Do You Have A Medical Malpractice Claim?
February 25, 2016 by Yale Spector
Medical malpractice is when a doctor or health care provider – like a nurse or technician – makes a mistake or intentionally causes an injury or some harm to a patient. These cases can take years to prove and fight for in and out of courts. If you or someone you know has experienced medical malpractice it is important to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
When filing a claim most of the fees and court costs will be covered by your lawyer at the beginning under the contingency that they will receive a certain percentage of your winnings. The settlement process can take between 1-2 years while the trial is being scheduled and cases are being put together. The strong a case your lawyer is preparing the higher likely that the defendant in the case will settle. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Maryland is 3 or 5 years, depending on when the injury is discovered.
Requirements to Have a Claim
- Doctor-patient relationship is present
- Proof of the health care provider’s sub-standard care
- Link the negligent care to patient’s injury
- Quantifiable proof of patient’s harm
- Proof “By a Preponderance of the evidence”
- This means that your lawyer has to prove that your claim is more likely than not to be true rather than “beyond a reasonable doubt,” in other cases.
When filing a medical malpractice case almost all claims require the testimony from a medical expert. These types of cases are usually too complex for someone who isn’t in the medical field to determine if the patient’s doctor should be held liable for any injuries. Expert witnesses can cost $1,000 per hour or more depending on travel expenses and if they have to miss work. Most judges will dismiss cases that do not have a proper witness to provide an unbiased perspective on the medical expectations. Normally juries are not required to adopt the expert’s opinion, but must use his understanding to consider the cases facts.
Depending on the severity of the medical malpractice and injury the patient sustained determines the amount of settlement. The average medical malpractice claim that is successful ranged from $200k to $50 million and even more.