on whether or not to have the surgery.
It’s also important to note this meeting should be an in-person conversation. This shouldn’t happen in other forms of communication like email or phone calls. You need to be able to have the doctor’s full attention and vice versa, so you can ask the questions you need answers to and so you can properly weigh your options.
If you decide to move forward, you’ll likely need to sign a consent form. If you weren’t given the information, you aren’t able to give informed consent. The consent form will be a physical confirmation that you and your doctor went over the risks. One of the risks from the surgery may have affected you or you may have decided to not have the surgery if you had knowledge of the risks. If this has happened to you, seek our medical malpractice attorneys in Baltimore today.
There may be some extenuating circumstances where informed consent wasn’t required, such as a situation where the patient needs emergency life-saving surgery or isn’t able to provide their consent. The doctor will be able to act to take measures to save the patient’s life—waiting for the opportunity for informed consent could put the patient’s life at risk.
Emergency Room Error
ERs are frequently busy and it’s easy for an understaffed facility to become overwhelmed. It’s crucial, however, for staff members to ensure they see patients in the order of severity. What if a doctor sees a person with an ear infection before a patient who is suffering from severe chest pain? Severe chest pain could be a symptom of a critical health event like a heart attack. The healthcare workers should identify the chest pain as a serious symptom and see that patient first, regardless of when they arrived at the ER. If they do not recognize this symptom and make the patient wait, then the patient could suffer from a preventable injury or death. One could hold the hospital accountable for the emergency room error.
While it is the emergency room workers’ jobs to provide you with proper care, there are a few steps you can take to help improve your emergency room experience. One of the most important things you can do is to explain everything that you’re feeling. Talk about your symptoms and be honest about how much they’re bothering you. Sometimes, we may experience a tendency to downplay symptoms or shorten the list to not make it sound like we’re complaining. Healthcare professionals cannot do their jobs effectively without all the information. They want you to tell them your symptoms so they can properly treat you. You should also talk about other health conditions, medications, and allergies. When they have the full picture, they’ll be able to provide you with the best treatment and you’ll have a better chance of being healthy again.
Remember, you are your best advocate. Only you know how you’re feeling. Also, if you feel that something isn’t right, voice your concern with someone. You may be catching an issue that a healthcare professional missed. You won’t be offending anyone by asking for clarification about what’s happening, whether it’s about a medication you’re receiving or if you’re wondering about what the doctor is instructing. If you’re being discharged, make sure you understand what you’re supposed to do to take care of yourself. Never be nervous to ask questions.
This is when a doctor examines a patient but fails to diagnose them with the correct illness. It could allow the condition to worsen. The negligent physician could also incorrectly say a patient has no discernible illness. They could go home without a plan to treat the illness. Or, they could diagnose a patient with a condition they do not have. For example, a patient could complain of chest pain and receive a heartburn diagnosis. But the patient later suffers from a heart attack. The doctor made a misdiagnosis and should have to answer for their actions.
This can also happen with serious illnesses like cancer. Catching this illness early and beginning treatment as soon as possible often gives patients a better chance of becoming cancer-free or slowing the cancer’s spread and prolonging their life in a significant way. Unfortunately, doctors can sometimes miss the signs of cancer and the illness can go undiagnosed. The symptoms could be overlooked or seen as something else. If the patient doesn’t receive the correct diagnosis with an aggressive illness, the cancer could spread, and their health could severely decline because they’re not treating it.
On the other hand, there are instances of someone receiving a misdiagnosis that they have cancer. Hearing this diagnosis is devastating to anyone—and when patients hear this news, they will likely trust the doctor is right and wish to start treatment as soon as possible.
The patient could begin the intense treatment that cancer requires, like chemotherapy and radiation. When someone without cancer is put through these treatments, they can have adverse health reactions. In some cases, it can result in infertility. If someone goes through this only to find it wasn’t necessary, the physical, emotional, and financial toll can be devastating. They could have been suffering through treatments they thought were necessary, only to find that they never had to undergo the processes that have been making them nauseous, vomit, and lose their hair. The emotional toll of thinking one has a dangerous illness and that they could potentially lose their life to this illness is harrowing for the patient and for their loved ones. Cancer treatment can be expensive, and the patient may have spent a lot of money during this time. Unfortunately, this also means their original ailment wasn’t getting the attention and care it required and will likely need to restart so they can get an accurate diagnosis.
This occurs when a doctor makes an initially incorrect diagnosis, but the patient does eventually receive an accurate diagnosis. The delay allows the condition or disease to worsen. The patient misses critical time when they could have been receiving treatment. But a delayed diagnosis means the patient did not receive the proper care in a timely fashion. In most cases, this occurs when a physician neglects to assess a patient in a way that other doctors would have.
Failure to Treat
There are situations when a physician arrives at the proper diagnosis. However, they fail to provide or recommend adequate treatment. This can happen if a doctor is treating too many patients. They could choose to release individuals too soon. The doctor may fail to offer follow-up care or doesn’t provide the proper specialist referral.
Medical Product Liability
There are individuals who rely on medical devices. For example, some need heart valves and hip replacements. In the event a faulty medical device does not work as promised, patients are likely to become injured. This could mean a medical device in a patient breaks down over time. Sometimes, medical devices that professionals depend on in a hospital can cause issues. For example, surgical blankets are placed over patients undergoing surgery to maintain their temperature. If the blanket is faulty, it could blow dirt and other particles on the ground into the air. These particles can get into the patient’s surgical site and cause serious infection.
Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure their devices are safe and effective. You can hold them accountable for poor product design or improper testing. While going up against a manufacturing company can seem daunting, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys are up to the task. We will not be intimidated by a manufacturing company that made the defective product that harmed you. We’ll fight for you to get the justice you deserve.
There are a number of individuals involved in the medication process. First, a doctor assesses a patient’s needs and check the other medication they’re taking. Next, they will prescribe a medication. A pharmacist will receive the script. Then, they must fill the prescription properly. Nurses typically administer the medication. If errors occur anywhere during that chain, a patient may experience adverse reactions—ones that can put their life in danger. In other situations, their condition may not improve because they’re not getting the correct medication or the correct amount. If the medical professionals believe they’re giving the treatment the patient needs, the patient’s condition may worsen.
The Consequences of Medical Negligence
When a person is recovering from a hospital mistake, the damage does not stop there. Victims of medical mistakes are likely to suffer physically, emotionally, and financially. Our lawyers are here to fight for you to receive compensation to help you heal in those three categories. When you have financial security, you can focus on what you need to do to recover.
Physician errors can cause birth defects, chronic pain, disfigurement, and disability. Victims are likely to experience extended recovery times and that’s not a guarantee they’ll make a full recovery. In some cases, a full recovery may not be possible. If medical malpractice caused a catastrophic injury, the patient will likely have it for the rest of their lives. This could impact their ability to be gainfully employed. No longer being able to do their job could threaten their livelihood, sense of purpose, and cause a lot of stress about what the future will hold.
As the patient is learning to live with their injury, they could have to relearn how to take care of themselves. Catastrophic injuries often require intensive care and continued care as the patient heals. For example, medical equipment, physical therapy, and medication may be necessary to maintain a high quality of life. The patient may need additional procedures or surgeries, which will both take time and have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. These procedures pose the risk of hospital-related infections or other complications.
This amount of care can be expensive, and as the person isn’t able to work, they will likely become concerned about not receiving that regular paycheck. This is a lot to deal with for one person, but if the individual also provided for others, then this stress can take a toll on an entire family. While recovering, victims of negligence shouldn’t have to worry about financial matters. With the right medical negligence attorney from Baltimore, you’ll be on your way to receiving full and fair compensation. You’ll be able to pay for the expenses related to the incident.
Medical mistakes are also likely to take a toll on a person’s psyche, especially if someone is dealing with a permanent injury or disability as a result of someone’s negligence. Your experience may cause feelings of anxiety, depression, and mistrust. Emotional health is equally important to physical health. Treating these symptoms may also require professional help. Seeing a trained professional, meeting with them, and following their treatment plan could be the best way to take care of the psychological aspect of the medical error. However, this also may cost money. Seeing a doctor and taking medication if they prescribe it can get costly. A recovering patient may decide to focus on healing their physical injuries because they believe they can only afford to focus on one.
You may be wondering what our lawyers will be specifically seeking when representing you. Let’s go over the types of damages our lawyers will fight for you to recover. This way, you’ll have a clear idea of how your compensation can help you in this difficult time.
Our Medical Malpractice Lawyer Will Fight for You
When it comes to recovering your losses for a medical injury, your first thought may be toward financial losses. While this will make up some part of the compensation amount, there are other kinds of damages you can recover. Typically, compensation is split into economic and noneconomic damages. These are compensatory damages. Together, they’re supposed to help you get back to the place you were before the accident. While our lawyers cannot undo the injury that resulted from medical malpractice, we can fight for you to recover from it. With fair compensation, you’ll have the security to focus on healing and getting back to your life before the injury as best you can.
Economic damages refer to your financial losses from the injury. This can include:
- Medical Expenses. You may have already incurred significant expenses from past and current care. This could be from hospital stays, treatments, surgeries, medication you’ve needed, and more. In addition to this, you may also be looking to a future that will involve more medical care as you recover, which means you’ll have more medical expenses in the upcoming weeks or months—everyone’s recovery time frame is unique. When our medical malpractice attorney assesses your damages, we’ll carefully review the medical expenses you’ve received and what your future expenses look like. We’ll fight for you to recover compensation so you can afford the care you need.
- Lost Wages. After your injury, you may have missed work. You may have even used your sick time to be able to see the doctor or other medical professionals for your original ailment. Unfortunately, sick time does run out, and you may not be in a position to return to work for a while. Some injuries can prevent a return to work entirely. Missing your regular paychecks can cause severe financial stress and figuring out how you’re going to afford your recovery and continue to keep up with other financial responsibilities may seem overwhelming. You can recover the wages you’ve lost because of your injury.
- Future Loss of Earnings. If you’re no longer able to work or have a diminished earning capacity, your lawyer can fight for you to recover these future losses. You would have continued to earn your pay had the medical error not occurred, but because of someone’s negligence, that is no longer possible. We’ll look into what you would have been able to earn.
The other aspect of compensatory damages is non-economic damages, or the losses of the injury that don’t have a monetary amount. While these may not have a direct monetary loss associated with them, they’re still a major part of the toll the medical error has taken on you. Your noneconomic damages will not be ignored. Our attorneys will diligently work to find all the ways the medical error has affected your life and we’ll seek compensation that reflects those losses. Noneconomic damages can include:
- Pain and Suffering. The medical injury you sustained may have caused physical pain—like being awake during surgery or a defective medical device like a knee replacement breaks down. This pain could have been avoided if negligence hadn’t occurred. You may also be suffering from the consequences of the injury. If you’re dealing with a permanent disability or disfigurement, this can cause mental anguish. Your entire life may have been turned upside down at the hands of a negligent party. These losses can affect your mental health and overall wellbeing. That’s why our lawyers will do everything possible for you to receive pain and suffering damages.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life. As you’re recovering, you may find that you’re not going to be able to do things you previously enjoyed for a period of time or that you will not be able to return to them at all. For example, someone with a medical injury could suffer from chronic pain that prevents them from doing a sport or hobby they were involved in. An injured individual may not be able to travel or volunteer. Losing that aspect of life for any amount of time can cause significant pain.
- Lost Guidance. A child may have lost a parent or guardian. The loss of this person could mean losing a role model and losing the person meant to take care of them.
- Emotional Trauma. Losing a loved one who provided care and comfort will severely affect anyone.
Sometimes, medical negligence can cause someone to lose their life. Losing a loved one to medical negligence can be unexpected. The shock of losing someone is a painful, confusing, and traumatic experience, especially when you learn it could have been prevented. If you’ve lost a loved one, our lawyers are here for you. We can help you seek justice for your loved one. Compensation will include economic and noneconomic damages like the ones above.
Another noneconomic loss that can be included is the loss of consortium. Losing a loved one can mean losing companionship, such as losing a spouse. While the surviving spouse is grieving their loved one, they also take on the full responsibilities they used to share. This could mean becoming the sole provider for a family, running a household and raising children by themselves, and managing financial and emotional needs. This can be overwhelming for someone who had previously split those responsibilities with their spouse. Loss of consortium can provide relief that will help you run your household during this difficult time.
Determining noneconomic losses can be complex. Our lawyers have experience in evaluating noneconomic losses and seeking appropriate compensation for our clients. We’re also well-versed in Maryland medical malpractice law. This includes caps on certain damages, meeting the statute of limitations, and other important aspects that apply to your case. You can rest assured that our lawyers will make sure your compensation amount is fair.
There are other damages outside of compensatory damages called punitive damages. They’re typically awarded if the defendant acted maliciously. While extremely rare in medical malpractice cases, as injuries usually arise from negligence, they are possible. There may be circumstances that could allow your lawyer to make an argument for punitive damages. Let’s say your injury arose from a defective medical device. If the manufacturing company rushed through the manufacturing process to get the product on the market or made false claims about the product’s safety, then punitive damages may be applicable to your case. Our attorneys understand that each client’s case is unique, and we will treat each client with the respect they deserve. We’ll look at the individual details and determine if you are eligible for punitive damages. Don’t be deterred if these damages do not apply to your case. You can have a successful medical malpractice claim without punitive damages.
What Can You Do If You Were a Victim of Medical Malpractice?
If you believe you are the victim of a doctor’s negligence, you may be wondering where to turn. First, it’s crucial to protect your personal health. Stop receiving care from the physician in question. Work with a new doctor to determine how best to proceed based on your physical state. You do not need to give your previous physician a reason as to why you are changing. It’s important to follow the new doctor’s treatment plan to improve your health and benefit your case.
Gathering evidence will help your legal team build a strong case. You’ll want to request copies of your medical records. This will show the state of your health before the medical injury happened and can establish that you had to seek medical attention for your original ailment.
Make sure you have records of everything. You’ll also want to document as much as you can remember of the experience you believe caused your injury. Keep track of the people involved, what happened, and what you believe went wrong. Keep an accurate log of your symptoms, as well.
Once you are ready, it’s best to contact a law firm. When looking for the right medical malpractice attorney, it’s important to keep a number of items in mind. Here is a list of qualities of a lawyer you want to represent you.
Your lawyer should have experience in the area of your personal injury claim. You’ll want to look into the lawyer’s experience with medical malpractice cases and the results they’ve gotten for past clients. Another indicator you can look to is testimonies. If past clients provide positive testimony and talk about how their lawyer helped them get successful results, then this is a good sign that the lawyer will work hard to achieve the same thing for you.
You want representation from a lawyer you can communicate with. This means answering and returning phone calls, emails, and making time for you so you can remain updated on your case.
A trustworthy lawyer will not outright promise you the outcome of the case. They can go over the merits of your case based on what you’ve been through. Cautious optimism is something to look for—any guarantees out of the gate could indicate inexperience or they’re as concerned with helping you get justice as they are getting you as a client. They will also be objective and will talk about fees upfront so you can know what to expect in terms of finances for your case.
As you have the checklist of positive signs your lawyer is right for you, it’s also important to keep an eye out for possible signs they might not be the best for you. Look to see if they are consistently late and have difficulty keeping appointments. If they’re exhibiting a lack of promptness for a phone call or a meeting, then it’s likely this will be the case as you move forward. You do not want to have representation that is late for a court appointment or misses an important deadline for your claim.
If you notice a barrier in communication, you may not want to proceed with this lawyer. They could be difficult to understand because they’re using legal jargon and are speaking in generalizations. If you feel like you cannot get a straight answer from them when you first meet, this will probably continue throughout the process.
Lawyers should be ready to answer your questions because they understand how difficult and complex the legal system can be. If they seem bothered by your questions or respond in a rude or curt manner, then they’re not concerned with providing you with the information you need.
You may also want to pay close attention to the state of their office. If things seem out of place or there are scattered papers everywhere, they likely don’t have a strong organizational system. This could be detrimental to your case. They could lose important evidence or papers required for your case. If your case is missing necessary paperwork or lacks evidence, then your case could be dismissed.
Recognizing any of these negatives could show you might not receive the outcome you deserve. When in doubt, always trust your gut. You’ll be able to tell if you feel a lawyer is honest, trustworthy, and is going to put in the work to fight for you or if you feel you cannot trust this person to take care of your claim.
Finding Experienced Medical Malpractice Representation
Medical malpractice cases are often complex. Consider the number of unique state laws discussed above. It’s crucial to find a legal team willing and capable to invest the time and effort your case will need to succeed. Our Baltimore medical malpractice attorney knows that not all claims are alike. You can trust that your legal representative will evaluate your case based only on your case, so we can tailor a strategy that will work best.
At Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC, we have taken on a number of med mal clients. We know it takes diligent research and experience to discover who acted negligently—whether it was an individual or a company. Then, we’ll need to gather the evidence necessary to prove this and hold them accountable. We understand how uncertain this time can be and how confused you may feel. We’re here to provide support and will represent your best interests every step of the way. Our lawyers will fiercely advocate for you to recover the compensation that you deserve.
When you have this financial security set for your future, you’ll be able to move forward with peace of mind. This will allow you to focus on recovering and learning your new normal without thinking about how you’re going to get the medication you need and get food for the week.
An experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer understands how traumatic it is to be a victim of a mistake that should not have occurred. You never expect to sustain injuries because of an error made by someone in the healthcare field. When a trusted professional breaches duty, you deserve compensation. If you’re thinking about pursuing legal action or want to go over the merit of your claim, it’s important to act quickly. Contact our firm today to begin your legal journey. We’ll provide you with a free initial consultation and help you decide how to proceed.