COLUMBIA MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ATTORNEY
Fighting for Victims of Medical Negligence Throughout Howard County
Medical malpractice is one of the most commonly known, yet least understood, type of personal injury claim. When a medical professional is negligent, innocent victims suffer horrible, lifelong injuries, illnesses, and complications. These types of civil claims are difficult to pursue due to the complex laws surrounding medical malpractice and the fierce defenses asserted by medical professionals and insurance companies. Accordingly, if you or someone you love was the victim of medical malpractice, you also need strong legal representation from an experienced and tough medical malpractice lawyer in Columbia, MD.
The Columbia medical malpractice attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have been dedicated to defending the rights of injured victims for over 25 years. We proudly serve clients throughout Howard County and make it our mission to maximize our clients’ recoveries so that they can heal, recover, and move forward with their lives.
To schedule a free, confidential consultation with our Columbia medical malpratice lawyers, call (410) 505-8211 or contact us online today.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a victim suffers injuries or harm due to the negligence of a medical professional. However, a poor outcome does not necessarily mean that medical malpractice has occurred. Instead, you must prove that the medical professional who treated you failed to uphold what is known as the “the standard care.”
The duty of care that medical professionals owe patients is based on the standard of care that a medical professional in the same field, with the same skill, could be reasonably expected to provide. This is a highly subjective and confusing standard. In most cases, in order to qualify an event as medical malpractice, an expert witness who practices the same type of medicine as the negligent doctor will need to testify about the standard of care and how the negligent doctor failed to meet that standard of care. Basically, a medical malpractice victim needs an independent doctor to say in court that the negligent doctor made an egregious error and not a simple mistake.
Reasons for Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Medical malpractice lawsuits arise when a patient suffers harm due to negligent care or a lack of informed consent from a healthcare provider. These cases may involve errors in diagnosis, treatment, aftercare or health management, resulting in serious injuries or even death. In some cases, victims may be entitled to substantial compensation due to the pain and suffering they endured.
Requirements for a Medical Malpractice Claim
In order to have a viable medical malpractice claim, two things are required:
There must have been an act of negligence by a medical professional
The negligent act must have directly caused the injury, disability, or death of the victim
Additionally, before a medical malpractice claim can be pursued in court, a written claim must be filed with the Maryland Health Claims Arbitration Office.
Common Types of Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice encompasses a wide variety of negligent acts, as well as actions not taken by a medical professional.
Medical malpractice claims may include:
- Surgical errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Surgical infections
- Failure to diagnose
- Failure to properly diagnose
- Birth injuries
- Incorrect medications
- Incorrect drug combinations
- Birth injuries
These are just some examples of medical malpractice claims; any time a doctor, nurse, or medical provider fails to uphold the duty of standard care, he or she has acted negligently. If a patient is injured or suffers harm as a result, he or she is entitled to file a medical malpractice claim and seek compensation.
Birth injuries and birth defects fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice, as these types of injuries often result from medical negligence.
What is the difference between a birth defect and a birth injury?
A birth defect is a congenital disorder. Defects can result from genetic issues or the mother being exposed to toxic substances or drugs. Accordingly, if a medical professional prescribes certain antibiotics—such as nitrofurantoin, anticonvulsants, or antidepressants like Paxil and Zoloft—the unborn child may suffer birth defects.
A birth injury is an injury that occurs during labor and delivery. Birth injuries often result from a medical provider performing an incorrect procedure or failing to perform a necessary procedure. Common birth injuries include cerebral palsy, brain injuries, bradycardia, and fetal distress. Birth injuries are caused by a variety of errors by medical professionals, which may include failure to monitor for signs of fetal distress, improper use of forceps/vacuum extractor, failure to order a timely cesarean section, and more.
Common Types of Surgical Errors
Surgical errors come in many forms and can occur during any stage of a procedure. Incompetence is one of the most common types of medical negligence, which occurs when a surgeon does not possess the necessary skills or experience to perform a procedure safely. Poor planning and communication between members of a medical team can also lead to errors during surgery. Carelessness and impairment on the part of doctors or other healthcare workers can also contribute to surgical errors if they fail to adhere to safety protocols. Finally, fatigue and other factors such as distraction can cause surgeons to make mistakes due to lack of concentration.
Diagnostic Errors and Cancer Misdiagnosis
Diagnostic errors are another source of medical negligence that often leads to malpractice lawsuits being filed. This type of error occurs when doctors fail to properly diagnose illnesses such as cancer or heart disease due to inadequate testing and/or failing to take patient complaints seriously. Failing to order appropriate tests in order determine whether someone has an illness can also lead these types of misdiagnoses occurring in some cases.
Anesthesia Errors and Risks Involved
Anesthesia errors are another form of medical negligence that is commonly seen in many malpractice cases involving surgery procedures. These types of errors typically involve administering too much anesthetic drugs before surgery begins, opting for defective devices and equipment during operations, or failing monitor patients adequately during anesthesia-related procedures leading up until surgery takes place.
Injuries & Damages in Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical malpractice victims often suffer severe injuries that have lasting and even lifelong effects. These injuries often cause immense, chronic pain and can also result in disfigurement. A medical malpractice victim may also find themselves unable to work due to impairments or disfigurements. Along with this, a medical malpractice victim may require additional medical treatment or corrective surgeries. All of this means that the full cost of a medical error can be exorbitant for the victim.
Maryland law permits a personal injury victim to claim economic and non-economic damages. This means that victims of medical malpractice can seek compensation for things like current and future medical bills, lost wages, future lost earnings, diminished quality of life, the cost of future medical care, as well as pain and suffering caused by their injuries and even funeral expenses in the cases of wrongful death.
Medical Malpractice Litigation in Maryland
In order to win most civil suits, the person bringing the claim must prove all elements of the claim by a preponderance of the evidence, i.e., 51%. While this seems simple enough, filing a lawsuit against a medical professional is a serious matter. Many lawyers are unwilling to represent medical malpractice victims. This unwillingness is based on their fear of the “legal firepower” that a medical professional’s insurance carrier will use to defend the claim. This fear is well-founded, as insurance carriers retain aggressive defense attorneys to defend these claims.
Additionally, medical malpractice cases require testimony from several expert witnesses. Preparing this testimony is complex, expensive, and time-consuming. Stated simply, a medical malpractice case is a continuous uphill battle. Accordingly, medical malpractice victims need representation from an equally qualified and experienced medical malpractice lawyer in Columbia, MD.
Why Hire Portner & Shure, P.A.?
The Columbia medical malpractice attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have been successfully representing victims of medical negligence in Howard County courts for over 25 years. Throughout our years in practice, we have secured many favorable outcomes for our clients. We invite you to browse our many five-star reviews from past clients to learn more about how we’ve helped people in situations similar to yours.
The insurance companies know about our reputation, and they know that we are not easily intimidated. Our firm is ready to fight tirelessly for you and your recovery, whether in aggressive settlement negotiations or at trial. There are absolutely no fees unless we win your case, and your initial consultation is free.
Give our Columbia medical malpractice lawyers a call at (410) 505-8211 or submit an online contact form to schedule your complimentary case evaluation today.
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