Is It Medical Malpractice?
What Kinds of Medical Malpractice Cases Do We Take? How Do I Know if it’s Medical Malpractice?
How Does Medical Malpractice Work?
Medical malpractice cases are very different than standard personal injury cases. There are requirements in Maryland med mal that don’t exist in PI suits. However, the elements are the same, as medical malpractice is still a tort. The elements still relate to duty, breach, causation and damages.
- Liability – the doctor/medical provider/medical facility has done something wrong (Duty + Breach)
- Causation – an injury was caused by the wrongdoing.
- Damages – the injury produced a harm.
Each element must be present in order to be successful in a medical malpractice case. Causation, in particular, is somewhat more difficult in medical malpractice cases than it is in other injury cases. For example, in a rear-end car accident collision that produces herniated discs in the injured party, who had no pre-existing condition, you know the accident caused the injury. In med mal, it can be more difficult. For instance, in a failure to diagnose case, where the patient died in a few months, the doctor was liable for failing to diagnose. But did that cause the damages? Did their failure to diagnose cause the death or would the patient have died anyway? The malpractice must cause the harm to move forward with a medical malpractice case.
Good malpractice cases come down to damages. In order to justify pursuing a case, virtually all Maryland medical malpractice lawyers will only take a case that involves a probable recovery of at least several hundred thousand dollars. Malpractice cases require experts. Experts are expensive. Some med mal cases require multiple experts. In a standard case with two experts (e.g., a medical expert and an economist), it costs about $25,000-$50,000 in expenses to get a case to approach trial and double that to get the case through trial. Other cases can easily cost about $100,000 or more to get through trial.
In summary, generally, a medical malpractice case must involve death or serious permanent injury for us to assist.
Is a Medical Malpractice Case Against the Doctor or the Hosptial?
In short, it depends. It can be either, or both. It depends on the harm done and who caused it. Malpractice cases against docs not insured by hospitals are usually are vigorously defended and take longer to resolve Accordingly, there is rarely an easy case. Malpractice cases against doctors and nurses who are insured by hospitals might be easier. Might. The facts of each case matter. Cases are best evaluated by an experienced medical malpractice attorney who has a relationship with the risk manager and/or claims adjuster
How Do I Know if its Medical Malpractice?
The more open and obvious it is, the more likely something is to be medical malpractice. If they cut off the wrong leg, chances are you have a good case. (This is known as wrong-site surgery. It happens far too often for how preventable it is.) Failure to diagnose cases are also more likely to be taken because they are, potentially, easier to prove. Failure to diagnose also often produce significant damages such as death or permanent injury. Cases that are difficult to prove are difficult to take.
Where did it Happen?
Where the medical malpractice happened in Maryland is significant. Baltimore City and Prince George’s county are by far the best.
Ultimately, it’s a culmination of all factors that determine if we assist with a Maryland med mal case. What, when, where, why, how. Everything matters.