Medical Malpractice - Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can any attorney handle the claim?

Although any licensed attorney may be able to represent you on a medical malpractice claim, these cases are extremely complicated and involve a high degree of understanding of medicine and law. Regardless of which attorney you choose to represent you on a medical malpractice claim, make sure they have a command of the medical issues involved and /or are able to obtain the necessary expert assistance to properly present your claim. The medical malpractice lawyers at Foran & Foran, P.A. represent clients on various medical claims. The medical malpractice attorneys have the understanding of the medical issues that are involved in malpractice claims. The medical malpractice attorneys also have the ability to obtain expert assistance and co-counsel for specific claims where deemed necessary at no further cost to the client.

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2. How do you determine the value of a malpractice claim?

There is no easy answer to this question. The value of your claim will depend on the nature and extent of the injury involved, the amount of medical expenses, the amount of lost wages, future economic loss and medical care, any non-economic loss including pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and other non pecuniary injuries. Our medical malpractice attorneys always evaluate the claims on the above factors and discuss our opinions with our clients when we have all the necessary information. Our medical malpractice lawyers make sure our client is satisfied with our evaluation of the claim before proceeding to settlement on any claim.

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3. How long do cases typically take to resolve?

If the case is in a posture to be able to be settled amicably with the insurance company, and the insurance company is inclined to do so(which is not often), we are usually able to determine the likelihood of settlement within several weeks of submitting a demand letter to the insurance company, depending on the circumstances of each case. If a lawsuit must be filed, the usual time for a trial is approximately one year from the date of filing the lawsuit. However, these are just estimates, as each case is unique.

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4. What are the legal fees involved in my case?

Medical malpractice cases are very difficult and time consuming cases. They involve a great deal of medical expertise and proper organization. They also involve significant risk because of the amount of costs that the attorneys frequently must advance in order to present the case properly. Most of these claims are far more difficult to prepare than the normal personal injury claim. Depending upon statutory restrictions, our normal fee for the settlement of any malpractice claim is 40% of the gross recovery. Although we frequently advance any costs involved in a medical malpractice claim, we do collect the reimbursement of our out of pocket costs advanced from the gross recovery obtained. Our retainer agreement explains all of these charges. In the event we have the assistance of any consulting attorney in the case which does happen for many reasons including sharing the economic risk involved, their fee is taken from our fee and does not diminish the recovery of the client in any way.

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5. What is the statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases?

This is a very complicated area of the law in medical malpractice and each individual case needs to be discussed with your medical malpractice attorney.

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6. Who can be sued in a medical malpractice case?

Typically, the health care providers that were responsible for the medical negligence which caused the injury would be sued. This can include doctors, hospitals, nurses, chiropractors. Our attorneys will evaluate your claim and decide which parties should be sued.

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7. What kinds of mistakes can result in medical malpractice?

The mistakes in medical malpractice claims range from the very obvious to the unnoticeable. Some of these mistakes are subtle and can be hidden from an inexperienced attorney. A complete review of procedures, diagnostic tests, operative reports, pathology reports, consultation notes, lab reports, and the like often reveal the medical malpractice involved.

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8. What are non economic damages affected by the statutory cap on damages?

Pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, disfigurement, loss of consortium, and other non pecuniary injuries are some of the factors to be considered.

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9. What is the standard of care for health care providers?

In Maryland a health care provider is negligent if the health care provider does not use that degree of care and skill which a reasonably competent health care provider, engaged in a similar practice and acting in similar circumstances, would use. Maryland Pattern Jury Instruction.

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10. What is informed consent?

Before providing a specific type or course of medical treatment to a medically competent adult patient under non-emergency circumstances, a physician has a duty to obtain the consent of the patient after disclosing to the patient:

  1. The nature of the condition to be treated;
  2. The nature of the treatment being proposed;
  3. The probability of success of that treatment;
  4. The alternatives, if any, to the proposed treatment; and
  5. Every material risk of negative consequences of the treatment being proposed.

A material risk is a risk that a physician knows or ought to know would be significant to a reasonable person who is being asked to decide whether to consent to a particular medical treatment or procedure. The purpose of the required explanation is to enable the patient to make an intelligent and informed choice about whether to undergo the treatment being proposed. A physician is liable for any injury caused by the physician's failure to disclose to the patient a material risk.

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11. What is contributory negligence?

Contributory negligence is doing something that a patient using ordinary care would not do, or not doing something that a person using ordinary care would do. Ordinary care means that caution, attention or skill that a reasonable person would use under similar circumstances. The patient cannot recover if the patient's negligence is a cause of the injury. The defendant would have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that a patient's negligence was a cause of the patient's injury.

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The legal information on this site is not intended to be legal advice. Contact one of our experienced medical malpractice attorneys or lawyers today to get specific information and answers for your specific situation.

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