Victims of medical malpractice must prove four elements to succeed with a malpractice claim in Maryland. First, they must show that the health care provider owed them a duty of care. Second, the victim must show that the health care provider deviated from the applicable standard. Third, victims must be able to prove that they suffered damages, emotionally and/or physically. Finally, the victim must prove that the damages were the direct cause of the health care provider’s actions. Read on to learn more about the standard of care for health care providers in Maryland, and call the Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek for legal assistance with your medical malpractice claim.
Standard of Care
In legal terms, the “standard of care” is the generally accepted procedures and practices used by health care providers when treating patients. The standard of care will vary with each different disease or disorder. Failing to meet the standard of care constitutes negligence in a medical malpractice claim. Maryland has operated under the “national standard of care” since 1975. This means that health care providers in Maryland have a duty to use the care and skill which is expected of a reasonably competent practitioner in the same class, acting in the same or similar circumstances, taking into account advances in the profession, availability of facilities, specialization or general practice, proximity of specialists and special facilities, and all other relevant considerations. 1
Malpractice claims require that a plaintiff establish the proper standard of care and show that the standard of care was breached. A plaintiff’s failure to establish the applicable standard of care will be fatal to a case of medical malpractice. As noted, the appropriate standard of care will depend on a variety of factors such as the patient’s medical condition, age, and health history.
Proving the Standard of Care
Proving the proper standard of care is an essential aspect of winning a medical malpractice case. Maryland law requires that a plaintiff prove the standard of care applicable to the health care provider through expert testimony. Expert testimony is also required to prove that the health care provider deviated from the standard of care, that the deviation was a cause of the injury, and that damages resulted from that injury. Expert witnesses consist of qualified medical professionals currently practicing or teaching medicine. In most scenarios, it helps to seek testimony from an expert with a similar background to the health care provider named in the claim. During testimony, the medical experts can explain to a jury how the health care provider deviated from the appropriate standard of care.
To summarize, the standard of care in Maryland is the set of generally accepted practices for treating specific illnesses and conditions under the same or similar circumstances. Health care providers that deviate from the standard of care can be liable for medical malpractice.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
Do you believe that you or your loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or medical neglect? You need to talk to an experienced team of local lawyers today.
The lawyers at Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington D.C. Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information.
1 See Shilkret v. Annapolis Emergency Hosp. Ass’n, 276 Md. 187, 200-01 (1975).