Urgent care clinics are useful facilities if you’re experiencing a medical non-emergency and are unable to schedule an appointment with your regular physician. An urgent care doctor can diagnose and treat common ailments from strep throat and ear infections to more complicated injuries like simple fractures. Unfortunately, like at any medical facility, negligent physicians can seriously harm or injure patients. If you believe a negligent physician injured you at an urgent care center, then you can seek legal guidance from a Baltimore urgent care malpractice lawyer.
As the demand for urgent care centers grows, the laws and regulations surrounding the facilities increase. Doctors and other health care professionals need to make sure they are providing their patients with the best care possible, or they will have to face the consequences. If you think you may have a case against an urgent care location, understanding some general information on them can help you build your claim with an attorney.
How Urgent Care Centers Are Different
Prior to the introduction of urgent care, people had the option of scheduling an appointment with their primary care physician or making a trip to the emergency room. Those options weren’t always the best. In some cases, patients needed faster attention than their regular physician could provide, but their issue wasn’t an emergency. As a result of this dilemma, the concept of urgent care emerged.
Urgent care facilities specialize in promptly treating minor medical conditions before they become life-threatening. Because most facilities do not take appointments, they see patients in the order that they arrive—unless a serious case comes in. The wait time is often shorter than what someone would experience in the emergency room, and the cost is generally less, as well. The most common conditions treated include colds, sprains, minor cuts, broken bones, and minor burns.
If a patient in Maryland is injured by a doctor’s poor choices while at an urgent care center, our Baltimore urgent care malpractice lawyers can fight for them. Building a strong case will involve incorporating the state’s laws and regulations.
Urgent Care Regulations in Maryland
Maryland defines urgent care as express care for acute illnesses and minor traumas in a facility dedicated to walk-in care. Facilities are not to be directly associated with a hospital emergency department, free-standing clinic, or physician’s office.
Unless a walk-in clinic in Maryland is performing invasive or surgical procedures or is able to admit patients, they are not licensed by the Office of Health Care Quality. Instead, the physicians and nurse practitioners are required to be licensed by the Maryland Board of Physicians and Maryland Board of Nursing, according to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The state also regulates the payment procedures for urgent care centers. For patients with Medicaid who are to receive free treatment, the center will receive reimbursement for the facility fee. They may also get reimbursement for the services rendered during the visit. Facilities cannot bill Medicaid for missed or canceled appointments, consultations or diagnoses given over the phone or by mail, or for free services to the general public.
What Types of Mistakes Happen in Urgent Care Facilities?
One of the main benefits of urgent care, the speed, can also be a downfall. When facilities focus on getting through as many patients as possible, it’s more likely for them to make mistakes. A negligent doctor may assume you have a certain condition without running the proper tests and prescribe medication. If they diagnosed your incorrectly and you fall ill because of the medication, our urgent care lawyers can hold them accountable.
It’s also possible the doctor you see has no experience with the type of medicine that is relevant to your illness or condition. Emergency room doctors, internists, and family doctors are typically the ones working at urgent care centers. If, for example, you take your child to the doctor with a cold and they see an internist, it’s possible that physician has no experience with pediatric care. As a result, they could make an incorrect diagnosis. No matter how you were wronged, the right lawyer will ensure you have the means you need to recover.
How Can a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Help?
Going up against a healthcare professional can be intimidating, and this area of litigation can be confusing because of the ever-changing regulations. If you were injured by a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional while attending an urgent care clinic, we can help you seek justice.
Our Baltimore urgent care malpractice lawyers are prepared to evaluate your claim, start an investigation on your behalf, and fight to help you recover your losses. Whether you’re concerned about piling medical bills, lost wages from time off work, or coping with emotional trauma, we’ll build a strong case that shows you’ve been wronged and deserve compensation. To learn more about how we can help you get your life back in order, contact our firm today.