Generally, Marylanders expect that when they visit medical professionals for treatment of acute or chronic conditions, they will receive competent care. As demonstrated by recent data, however, medical errors are on the rise in Maryland, and patients are suffering harm as a result of the oversights and omissions of health care providers. If you suffered harm because of negligent medical care, you may be able to recover damages, and you should talk to a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney about your rights.
Increase in Medical Errors in Maryland Health Care Settings
It is reported that a recent report issued by the Maryland Department of Health’s Office of Health Care Quality demonstrated a significant increase in medical errors causing death or serious injury in Maryland hospitals during fiscal year 2022. According to the report, there were over 800 adverse events. Most of these events were classified as “Level 1,” which indicates they caused the most severe outcomes.
Allegedly, the data also revealed a more than doubling of medical errors since fiscal year 2020, raising concerns about patient safety. The spike in errors is attributed in part to the strain on the healthcare system caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Maryland Hospital Association also attributed some of the increase to reporting requirements and emphasized transparency. However, patient rights advocates point to possible understaffing issues as a contributing factor.
Pursuing Claims for Harm Caused by Medical Errors
Errors that occur in the treatment setting often cause grave harm. While money alone cannot repair the damages caused by medical negligence, damages recovered in a medical malpractice lawsuit can help offset the financial losses that victims of medical malpractice often experience.
Under Maryland law, a party seeking to pursue a medical malpractice claim must demonstrate certain elements to prove fault. First, they must establish the existence of a doctor-patient relationship and that a duty of care that the healthcare provider owed to the patient arose out of that relationship.
Subsequently, the plaintiff must prove that the health care professional deviated from the accepted standard of care by showing that the provided medical treatment fell below the standard practices within the medical community.
Crucially, this deviation must be directly linked to the patient’s injuries or harm suffered. Additionally, the plaintiff is required to demonstrate the causation between the healthcare provider’s negligence and the resulting damages, emphasizing a clear connection between the medical error and the adverse outcomes experienced by the patient. Finally, the claimant must present evidence of the specific damages incurred, such as medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering, to support the claim for compensation.
Confer with a Skilled Maryland Attorney
Medical professionals have a duty to provide their patients with competent care, and if they breach that duty and injure their patients, they should be held accountable. If you sustained injuries due to the negligence of a doctor or nurse, you should confer with an attorney as soon as possible. The skilled Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at Arfaa Law Group can assess your harm and advise you regarding your potential claims. To arrange a meeting, you can contact us through our online form or by calling (410) 889-1850.