At Cardaro and Peek, LLC we have investigated and handled thousands of medical malpractice claims and cases in Baltimore, Washington, DC and throughout Maryland. As many as 1 out of every 25 hospital patients is injured by a medical mistake; and 44,000 to 98,000 people die each year from medical errors, according to the Federal Agency for Health Care Research and Quality
Medical malpractice cases are simply civil negligence cases involving a physician or some other type of health care provider. Health care professionals, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, anesthesiologists, radiologists, pharmacists and hospital staff must abide by a standard of care in treating patients. If a health care provider fails to follow the standard of care, then he or she is negligent. In order to prove a medical malpractice case, however, it must also be shown that damages or injuries resulted from the failure to follow the standard of care. This legal concept is known as “proximate case” and it is often a confusing concept for non-lawyers.
We like to use the following example to explain these concepts to our clients. If a driver runs a stop sign, he or she is negligent but there is no civil claim unless the driver hits someone and causes injury or damage. The negligence must proximately cause injury or damage for there to be a claim. If a health care provider fails to order a test or fails to give a medication at the correct time they may very well be negligent, but there is no medical malpractice claim unless the patient is harmed by the negligence. There are many situations where we investigate a potential medical malpractice claim and find that the health care providers failed to follow the standard of care but are unable to establish damage or injury as a result.
We tell all or our clients at the initial meeting that we are required to prove negligence and injuries proximately caused buy that negligence in order to win.
In Maryland, as in most states, there is a formal procedure that must be followed for each lawsuit filed against a health care provider. The claim must proceed through a mandatory arbitration process before it can be filed in Court. This process is often a formality but it does require that every malpractice claim be filed with a Certificate of Qualified Expert and a Report. Practically, this means that physician must review the case and “certify” that the patient’s doctor failed to comply with the standard of care. Once the case is filed in Court, it precedes much like all other civil cases.
Cardaro & Peek focuses almost exclusively on medical malpractice claims. The firm handles a wide variety of claims, including those for: