Medical negligence is a type of lawsuit where a patient seeks to be indemnified for injury, loss or damage caused to him or her because of the failure of a medical practitioner to provide health care that complies with the accepted medical standard of care.
Like most lawsuits, the complainant (the person who brings the suit or claim) must prove certain things before the court. In Maryland, a complainant must show that there is a legal basis for the claim by providing an expert’s statement. An expert’s statement is positive affirmation about the standard of care involved and the breach of the standard of care. The complainant must also show that the claim is not time-barred and that it was brought within the scope of the statute of limitations. If these requirements are met, the complainant must prove the elements of negligence at trial.
The complainant must prove a duty of care. The complainant must prove that he or she presented at a hospital or healthcare facility where the medical professional worked. The complainant must prove that the medical professional provided treatment because of his or her position or employment at the hospital.
The complainant must prove a breach of the duty of care. The complainant must prove that the medical professional committed acts or failed to act in compliance with the standard of care which is known or should be known to him or her. There must be evidence of the accepted protocol or processes that govern the acts of the medical professional. There must be evidence that the medical practitioner deviated from the protocol or processes.
The complainant must show that the doctor’s acts or failure to act was the cause of the injury. The complainant must show that the loss or injury cannot be a consequence of the process of the disease or condition the patient was being treated for. There must be proof that the doctor’s act or failure to act was the direct cause of the injury sustained.
The complainant must prove loss or injury sustained. The complainant must prove loss or injury such as an amputated limb, a removal of an otherwise healthy organ or other physical injury. The complainant must show the emotional or psychological suffering consequent to the injury, all expenses incurred to treat the injury, and the damage caused by the injury to his or her earning capacity or quality of life.