10-104 Personal Injury Cases in Maryland
To bring a successful injury case in Maryland, you must provide medical testimony from a medical doctor that your treatment and medical bills were fair, reasonable, necessary, and causally related to the negligence of the defendant.
In small cases, there is an exception to this often difficult and expensive requirement.How to Get Your Bills Into Evidence Without a Doctor Coming to Trial
In smaller Maryland cases, there is a back door attorneys - and victims handling their own case - can use under Maryland Courts and Judicial Proceedings Code § 10-104 that allows the introduction of medical bills and records - in District or Circuit Court - without the need for expert testimony as long as the claim is under $30,000.
In cases where the injuries are such that you do not believe that the claim is worth more than $30,000, a 10-104 filing can save what can be the cost of having one of the Plaintiff's treating doctors to testify at trial (these doctors can charge as much as $1,000 an hour).
To bring a 10-104 claim under Maryland law, Plaintiff's counsel lawyer must notify the defendant's attorney with 60 days of trial of the intention to introduce medical bills and records without a doctor's testimony, with a list and a copy of each record that the attorney wishes to introduce into evidence. This notice is critical. You cannot just show up at trial
If you are trying to handle your own case (thoughts on doing that in Maryland here) and the amount you are asking for in damages in between $5,000 and $30,000, you need to file a 10-104 if you want to have your medical bills and records considered by the judge (or jury).
One common mistake is waiting to file a 10-104 after your file suit because you do not have all of the medical records and bills. Huge mistake. Collect the records and bills before you file suit.
For a sample 10-104 pleadings to introduce medical bills without the need for expert testimony, click here.
To learn more about the Maryland appellate courts' interpretation of the letter and spirit of this statute that allows tort victims to introduce their medical records and bills without the need for expert medical testimony, we would suggest review of the following cases:
- James v. Butler, 378 Md. 683 (2003)
- The Court of Special Appeals opinion in the same case Butler v. James, 135 Md. App. 196, 761 A.2d 1036 (2000),
- Singleton v. Travers, 144 Md. App. 696 (2002).