Understanding the Difference Between Medical Negligence and Medical Malpractice in Maryland

When it comes to medical care, patients expect the highest standards of treatment and care from healthcare professionals. However, healthcare providers are human, and errors can occur. In Maryland, as in most states in the United States, patients have legal rights when they suffer harm due to substandard medical care. Two key legal terms often associated with medical errors are “medical negligence” and “medical malpractice.” Understanding the difference between these two concepts is crucial for those seeking compensation for injuries caused by healthcare providers in the state of Maryland.Understanding the Difference Between Medical Negligence and Medical Malpractice in Maryland

Defining Medical Negligence and Medical Malpractice

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence is a broader term that encompasses a failure to exercise the level of care and skill that a reasonably competent medical professional would provide under similar circumstances. It refers to a deviation from the accepted standard of care. Negligence can occur at various stages of healthcare, from diagnosis to treatment to post-operative care.

For a patient to establish medical negligence in Maryland, they need to demonstrate four essential elements:

Duty: The healthcare provider owed a duty of care to the patient. This duty is usually established through the existence of a doctor-patient relationship.

Breach of Duty: The healthcare provider breached this duty by failing to provide care at the standard expected of a reasonably competent healthcare professional.

Causation: The patient must show that the breach of duty directly caused their injuries or damages.

Damages: The patient must have suffered actual harm, whether physical, emotional, or financial, due to the breach of duty.

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice, on the other hand, is a subset of medical negligence. It is a legal concept specifically associated with the negligence of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other medical practitioners. Medical malpractice claims often involve issues like surgical errors, misdiagnoses, prescription mistakes, and anesthesia errors.

In Maryland, medical malpractice claims must satisfy additional requirements, including:

A certificate of merit: Before a medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed, a qualified medical expert must review the case and provide a written certificate stating that the claim has merit. This expert must affirm that the healthcare provider breached the standard of care, which directly led to the patient’s injuries.

A statute of limitations: Maryland has a specific statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases. Typically, a patient must file a lawsuit within five years of the date of injury, or within three years of when the injury was discovered, whichever comes first. There are some exceptions for cases involving foreign objects left in the body.

Key Differences Between Medical Negligence and Medical Malpractice in Maryland

Scope: Medical negligence is a broader concept that encompasses all instances of substandard medical care, while medical malpractice specifically refers to the negligence of healthcare professionals.

Requirements: Medical malpractice claims have additional legal requirements in Maryland, such as the need for a certificate of merit and adherence to a specific statute of limitations.

Cases: Medical negligence cases may involve various healthcare providers, including non-medical staff like nurses or technicians. In contrast, medical malpractice cases focus on medical professionals like doctors and surgeons.

Seeking Legal Recourse in Maryland

Patients in Maryland who believe they have suffered harm due to substandard medical care must navigate the complexities of the legal system to seek compensation. It’s essential to consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can help determine whether your case falls under medical negligence or medical malpractice and guide you through the legal process.

Understanding the difference between medical negligence and medical malpractice is vital for patients seeking compensation for injuries caused by healthcare providers in Maryland. Whether you’re a patient or a healthcare professional, knowing these distinctions can help you protect your rights and ensure accountability in the medical field. Medical negligence and medical malpractice laws are designed to ensure that patients receive the quality of care they deserve and that healthcare providers are held accountable for their actions or inactions.

How can Alpert Schreyer, LLC PI help you if you have a medical malpractice case in Maryland?

If you or a loved one has experienced the devastating effects of medical malpractice in Maryland, you need the dedicated and experienced legal representation of Alpert Schreyer, LLC Personal Injury Attorneys. We understand the complexities and nuances of medical malpractice cases, and we are here to help you seek the compensation and justice you deserve.

Why Choose Alpert Schreyer, LLC for Your Medical Malpractice Case

Knowledge and Experience: Our legal team comprises skilled and seasoned attorneys with a wealth of experience in handling medical malpractice cases in Maryland. We have a track record of success in this specialized area of law.

Comprehensive Knowledge of Maryland Laws: Maryland has specific legal requirements and procedures for medical malpractice claims. Our attorneys are well-versed in these laws and will guide you through the process, ensuring you meet all the necessary requirements.

Medical Specialists: We collaborate with a network of medical professionals who can thoroughly evaluate your case. These authorities play a crucial role in determining whether the standard of care was breached, which is a vital element in a medical malpractice claim.

Thorough Investigation: Our legal team conducts an extensive investigation to collect all relevant evidence, including medical records, witness statements, and skilled opinions. We leave no stone unturned in building a strong case on your behalf.

Personalized Attention: At Alpert Schreyer, LLC, we understand that every medical malpractice case is unique. We provide personalized attention to your case, tailoring our legal strategy to your specific circumstances and needs.

Skilled Negotiators and Litigators: While we strive to negotiate a fair settlement, we are also prepared to take your case to court if necessary. Our skilled litigators are not afraid to fight for your rights in the courtroom.

No Fees Unless We Win: We understand the financial burden that can result from medical malpractice cases. That’s why we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t pay us unless we secure compensation for you.

Our Approach to Medical Malpractice Cases

Initial Consultation: We offer a free, no-obligation initial consultation to evaluate the merits of your case. This is an opportunity for you to discuss your situation with our legal team and decide if we are the right fit for you.

Thorough Case Assessment: If we take on your case, we will conduct a thorough assessment of the facts, consult with medical specialists, and begin building a robust case strategy.

Open Communication: We believe in open and transparent communication. Our team will keep you informed at every step of the legal process, ensuring you are aware of the progress of your case.

Negotiation or Litigation: Depending on the circumstances, we will negotiate with the responsible parties or their insurance companies to secure a fair settlement. If needed, we are fully prepared to represent you in court.

Your Path to Justice Starts Here

If you or your loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice in Maryland, you don’t have to face the legal battle alone. The dedicated attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC Personal Injury Attorneys are here to help you seek the compensation and closure you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and take the first step towards achieving justice and holding those responsible for medical malpractice accountable.