Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Malpractice
What types of cases does Brown & Barron take?
Brown & Barron specializes in cases of medical malpractice, in which serious injury or death to the patient has occurred due to medical mistakes, negligence, or flawed hospital policy during the diagnosis, treatment, or follow-up care at medical facilities throughout the state of Maryland and Washington, D.C.
What are the most common types of medical malpractice?
There are many ways in which a preventable death or serious injury can occur at a hospital. However, if any of the following situations occurred, you should contact Brown & Barron immediately:
- Hospital errors
- Birth injuries
- Failure to accurately diagnose a serious illness
- Surgical errors
- Medication errors
- Nursing home abuse or malpractice
From misdiagnosis to anesthesia errors, there are dozens of ways that a doctor, nurse, or medical specialist may act in a negligent manner. Some of the most common medical errors include:
- Failing to obtain appropriate and informed consent from a patient
- Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis resulting in injury
- Patient neglect and/or failure to provide proper supervision
- Premature hospital discharge or care transfer
- Prescribing the wrong dose or type of medication
- Using a defective medical device or unsanitary instrument
How common is medical malpractice?
According to a 2013 study in the Journal of Patient Safety, it is estimated that between 210,000 to 400,000 people die annually in the US due to medical error. U.S. News reported that medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer.
How do I know if my situation is medical malpractice?
If the unthinkable occurs at a hospital, it can be difficult to get answers from the hospital, especially if they suspect their own medical mistakes, malpractice, negligence, or flawed hospital policies were involved. You need a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases, like Brown & Barron to determine if the doctor or hospital failed to follow the accepted standard of care and whether that failure caused the injury. At Brown & Barron, our dedicated malpractice attorneys fully investigate your claim, consult with physicians and experts in the field of medicine that pertains to your case, and gather evidence to support your claim.
Medical results are never guaranteed, and there are often many risks associated with medical procedures and treatments. However, healthcare professionals have a clear obligation to inform their patients about these risks and take all appropriate precautions to prevent injuries.
How long do I have to file a lawsuit in a case of medical malpractice?
The general statute of limitations in Maryland requires that the plaintiff file the lawsuit within three years from the date of the injury. However, if the individual did not know and could not have known of the injury until later, that person may have three years from the date of discovery of the malpractice — but not more than five years from the date of the incident. If malpractice is committed upon children, they have until their 21st birthday to bring a claim. Despite these general rules, there many some legal factors that determine when the clock starts ticking regarding the statute of limitations, so it is best to contact Brown & Barron as soon as you suspect medical malpractice
Does Brown & Barron practice law in my area?
If you or your loved one was injured while receiving care anywhere in the State of Maryland or in Washington, D.C., then we can help you. We are licensed throughout Maryland and in D.C.
Who do I sue in a case of medical malpractice?
Most often, the defendant will be a doctor, but it can also be caused by a nurse, anesthesiologist, radiologist, midwife, therapist, chiropractor, or another hospital staff member. There may be multiple parties who are liable for your losses. If the person who committed the malpractice is an employee of a hospital, a patient can sue the hospital as well, depending on the situation. If you’re not sure who caused your medical-related injuries, our team of Baltimore malpractice attorneys at Brown & Barron will help you identify all the liable parties and hold them accountable.
Who files the lawsuit in a case of medical malpractice?
If the victim of suspected medical malpractice is still living, only they or their legal representative (parent, guardian, power of attorney, etc.) can file suit. If the person has died due to suspected medical malpractice, the victim’s estate may file a lawsuit for the victim’s pain, suffering, and expenses (e.g., medical bills or funeral expenses), and the victim’s parents, spouse, and children can sue for wrongful death, including economic losses and non-economic losses (e.g., emotional damage).
What damages can I recover in a medical malpractice lawsuit?
In personal injury law, “damages” refers to the monetary amounts awarded to an injury victim, whether in a settlement or a verdict. Compensatory damages are intended to “make the plaintiff whole” after suffering from a preventable medical injury, so these awards will typically include compensation for medical bills, lost future wages, and other needs. These damages also include the amount needed to compensate the plaintiff for the pain and suffering (both physical and mental) that they have endured. In Maryland, there is a limit to what you can receive for “non-economic” damages like pain and suffering. Our team of Baltimore malpractice attorneys can help you understand exactly what damages you may be entitled to.
Common compensatory damages in medical malpractice include:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering, both physical and mental
- Lost wages and/or reduced earning potential
- Loss of consortium
What is “Informed Consent”?
Informed consent is a fundamental patient right, and while obtaining written or spoken consent from a patient is required in every state, doctors also need to make sure that there is clear communication about a procedure from the very beginning. According to the American Medical Association, doctors must be very careful to assess the patient’s understanding of a medical decision, and they must also convey all relevant information about the patient’s diagnosis and proposed treatment plan.
At the outset of your surgery, treatment, or other medical procedure, you may have been asked to sign a consent form. Even if you freely gave your consent at the time, however, you can still bring a lawsuit when there was a lack of sufficient information beforehand. Additionally, a doctor’s negligence could still entitle you to damages even when your doctor obtained informed consent for the procedure.
We Can Help with Medical Malpractice & Wrongful Death Claims
Our team at Brown & Barron, LLC has been advocating for the victims of medical malpractice for more than 75 years combined. It can be difficult to face the individuals whose actions changed your child’s life forever, but your family deserves justice. We are here to help you fight for compensation so your child can receive the best care possible and be supported through their life.
Call us 24/7 at (410) 698-1717 to schedule a free consultation or reach out online. We’re here to give a voice to those affected by hospital negligence.