Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving Victims Throughout Maryland
Unfortunately, surgical errors cause serious harm to many people in Maryland each year. These errors can have long-term or even permanent consequences for a patient’s life. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries due to a surgeon’s error, you should reach out to a Baltimore surgical malpractice lawyer who can assess the details of your case. At the Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, we are committed to getting our clients all of the compensation that they are entitled to receive for their harm.
Holding a Health Care Provider Accountable for a Surgical Error
According to data from 1990 to 2010 in the National Practitioner Data Bank, more than 4,000 people who undergo surgery are injured by a preventable surgical error on an annual basis. The study also found that many “never events,” which is a term in the medical community for events that are so shocking and outrageous that they should never have happened, took place in hospitals across the country. Some of these “never events” included:
- Performing surgery on the wrong patient;
- Performing a procedure on the wrong body part;
- Performing the wrong procedure altogether;
- Leaving foreign objects like surgical instruments in the patient’s body after surgery;
- Using dirty or unsterilized instruments in surgery;
- Infusing the wrong blood type or unclean blood into a patient; or
- Using oxygen lines containing no gas or the wrong gas.
Most medical malpractice cases in Maryland are rooted in the theory of negligence. A medical professional is negligent when they deviate from the generally accepted standard of care, causing injuries or death to a patient. In the context of surgery malpractice, the standard of care refers to the level of care that a capable, appropriately trained surgeon would have used in the same or similar circumstances. For example, a capable surgeon would make sure that they are operating on the appropriate limb before beginning a procedure. As a result, if a surgeon operates on the wrong limb, they would be considered negligent.
Whether a surgeon adhered to the appropriate standard of care or not is typically established by an expert witness, whom a surgical malpractice attorney in the Baltimore area can retain on a patient’s behalf. In other words, an expert witness generally offers testimony as to the appropriate standard of care and the defendant’s actions. Rule 5-702 of the Maryland Rules of Civil Procedure governs the admission of expert testimony. Under state law, expert testimony may be admitted if the court deems that the testimony will help the judge or jury understand the evidence or resolve a fact at issue in the case. As a result, an expert witness is most often in the same specialty as the defendant. For example, if the defendant is a brain surgeon, the expert witness probably would be a brain surgeon as well.
Victims of medical malpractice can recover economic and non-economic damages in Maryland, such as medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and any other losses stemming from the malpractice. Under Maryland law, a medical professional who has acted wilfully or wantonly in their acts or omissions may be ordered to pay punitive damages to the plaintiff as well. These damages are not intended to compensate the plaintiff, but instead they are designed to punish the medical professional and deter similar conduct in the future. A skilled malpractice attorney can examine your case and help you determine the types and amount of damages that may be appropriate.
Seek Guidance from a Baltimore Surgical Malpractice Attorney
At the Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, we understand how a medical malpractice case can unfold and are ready to advocate vigorously on your behalf. We can assist patients and their families in communities such as Pikesville, Catonsville, Towson, Woodlawn, Dundalk, Essex, Randallstown, Arbutus, Reisterstown, Laurel, Silver Springs, and other areas of Baltimore, Montgomery, and Anne Arundel Counties. To discuss your case in more detail at no cost, do not hesitate to call us toll-free at 800-810-6780 or contact us online. We represent people seeking a surgical malpractice lawyer in Baltimore or beyond, as well as people who need a misdiagnosis attorney or assistance in bringing another type of malpractice claim.