Maryland Medical Malpractice Cases Involving Minors

There is nothing worse for a parent than to see his or her child suffer an injury. When the injury could have been prevented, it can be even more emotionally draining. Unfortunately, many children are harmed each year as a result of medical malpractice. If this has happened to your child, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys have years of experience representing minors and their families in these types of cases.

Minors can be injured by medical professionals in a variety of ways, including birth injuries, surgical errors, missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, lack of informed consent, anesthesia errors, and medication errors.

If a medical professional has harmed you, you will likely be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the at-fault party. These claims are rooted in negligence and essentially allege that the health care provider’s failure to adhere to a certain standard of care was a direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury.

Since a minor child lacks the capacity to fully understand and grasp legal matters, the child’s parents are typically the ones who will file a lawsuit or a claim on the child’s behalf. In Maryland, a minor is anyone under the age of 18 who is not married or the parent of a child. Under state law, parents are responsible for their children’s support, care, nurture, and education. The Maryland Court of Appeals has specifically stated that medical care is a parental responsibility.

Another issue that comes up with regard to minors is when a minor can legally consent to his or her treatment. This question varies depending on the situation. For example, in Maryland, a minor who is 16 years old or older has the same capacity as an adult to consent to consultation, diagnosis, and treatment of a mental or emotional disorder by a physician, psychologist, or clinic. Compare that to an emergency medical services situation in which a minor (an individual under the age of 18) has the same capacity as an adult to consent to treatment, if, in the judgment of the attending physician, the life or health of the minor would be affected adversely by delaying treatment to obtain the consent of another individual. These examples highlight that the age of the minor, the services requested, and the status of the minor (i.e., emancipated, married, or a parent) are all relevant factors when it comes to consent.

As in other states, medical malpractice claims in Maryland must be filed within a certain time frame, known as the statute of limitations. It is important to note that in birth injury cases there is one statute of limitations period for the parents’ claim and one statute of limitations period for the infant’s claim. This creates a complex situation, which is why it is important to consult a competent lawyer who can help you decide the correct statute of limitations in your case.

It is Maryland’s public policy that any substantial sum of money that is paid to a minor child in a claim, action, or judgment in tort, including a medical malpractice case, should be preserved for the benefit of the minor.

At Arfaa Law Group, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can help you seek the compensation you deserve. You can rest assured that we will provide you with compassionate and competent advice at every step of the way. While no amount of money can undo the harm, the compensation can help offset some of the costs that often accompany medical injuries. We take on clients from all across Maryland. To discuss your case in more detail, feel free to call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.

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