Medical Malpractice Lawyer Baltimore MD
How is the award for a medical malpractice claim determined?
Before any reputable firm would address this question, any medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore, Maryland residents turn to will want to ensure that malpractice has occurred. Only then might there be a potential for an award. Medical malpractice is defined as a negligent act committed by a medical professional that results in injury or death of a patient. As a lawyer can explain to you, medical malpractice cases are one of the most difficult cases to argue because of the complex healthcare system and laws. Before you can move forward with your medical malpractice claim, your case has to be evaluated to be sure that malpractice has occurred.
What is hospital malpractice?
Losing your loved one as a result of medical malpractice is a painful and devastating experience. When a medical professional failed to provide care to your loved one and resulted in their death, you can take legal action against them. Handling medical malpractice cases should only be left to a highly experienced lawyer as they are quite complex. They are tough to win, since hospitals often have powerful legal teams of their own who are ready to combat lawsuits brought against them.
Hospital malpractice can take many forms and consists of a patient who suffers harm in some way due to the action or inaction of a hospital employee. Examples of medical malpractice include prescription errors, failure to diagnose an illness, surgical errors and more. Though hospital malpractice is often associated with doctors, doctors are usually not employees of the hospital as they most often have their own practices. If your doctor, our medical malpractice lawyer can determine if they were employed by the hospital or are self-employed. This will clarify which party should be held responsible for your injury. In some cases, more than one party will be named as the defendant.
Malpractice has occurred when two conditions are satisfied:
- A hospital, doctor, or other health care professional has caused injury to a patient
- The injury was caused by negligence or omission. Negligence could be the result of an error in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, or health management.
Assuming these two conditions are met, it is understandable for you to want to know upfront how much compensation you are entitled to receive. But any medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore, MD trusts will tell you that every case is unique with many variables in play. There are many things that have to be considered in a medical malpractice case. Some of the factors that affect compensation include the type of injuries, number of injuries and their severity. Calculating damages can be hard to do on your own, and only a trained and skilled lawyer can determine the most accurate compensation amount for you. A consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer in Baltimore, MD is the first step you should take when you believe you are the victim of malpractice; the attorneys at Greenberg Law Offices can assess the unique aspects of your case and offer an educated estimate of the amount for which you should be entitled to receive.
When should I hire a hospital malpractice lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland?
Greenberg Law Offices represents persons who have suffered catastrophic injuries at the hands of negligent medical providers located in Baltimore, MD. We recognize the life-changing significance of a major injury and the need for receiving a fair settlement as soon as possible from the negligent party. It’s unfortunate that victims of malpractice accidents often do not receive fair compensation without quality legal representation. If you or your family member was injured in this way, or if you lost a loved one because of malpractice, contact our office immediately to schedule a consultation with our hospital malpractice lawyer.
Who may be culpable in a medical malpractice suit?
Because the circumstances of hospital malpractice accidents vary widely, nearly any hospital employee could be identified as culpable depending on their actions or inaction. It is not just hospitals, doctors and nurses who can be held liable in a medical malpractice case. Dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists and other professionals in healthcare can also be sued for malpractice. Here are several examples of how one or more employees might be identified by our medical malpractice lawyer as partially or wholly liable for your injury:
- A hospital facilities staff member or nurse moves or otherwise comes into contact with sterilized instruments in advance of them being used in surgery. They do not sterilize the instruments before they are used in the procedure. As a result, the instruments are contaminated and, when used in a surgical procedure, leading to the patient suffering a life-threatening infection.
- A nurse administers the wrong medication to a patient or else the dosage is too high or too low. After consuming the medication, the patient experiences symptoms that cause them pain. As a result, the patient’s condition worsens or they have a severe allergic reaction to the wrong medication or dosage.
- Hospital staff fail to recognize the hazard of a spilled substance or wet floor while cleaning it and do not section it off. As a result, a patient slips and falls, suffering a serious injury as a result.
- A nurse does not follow the doctor’s medical care instructions for a patient and decides to provide them care according to their preferred methods. The patient’s condition worsens as a result.
- A nurse does not “turn” a patient often enough while they are in the hospital bed. As a result, the patient develops severe and painful bedsores which subsequently lead to a life-threatening infection.
These are just a few examples of malpractice scenarios that patients may experience. If you or a loved one has suffered an illness or injury because of a medical professional’s negligent actions, be sure to take action soon by contacting a medical malpractice lawyer to have your case evaluated. You may be entitled to compensation that can cover the amount of your losses. If you pursue legal action against the responsible party, you can not only obtain assistance for yourself, but you can prevent a tragedy happening to another patient as well. Learn more about your rights as a malpractice victim now.
If you are filing a medical malpractice claim, a lawyer can determine which damages that you can recover. The types of damages that can be recovered in a medical malpractice claim will depend on several factors, such as the extent of your injuries, missed wages, and other related expenses. Figuring out the full list of damages you can recover can be hard to do alone, so trust a medical malpractice lawyer to compile the list. An experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer will carefully consider three types of damages in your case; these are economic damages, non-economic damages (also referred to as pain and suffering damages), and punitive damages.
- Economic Damages: These are damages that are most easily calculated. They are the quantifiable damages that are a result of medical malpractice such as lost wages, medical expenses, costs for services that you can no longer provide for yourself, and those related to treatment such as home alterations to allow for wheelchair access and travel costs for family members who may be required for extra care.
- Non-Economic Damages: The more difficult to determine damages, non-economic damages are an attempt to quantify with a dollar amount your pain and suffering due to the malpractice. While there is no universal formula, insurance companies use injury valuation systems or software. These systems determine a value for your damages based upon the extent to which several factors are involved due to the malpractice. These include hospitalization, treatment type, treatment length, the need for physical therapy, whether there were delays and gaps in treatment, medication, and level of impairment. The medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore, MD relies on to ensure they are compensated fairly will then apply a multiplier from one to ten times the economic damages based on multiples used in similar situations, considering all the evidence of the case, the seriousness of injuries, length of recovery, and whether you recovered completely.
- Punitive Damages: These damages are not generally available in Maryland in malpractice suits. They are used to punish the negligent party and serve as a deterrent to others from engaging in similar conduct. Punitive damages do not result in monetary compensation awarded to victims who file medical malpractice suits.
As a medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore, MD has trusted for 50 years, it is important to note that every state has different laws governing malpractice suits. These laws are highly complex and are always evolving. Maryland passed a law in 2009 to cap the amount of punitive and non-economic damages that can be awarded in a malpractice lawsuit, but this cap does not apply to economic damages. For lawsuits filed in 2017, the cap is $785,000 and that amount increases by $15,000 each year. A special case of malpractice, wrongful death cases in which there are two or more claimants or beneficiaries, uses a cap that is 25% greater than the normal malpractice cap for that year.
With legal assistance from a lawyer who has experience handling medical malpractice claims, you are much more likely to recover compensation. If you believe you are the victim of malpractice, call Greenberg Law Offices, a medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore, MD trusts today.
Electronic Records and Malpractice
A Baltimore, MD medical malpractice lawyer knows that, according to national data, more than 80 percent of all physicians and 90 percent of all hospitals use electronic health records (EHR) to keep track of patient history. These records are supposed to minimize the risk of mistakes on patients’ records, thereby keeping them safe. But one major study revealed that the number of EHR-related medical malpractice lawsuits is on the rise.
The study was conducted by the Doctor’s Company, which is a physician-owned medical malpractice insurer. The study analyzed EHR malpractice claims that were filed during a two-year period. According to the data, 58 percent of the claims were caused by user factors. Examples of these errors include data entry errors, copying and pasting progress notes, and alert fatigue.
Another 50 percent of claims were caused by system failures, such as issues with the design or technology used or a lack of integration of the EHR systems in the hospital.
The majority of events took place in the patient’s room, compared with other events that happened in emergency rooms, doctor’s offices, ambulatory/day surgery centers, and labor and delivery. No matter where incidents like these occur, a Baltimore, MD medical malpractice lawyer can help victims get the financial compensation they may be entitled to.
The researchers in this study compared their data to an earlies EHR-related malpractice study and found the areas of medicine that showed an increase in claims were emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and orthopedics.
- The most common EHR-related reasons for malpractice claims filed were:
- Incorrect information at 13 percent
- Pre-populating/copy and paste at 13 percent
- Hybrid health records/EHR conversion issues at 13 percent
- User error (other) at 12 percent
- Training and/or education at 7 percent
- Alert issues/fatigue, user-related at 2 percent
- Computer order entry workarounds at 2 percent
The study also highlighted some of the cases to show how dangerous these errors can be. In one case, the hospital patient was suffering from weakness of his extremities caused by cervical vascular malformation. For four days in a row, the attending physician entered identical progress notes on the patient’s chart, noting no change in the patient’s condition. This despite documentation made by nurses and physical therapists of the patient’s worsening neurological condition.
On the fifth day, a physical therapist spoke with the physician about the patient’s deteriorating motor strength. The physician ordered a new neurosurgical consult, but he again entered the same progress notes. The patient did undergo surgery, but it was too late. The result was the patient is now a quadriplegic. During the malpractice lawsuit, experts testified that the physician’s notes were all identical because he had copied and pasted each entry, instead of entering new notes about the patient’s deteriorating condition.
Tragically, as a medical malpractice lawyer in Baltimore MD can attest, these types of incidents are becoming more and more common.
Malpractice and Heart Attacks
A Baltimore, MD medical malpractice lawyer understands that it is estimated that more than 250,000 people suffer severe attacks in this country every year. One study conducted by the American Heart Association found that heart attack patients who go to the hospital at night, on weekends, or on holidays have an increased risk of dying compared with heart attack patients who arrive at the hospital during regular business hours.
The study examined the data of heart attack patients from approximately 500 hundred hospitals over a three-year period. Researchers looked at more than 43,000 records that included 16,000 heart attack patients who had arrived during business hours and another 27,000 who had arrived during non-business hours.
When a person is suffering a heart attack, there is usually some kind of blockage that is restricting blood flow to the heart. In order to clear that blockage and allow the blood to flow smoothly through the arteries again, doctors will perform an angioplasty on the patient. The quicker a heart attack victim has an angioplasty, the stronger their chances are of surviving the attack, and the less damage may be done to the heart itself.
Researchers determined that for heart attack victims who arrived during business hours, the average time it took to perform an angioplasty was 56 minutes. But for patients who arrived during non-business hours that amount of wait time before the life-saving procedure jumped to 72 minutes.
This study raises critical points regarding the wide difference in the care patients received based on their arrival time at a hospital. But the time of day should a patient has a heart attack should not determine their chances of survival. If you or a family member has suffered from illness or injury due to medical negligence, contact a Baltimore, MD medical malpractice lawyer to find out what your legal options may be.
When You Need an Experienced Baltimore, MD Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor, hospital, or another medical facility can be overwhelming and even a bit intimidating. This is why having a skilled and seasoned medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore, MD clients recommend from Greenberg Law Offices representing you can make all the difference. We will work diligently to get you the compensation you may be entitled to.
Our legal team will aggressively advocate for you in obtaining funds for medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and emotional anguish. If you have been left with permanent disabilities, you could be entitled to compensation for that, as well as the loss of the ability to enjoy daily activities. Call our office today to set up a free and confidential consultation with a member of our legal team and let us help get you the financial justice you deserve.