Medical Malpractice varies from state to state, and Maryland has some interesting differences in medical malpractice that are not found in the majority of other states. In this blog, we are going to go over some of these differences, notably the statute of limitations, notices and arbitration, medical expert requirements, and damages in Maryland.
Medical Malpractice in Maryland has a straightforward statute of limitations. These claims must be made within five years of the incident, or three years from the time the injury was discovered, whichever event occurred earlier. If the person died, then the wrongful death suit must be brought within three years of the death. Minors are not subject to the statute of limitations until they are eleven years old, or if the injury is in the reproductive system or with a foreign object, the age is sixteen years old.
A Maryland plaintiff must also file a certificate of merit from a qualified medical expert. The certificate must state specific injury, what the doctor should have done to meet the standard of care, the alleged breach of the standard care, and that the doctor’s lack of standard care caused the injury. Years ago, all Maryland medical malpractice cases were subject to mandatory pre-suit arbitration, which means you needed to go to arbitration before court. Now, if one party does not want to go to arbitration, then it will go directly to the suit.
As for the medical experts, they are defined as a licensed professional or certified professional under the laws of another jurisdiction. They must be knowledgeable in the accepted standard of care which is in the same discipline as the licensed professional who the suit was filed. These experts cannot be related in any way, personally, in business, or financially involved with the corporations involved with the claim.
Maryland is one of the few number of states that still uses contributory negligence, which is known as controversial to many states. This is when a plaintiff is prevented from recovering damages if a judge or jury finds the plaintiff is responsible for any portion of his or her injuries. The reason this is so controversial is because a doctor could be responsible for 95% of the injury and the plaintiff is only responsible for 5% of it, then they will not be able to collect on any judgement. Lastly, the damages from medical malpractice are capped in Maryland, the non-economic damage cap is $770,000. And increases every year by $15,000.
Have you or anyone you know been a victim of medical malpractice? If so, contact the Law Offices of Nicholas J. Del Pizzo today to help you recover the damages from a medical malpractice.