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How Do You Know If You Have a Valid Medical Malpractice Case?

Medical negligence can lead to lifelong injuries, significant physical pain, persistent mental trauma, and many other serious damages. Fortunately, if you have been a victim of medical negligence, a medical malpractice lawyer in Maryland can help you seek justice and recover compensation for your damages.


How Do You Know If You Have a Valid Medical Malpractice Case?

In Maryland, medical malpractice cases must meet several legal elements to qualify as valid claims. Without meeting the proper legal elements, your medical malpractice lawyer in Maryland will not be able to file a successful lawsuit. Visit this page to see if your claim qualifies as medical malpractice.

Doctor-Patient Relationship

First, it must be established that you had a doctor-patient relationship with the defendant in your case. You may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against your primary care physician, anesthesiologist, dentist, surgeon, or emergency room physician, but you cannot file a lawsuit against a medical professional who did not directly treat you.

Establishing the doctor-patient relationship is essential since you will not be able to prove any other elements of medical negligence without meeting this requirement. When there is a doctor-patient relationship, there is also an expected duty of care the physician is expected to meet throughout your treatment.

Duty of Care Breach

Next, you must provide evidence that the medical professional who treated you did not meet the duty of care. The standard of care is a basic standard a competent medical professional should meet when treating a patient. The standard of care can refer to gaining informed consent, informing patients about the risks of medications or treatments, or following standard practices when performing treatments and diagnoses.

Sometimes, it’s very easy to prove a breach of the duty of care. If a surgeon leaves behind implements or operates on the wrong part of the body, this demonstrates negligence. A breach of the duty of care can also refer to the quality of care, such as a physician in the ER who does not respond promptly to a patient in pain.

Expert Certificate

In Maryland, medical malpractice cases must be filed with a special certificate from a qualified medical professional. A qualified medical professional can support your claim by confirming the defendant did not meet the standard of care, and that failure to meet this duty caused your injury. This certificate must be filed within 90 days of filing your claim with Maryland’s Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office.

Causation of Injuries

Next, your lawyer will use evidence to prove that medical negligence committed by the defendant directly caused your injuries. Evidence must show that the medical professional’s actions or lack of actions worsened your condition or caused your current injuries. For example, a delay in a correct diagnosis might cause a more serious medical condition.


Finally, your lawyer must prove that your injuries from the physician’s medical negligence caused damages. It’s important to document damages after a medical malpractice injury so that the court can more easily calculate the damages you need to recover. Damages can include medical bills, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, and emotional distress as a result of your injury.

In Maryland, there is no cap on the economic damages you can recover from a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, there is a cap on non-economic damages. The cap on non-economic damages increases each year and may be limited by the number of claimants who are seeking compensation from the defendant.

Ask a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Maryland: How Long Do You Have to File Your Claim?

If you want to recover compensation for your damages, you must adhere to the statute of limitations set for medical malpractice claims. The statute of limitations starts three years from the date the injury was discovered, or five years from the date the injury was committed, whichever is earlier. However, some cases may qualify for statute of limitations extensions.

If you were injured by medical negligence as a minor younger than 11 to 16 years old, you will have three years from your 18th birthday to file a malpractice lawsuit. If you are mentally incapacitated or the healthcare provider who injured you was out of state, then you may have an extension on the standard statute of limitations.

Can You Be Held Responsible for Your Injuries?

In Maryland, it can be tricky to win a medical malpractice lawsuit since, even if you can prove all the necessary legal elements, Maryland state law abides by a contributory negligence principle. If the court decides that you contributed to your injury, then you will not be able to receive compensation for your damages. The court might decide you contributed to your injuries by defying post-operative directions or delaying getting treatment when you notice symptoms.

If you were harmed because of medical negligence, then you are entitled to seek compensation for your injuries and damages. It’s best to work with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who understands the complexities of Maryland malpractice law.