Surgical Error Attorneys in Maryland
All surgeries, from the most common to the most complicated, come with inherent risks. Prior to any procedure, the surgeon and staff should list the possible complications and side effects. Beyond these standard risks, sometimes a preventable mistake is made that never should have happened. These errors may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If a surgeon violates a standard of care or makes a preventable mistake during an operation, the patient can suffer serious injuries.
Errors that happen during a surgical procedure that can be grounds for a lawsuit include:
- Anesthesia errors
- Incorrect surgical site
- Misreading laboratory results
- Improper follow-up after surgery
- Damage to surrounding tissues and organs that go unnoticed
- Surgical instruments left inside a patient
- Performing surgery when it was not necessary or advisable
- Discharging a patient prematurely
These mistakes may seem rare, but they are more common than you think. An estimated 250,000 people die each year in the U.S. from medical errors, making it the third-largest cause of death in this country behind only heart disease and cancer. An estimated 4,000-plus surgical errors occur annually.
Our legal team at Potter Burnett Law handles surgical error cases throughout Prince George's County, Anne Arundel County, Charles County, Baltimore, and in the Maryland/Washington, D.C. metro area.
Potential Life-Long Impacts
Surgical errors can severely impact your life and that of your loved ones. The damage can significantly limit your ability to work, perform everyday tasks, and enjoy life. Potter Burnett Law’s experienced surgical error lawyers understand the impact a surgical error can have and are determined to pursue compensation to relieve the financial burden caused by medical negligence.
Possible Compensation in a Surgical Error Lawsuit
Some states limit the amount of damages that can be awarded in surgical error cases. Washington, D.C. has no limits, but it does follow a strict contributory negligence rule. If you are found to be any degree at fault, you are barred from seeking any compensation.
Maryland caps non-economic damages based on the year the error occurred. For medical errors in 2021, the cap is $845,000. That cap goes up $15,000 each year that follows. There is no cap on economic damage awards.
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income and wages
- Loss of future earning capability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Statute of Limitations
Like other medical malpractice lawsuits, Maryland law requires that a surgical error lawsuit be filed within five years of the date of injury. While some medical injuries are apparent right away, others take months or even years to become evident. If the error is discovered some time after the incident, the suit must be filed within three years of discovery. In Washington, D.C., that claim must be filed within three years of either the date of the error or discovery of it. For errors involving a minor, the statute of limitations in these cases is three years from their 18th birthday, meaning the lawsuit must be filed in civil court by their 21st birthday. This is true in both Maryland and D.C.
To proceed with a surgical error lawsuit in Maryland, a “Certificate of Qualified Expert” must first be filed, or your claim will probably be thrown out. In the certificate, a qualified medical expert attests that the defendant did not meet the accepted standard of care when treating or diagnosing you and that this failure caused the injuries. Washington, D.C. has no such requirement but does require the injured party to inform the intended defendant, in writing, of their intention to sue at least 90 days before they file. D.C. also requires the parties go through a non-binding mediation before any formal trial occurs.
Decades of Experience
At Potter Burnett Law, we have more than 60 years of experience handling complex personal injury and medical malpractice cases throughout Maryland and metro D.C. We’ll confidently stand up to big insurance companies for you and are unafraid to take a case to court. We aim for the fairest and best outcome possible.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury from the carelessness of a medical professional, don’t hesitate to call our surgical error attorneys at (301) 820-7820 for your free case evaluation. You also can reach out to us through our online contact form.
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