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Ask a Medical Malpractice Attorney: 7 Frequently Asked Questions

by Jason

Given the confidence most of us put in our medical professionals, dealing with malpractice is not usually something we prepare to do in advance. If you believe you have grounds for a claim against a doctor who treated you, it is important to speak with a medical malpractice attorney in Baltimore, MD as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can start familiarizing yourself with the basics of filing a malpractice claim.

Ask a Medical Malpractice Attorney: 7 Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is Medical Malpractice?

In a legal context, medical malpractice is a cause of action that occurs when a medical professional deviates from the standard of care as a result of their negligence or incompetence. For example, if a surgeon fails to follow hygienic protocols and the patient develops an infection, the surgeon could be found guilty of medical malpractice. In addition to errors, malpractice can also include the failure to diagnose treatable conditions, resulting in a preventable deterioration of the patient’s health.

2. What Are the Most Common Forms of Medical Malpractice?

Hospital infections and the failure to diagnose conditions in a timely manner represent two of the most common medical errors. Here are some of the other ways in which doctors frequently commit malpractice:

  • Errors in prescribing of medication
  • Birthing injuries
  • Incompetent use of surgical instruments
  • Foreign objects left in a patients’ body
  • Operating on the wrong body part
  • Other mistakes in the ER

 

3. Who Is Accountable in a Medical Malpractice Case?

The law is not always intuitive when it comes to determining who was responsible for your injury. Often, PCPs, surgeons, and healthcare professionals are found guilty of actions that directly led to patient injury. However, sometimes lawsuits need to be directed against the hospital or a third party. Your lawyer can help clarify the best course of action.

 

4. What Should I Do If I Experience Medical Malpractice?

If you think a doctor made a mistake while treating you, it is important to get a second opinion. Start seeing a new doctor who can treat the original issue and work to heal any complications resulting from the error. Next, you should get in touch with a lawyer who can advise you on how to pursue compensation. There are limitations on how long you can wait before you file a claim, so you should begin the process as soon as possible.

 

Your lawyer will most likely advise you to request all of your medical records. Not only is it important to collect evidence for the purpose of building your case, but failing to request your records increases the likelihood that the liable party will attempt to tamper with them. Another way you can build evidence is by keeping a journal of your symptoms.

 

5. Should I Talk With Anyone About My Case?

You should be very careful and discrete when it comes to talking about your situation. Your lawyer can help you determine who to communicate with. You are not required to disclose anything to the other side’s attorney or insurance company without consulting with your lawyer first. Always avoid confronting the doctor verbally or making accusatory posts on social media, as your words might be spun against you later on.

 

6. How Should I Choose a Medical Malpractice Lawyer?

Medical malpractice is a type of personal injury law, however, it is highly specialized due to the special laws surrounding medicine and healthcare. When vetting attorneys who focus on medical malpractice in Baltimore, MD, look for someone who has a solid track record of successful cases. It is usually best to choose a lawyer with positive client testimonials and a reputable firm behind them.

7. How Are Medical Malpractice Cases Resolved?

The journey from experiencing medical malpractice to receiving a settlement offer or winning a case involves several stages. You might choose to send the doctor a Demand Letter stating what happened and requesting compensation. If the doctor agrees, the process can end there. If you choose to file a claim, you will need to present your case before a medical board for review. Upon passing the review, you will be issued a Notice of the Right to Sue.

Most medical malpractice claims end in a settlement, rather than a trial. To save litigation costs, your doctor’s insurance company will probably make a settlement offer stating the amount of money they will give you to resolve the case outside of court. You can choose to accept the offer, negotiate for a higher payout, or request a formal trial.

Getting Justice With a Malpractice Lawyer in Baltimore, MD

Medical malpractice is a serious issue that can have long-term consequences for your health and finances. Fortunately, the legal system recognizes victims’ right to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. Working with an experienced attorney is the best way to present a strong case and maximize your payout. 

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