How is the award for a medical malpractice claim determined?
Before any reputable firm would address this question, any medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore, MD residents turn to will want to ensure malpractice has occurred. Only then might there be a potential for award.
What is hospital malpractice?
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. 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 through 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 up front 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. 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. 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 a surgery. As a result, the instruments are contaminated and, when used in a surgical procedure, lead 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. 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 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.
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 of all the evidence of the case, 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.
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. 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.
If you believe you are the victim of malpractice, call Greenberg Law Offices, a medical malpractice lawyer Baltimore, MD trusts today.