What is medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider neglects to provide a patient with an appropriate treatment or gives substandard treatment that leads to injury or death.

In Maryland, a health care provider can be medically negligent if they injure or treat a patient below the industry standard of care. In this case, a patient may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim. Understanding when a medical error escalates to medical malpractice can help you determine whether your claim is valid.

Statute of Limitations

Depending on the particular facts of a case, failing to submit a lawsuit within the deadline can be detrimental. Generally, Maryland medical malpractice lawsuits must be filed within five years of the date when the injury was sustained or within three years of the date when the injury was reasonably discovered, whichever comes first. For minors, the statute of limitations is generally 3 years but can vary depending on the nature of the injury. A wrongful death lawsuit must be brought within three years of the patient’s passing.

Notice and Arbitration

A Maryland plaintiff must file a certificate of merit from a qualified medical expert, a licensed or certified professional, within 90 days of filing their medical malpractice complaint. That certificate must state the following

  • Specifics of the claimed injury
  • The alleged breach of the standard of care
  • What the doctors should have done to meet the standard of care
  • Validation that the doctor(s) breach of the standard of care definitively caused the plaintiff’s injury.

Pre-suit arbitration was previously required in Maryland, but recent changes have since allowed for it to be unilaterally waived. However, if both parties agree to arbitration, arbitrators will create a list of damages as well as determine whether the medical professional has any liability.

If you or a loved one has experienced medical negligence and believe you are eligible to file a medical malpractice claim, call Potter Burnett Law today to discuss the specifics of your case. 

References:

Medical News Today