You can bring a medical malpractice suit against a healthcare provider without a lawyer and litigate “pro se” (by oneself). You may not think you need a lawyer, or you don’t think you can afford one. Before you file the complaint, though, let me tell you why you need a Medical Malpractice Lawyer.
Your medical malpractice suit must be filed on time. Maryland has a Statute of Limitations for medical malpractice suits. You can only file a suit within five years after the injury was inflicted or within three years after discovering the injury inflicted. If the injury or damage was inflicted upon a child, the period of filing does not begin to run until the child reaches age 11. If you file beyond the set period, your suit will be dismissed.
It’s easy to determine the time limit if you know that a medical injury was inflicted on you. But if the injury resulted from a misdiagnosis or the injury occurred during surgery and you did not know about it until years later, you must prove that you could not have known about the injury earlier.
You need to present detailed medical evidence from a certified qualified expert. You must present medical records to prove your injury; show when, where, and how the injury occurred to you and what you suffered because of the injury inflicted. You must present a qualified expert who will testify regarding the standard of care commonly accepted by the medical profession. You must prove negligence -- that the medical practitioner failed to comply with the standard of care required by the rules of the medical profession and the circumstances of the patient. You must also prove that the injury sustained was a direct result of the medical practitioner’s acts.
You need to present evidence of damages incurred. You must prove actual damages – the value in money you need to reimburse you for what you had spent or lost for doctors’ fees, laboratory fees, hospitalization, lost wages, cost of medical procedures to correct or treat the injury, etc. You must also prove non-economic damages: the pain and suffering, anxiety, depression, lost enjoyment of life, etc. There is a cap on what you can recover for these non-economic damages.
A medical malpractice suit is complicated, the court procedures are complex. You need all the legal help you can get.