Patients always put their trust in the physicians providing medical treatment and care. However, when doctors violate this trust, it can leave people injured and searching for answers. When a person in Maryland sustains severe injuries due to medical negligence, seeking justice as soon as possible is advisable.
The experienced team at Pinder Plotkin is dedicated to those hurt by the carelessness or wrongdoing of medical professionals. Call our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers today to protect your rights if you or a loved one has been injured by a nurse, doctor, or any other healthcare provider.
What is Medical Malpractice?
The term “medical malpractice” is defined as the failure of healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, radiologists, and lab technicians, to exercise reasonable care when treating a patient, which leads to harm. It happens when these parties make life-threatening mistakes.
How Common is Medical Malpractice?
People should feel a sense of hope and safety when receiving medical treatment for any type of condition, but looking at the statistics, this could not be further from the truth. According to a study done by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Hospital:
- Medical malpractice is the 3rd highest cause of death in the U.S., following heart disease and cancer.
- Medical malpractice accounts for 10% of all deaths in the country, which is at least 250,000 deaths per year.
It’s also important to note that they focused only on fatalities and didn’t consider non-fatal injuries.
What Are the Common Examples of Valid Medical Malpractice Claims?
At Pinder Plotkin, our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers know that every case revolving around medical negligence is unique. However, over the years, we have seen some errors and injuries that are quite common. They include:
1. Birth Injuries
Babies are particularly vulnerable to injuries during birth. If a physician fails to screen for risks or complications properly, the young one’s life could be endangered. Mishaps like failure to do an emergency C-section, applying improper force with forceps, and others could lead to common birth injuries, including:
- Cerebral palsy
- Nerve damage
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Facial paralysis
There’s also the chance of the mother sustaining severe injuries.
2. Diagnostic Malpractice
Correctly diagnosing a medical condition is one of the most critical responsibilities of a physician. When a doctor makes an incorrect diagnosis or fails to diagnose a condition, it leads to improper or delayed treatment, which can cause significant harm to the patient.
3. Surgical Errors
Mishaps in the operating room (OR) can leave patients with long-term effects and repercussions that could change their lives. Nicking a nerve could mean the loss of sensation or control of a body part. There are even more severe surgical errors, such as wrong-site surgery, wrong-patient surgery, and wrong-procedure surgery.
4. Hospital Malpractice
Hospitals are responsible for much of an individual’s care and are legally obliged to do so. From ensuring the cleanliness and safety of your room to the daily treatment and nursing you get, the facility may be liable for any mistakes or mix-ups that may result in injuries or infections.
5. Prescription Medication Errors
When a physician prescribes medication, they’re expected to ensure the side effects are reasonable for the patient, that they aren’t allergic, and that the medicine does not interfere with other medications. In addition, they should inform the patient of any potential side effects. Failure to do so can constitute medical malpractice.
6. Defective Medical Equipment
If your physician uses defective tools in your treatment or provides a defective medical implant, they can be held liable for the resulting injuries and complications. In most cases, the manufacturer responsible for the defective device could also be held responsible. Over the years, many people have faced injuries from defective pacemakers, pelvic mesh, defibrillators, and joint replacements.
7. Nursing Home Negligence
Assisted living facilities or nursing homes are also health care providers that can be held liable for medical malpractice. In fact, according to a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO), 2 in 3 nursing home staff reported having committed some form of abuse in 2021. These facilities are notorious for being understaffed, resulting in cases where the elderly don’t get the necessary care and attention they need. Neglect in these facilities often leads to issues like dehydration, malnutrition, falls, and bedsores.
There are also numerous cases involving physical, financial, and mental abuse of residents by staff.
Who Can Be Sued for Medical Malpractice in the State of Maryland?
Medical malpractice victims can sue any healthcare professional or facility that failed to provide the necessary care, resulting in injury, complications, or wrongful death. These parties include:
- Nursing homes
- Pharmaceutical companies
How Do You Prove Medical Malpractice in Maryland?
To show you have a valid medical malpractice case in Maryland, your case needs to meet the following requirements:
- You must have been owed a duty of care by the doctor, any other healthcare professional, or the facility.
- The healthcare provider must have breached the duty of care owed to you.
- The breach by the healthcare provider must have directly caused you physical, mental, or emotional harm.
- The harm must have resulted in significant losses such as medical bills or lost wages.
What Does Contributory Negligence Mean in Maryland?
It is also important to note that Maryland is one of the few states still following the contributory negligence rule rather than the comparative negligence rule. Under the state’s law, the recovery of compensation for losses incurred due to medical malpractice requires you to prove that the healthcare provider was 100% at fault. If your actions contributed in any way to the accident — even if you share 1% of the blame — your case will likely be dismissed.
Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Case? We Can Help.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries and other losses due to medical malpractice, the experience can be harrowing. You sought medical treatment, only to end up with an additional injury. The effects of medical malpractice can be devastating — physically, emotionally, and financially — so don’t hesitate to contact our Maryland injury lawyers to discuss your options.
At Pinder Plotkin, we have the skills, experience, and resources required to pursue your claim and hold those liable accountable. Your health and rights are important; that’s why we are here to fight aggressively for the best possible outcome. Call us at 410-525-5337 to schedule your free, confidential case review.