Baltimore Hospital Malpractice Attorney
A hospital is often a chaotic setting. While hospitals like MedStar Harbor and Sinai Hospital provide life-saving services and procedures to individuals desperately in need of medical attention, some patients instead experience greater injury or even death due to mistakes or poor care provided by hospital staff or medical personnel.
Whether during an emergency room visit, an outpatient procedure, surgery, or an extended hospital admission many situations can result in an injury or illness during your time in a hospital that can be attributed to hospital malpractice.
The reality is that patients who come into a hospital setting are usually suffering some kind of ailment that requires prompt medical assistance. As a patient, you trust your local Baltimore hospital to act with your best interests and health in mind. Patients such as yourself come to a hospital searching for answers and healing but sometimes are left with serious physical injuries and illnesses at the hands of those they trusted with their care.
That’s when it’s time to reach out to Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers. Our Baltimore hospital malpractice lawyers not only focus on fighting for the rights of clients injured by local healthcare facilities—we also assist attorneys from all over the country who need help in this complex area of the law. Call us now, fill us in on what happened to you, and let’s see if we can answer your questions and help you with your case.
What Is Hospital Malpractice?
Hospital malpractice or hospital negligence are forms of a civil legal concept called “medical malpractice.” This concept applies to the negligent actions or inaction of health care providers and/or medical facilities, including hospitals. Malpractice occurs when a hospital employee fails to live up to the duty of care required of their position when they are caring for a patient.
Malpractice by a hospital can include:
- A misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose an illness or injury;
- Errors in the evaluation of labs or reports;
- Improper dosage or incorrect administration of medication or anesthesia;
- Mistakes in surgical procedures;
- Injuries sustained during childbirth by the mother and/or the child;
- Problematic hiring practices;
- Lack of adequate staff or support during busy periods; and
- Negligent hospital policies or procedures or deficient policies and procedures.
Can Patients Hold Baltimore Hospitals Liable for Injuries?
Malpractice in the medical field is complex due to the unique nature of many employment relationships between facilities and medical professionals, as well as the fact that most patients are already suffering from some illness or injury at the outset of their visit.
There are situations where a hospital may be liable for the harm a patient suffered while they were being cared for within the hospital. However, the hospital itself is not always liable for the injuries caused by an individual practicing within their facility. The employment status of the individual who caused the harm to a patient will determine whether the hospital may be liable for that individual’s actions.
Under What Circumstances Might a Baltimore Hospital Be Responsible for My Injuries?
If you were harmed by a medical practitioner or hospital staff while you were being cared for at a hospital, you may be wondering how and from whom you can seek compensation for the damages and injuries you have sustained. Within the hospital facility, many individuals including nurses, doctors, other medical professionals, and staff may have contributed to your care.
When figuring out how to seek compensation for your medical malpractice injuries, it will be important to determine which members of your care team may have been responsible for your injuries, and then discern the nature of their relationships to the hospital.
Just because a doctor practices at a particular hospital does not mean the hospital employees him or her. In fact, most doctors work as independent contractors for the hospital in which they practice. As independent contractors, doctors legally work for themselves but contract with the hospital to perform services within the facility. This legal relationship tries to shield the hospital from liability for a doctor’s potentially negligent actions, although an experienced lawyer may know how to pierce that defense.
It is important to note, however, that medical malpractice in a hospital does not only occur at the hands of doctors, but can occur at any stage of your care and at the hands of any member of your care team. Patient care involves the cooperation of several individuals including nurses and other staff who are often employees of the hospital.
Your right to seek compensation for your injuries in the case of malpractice is not limited to only the actions or inaction of the doctor in charge of your care, but applies to all the individuals who cooperated to provide you services. Anyone who has a duty of care to you as a patient during your hospital stay is potentially liable for your injuries if they were negligent.
What Three Things Must I Prove in a Baltimore Hospital Negligence Claim?
To pursue a case against a hospital for potential hospital negligence or malpractice, you must prove four specific legal elements: (1) the hospital owed a duty of care to the patient; (2) the hospital breached their duty; (3) that breach caused the patient injuries; and (4) the patient’s injuries resulted in provable damages.
- Breach of standard of care by a hospital. All hospitals have a legal duty to provide reasonable care to their patients without causing those patients additional harm. An injured patient must prove that the hospital did not perform its duty of care to the standard that other similar hospitals would have, and therefore that the hospital breached its duty through its employees’ actions or lack of actions.
- An injury occurred because of the breach. If the injured patient demonstrates that the hospital breached its duty of care, they must then prove that the hospital’s breach directly injured them. This can become complicated because most patients were already suffering from a medical condition, which is what led them to seek care in the hospital. The injured patient must therefore clearly show that the hospital’s actions or inaction led to an additional injury or illness or exacerbated their preexisting condition, causing further damage or more serious harm.
- The patient must prove damages. Finally, an injured patient must prove that their malpractice-related injury led to demonstrable damages. These can be economic damages such as additional medical expenses or lost income, or they can be non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
How Do I Seek Compensation for Baltimore Hospital Malpractice?
It is not an easy task to go up against a hospital in a medical malpractice case. The preparation and research necessary to pursue a hospital malpractice case are extensive and time-consuming. It is necessary to gather and collect clear and convincing evidence to establish the connections and links between the hospital’s actions and the injuries and damages you have suffered. To protect your legal rights and interests in a hospital malpractice case, it is in your best interests to seek the legal advice of a competent and experienced Baltimore hospital negligence and hospital malpractice attorney.
What Compensation Might Be Available in a Baltimore Hospital Malpractice Lawsuit?
The injuries and illnesses related to hospital malpractice can range from minor to life-changing, or even fatal. The sudden loss of a loved one or an unexpected injury or illness has enormous impacts on your day-to-day life and your future. If you have lost a loved one or suffered an injury due to a hospital’s negligence you may seek compensation for your damages under the law.
The compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries could include:
- Medical expenses;
- Loss of income;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of quality of life; and
- In very limited and extreme circumstances, punitive damages, which are designed to punish the hospital for particularly egregious behavior.
What Four Steps Should I Take if I Believe I Was a Victim of Medical Malpractice at a Baltimore Hospital?
If you believe you have been harmed by the negligent acts or lack of action by a hospital or its employees you must take immediate action to preserve your legal rights and gather the necessary information and evidence for a potential claim. Pursuing a medical malpractice case is difficult and tedious, and requires securing all available evidence and gathering testimony from your providers and other medical experts.
If you suspect you have been a victim of medical malpractice you must take these four steps to protect yourself:
- Immediately seek proper medical attention and care. It may not be immediately apparent to you that you have been a victim of hospital malpractice. However, as soon as you suspect something has gone wrong with your care, you should seek proper care from another facility or provider as soon as possible to protect your health and safety. Follow the treatment plan set forth by your new provider and continue to prioritize your health and recovery.
- Document everything you can. As soon as you are physically able or with the help of a friend, family member, or caretaker, document your experiences with the potentially negligent hospital and its staff as best you can. Hospital malpractice cases can take quite a bit of time to resolve and as the days, weeks, and months go by, recalling minor but potentially important details may become more difficult for you. Create a journal, whether handwritten or digital, to keep track of dates, conversations, procedures, and other related information to create a reliable source of information related to your injuries and damages.
- Gather evidence and information. A medical malpractice claim rests heavily on the injured patient’s medical history and records. Request copies of your medical records as soon as possible after your injury to ensure they are up to date. This can also protect you if the hospital staff alters or tampers with your records to defend a malpractice claim.
- Limit communications with potential wrongdoers. Resist the urge to communicate your intentions of filing for a malpractice claim or your concerns related to your injury with the hospital or providers involved. It is in your best interests to preserve as much evidence as possible and eliminate the possibility of inappropriate interference by any parties to the case. Limit your conversations related to your case to discussions with your legal team, whenever possible.
When Should You Seek Legal Representation for Injuries Sustained at a Hospital in Baltimore?
It is vital to schedule a consultation with a lawyer who has experience with Baltimore hospital malpractice cases as soon as you are physically able. The moment you hire an attorney, they can step into your case to represent you and protect your legal rights. It is vital to preserve and collect evidence to support your claim as early as possible. An experienced attorney not only has the resources and knowledge to gather this information, but will also communicate with all the parties involved in the case on your behalf.
It’s also important to know that, like all civil legal claims, medical malpractice claims are subject to the statute of limitations. This is a law that sets a time limit within which you must file your case; if you miss this deadline, a court will no longer consider your claim.
In Maryland the statute of limitations for medical malpractice is either:
- Five years from the date the injury occurred; or
- Three years from the date the patient first discovered the injury.
The more time that has passed since your injury occurred the more urgent it is to get your case underway so that you do not miss the chance to seek the compensation you may collect.
Call Our Knowledgeable and Professional Team of Baltimore Hospital Malpractice Lawyers
Our personal injury lawyers at Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in Baltimore hospital malpractice cases. If you have lost a loved one or have been injured as the result of a hospital’s negligence, we can help you seek the compensation you deserve. Contact the Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers or call us at (443) 505-7343 for a free consultation to discuss your case. In addition, if you’re an attorney with a difficult hospital malpractice claim, no matter where you live, get in touch with us—we consult with lawyers from across the United States on their most challenging cases.
Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers
225 E Redwood St #400C
Baltimore, MD 21202