Laboratory Errors in Maryland

When we consult a health care provider for a medical issue, we expect to receive competent care. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Every year, a number of patients in Maryland and across the United States are injured due to medical malpractice, some of which stems from laboratory errors. If you or someone close to you has suffered harm due to a laboratory error, it is important to reach out to a skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. We will analyze the facts of the case and determine the viability of your claim.

While protocols and procedures are put into place to prevent laboratory errors, the reality is that they happen more often than you may think. Laboratory mistakes can take place in a number or ways. Common causes of laboratory errors can result from any of the following incidents or others:

  • Running the wrong tests;
  • Mixing up patient samples;
  • Mixing up patient information;
  • Mislabeling samples;
  • Recording inaccurate information;
  • Improperly transcribing records;
  • Technicians making errors in reading or interpreting results;
  • Failing to report test results; or
  • Failing to order the necessary follow up tests.

Laboratory errors can lead to a patient being misdiagnosed, a serious condition being overlooked, or a patient even being confused with another patient and undergoing incorrect treatment. When a patient suffers physical, emotional, or financial harm as a result of a laboratory error, that patient can take legal action by filing a medical malpractice claim against the at-fault party.

In Maryland, medical malpractice takes place when a medical professional fails to use the level of care that another prudent medical professional in the same specialty would have used in the same situation. For example, a prudent medical professional would be diligent in labeling patient samples, understanding the harm that could result from incorrect labeling. As a result, a medical professional who causes harm to a patient because he or she incorrectly labeled a patient sample, resulting in the patient’s misdiagnosis, would likely be liable for medical malpractice.

Maryland medical malpractice plaintiffs can seek economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses (including medication costs), rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and more. Non-economic damages are intangible damages, such as pain and suffering. It is important to note that non-economic damages are capped in Maryland in the amount of $770,000 in 2016. The cap changes on an annual basis. There is no such cap on economic damages. The Maryland legislature enacted a non-economic damages cap for all tort cases in 1998, due to physicians advocacy groups.

Laboratory errors can have serious and long-term consequences for a patient. If your health was adversely affected by a lab error, you may be entitled to compensation. At Arfaa Law Group, a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney can scrutinize the facts of your case and determine whether malpractice took place. You can rest assured that we will provide diligent legal representation in seeking the compensation you deserve. To learn more about your rights and options, call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.

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