The Law Offices of Miller & Zois has some of the most successful and respected medical malpractice lawyers in Maryland. Our Baltimore malpractice attorneys have earned millions in compensation for victims of medical negligence. Our law firm handles malpractice lawsuits throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Below are answers to your questions about how to start a malpractice case in Maryland, what it takes to win these lawsuits, and how much compensation you can expect to get if you win.On This Page:
- Proving Medical Malpractice in Maryland
- Your Chances of Winning a Malpractice Lawsuit
- Average Settlement Value of Malpractice Lawsuit
- Baltimore Malpractice Lawyers at Miller & Zois
- What Is Medical Malpractice?
- How Do You Know if You Have a Malpractice Case?
- How Do You Prove Malpractice?
- How Long Does a Malpractice Case Take?
- What Is the Statute of Limitations on Medical Malpractice?
- What Is the Most Common Type of Malpractice?
- What Are My Odds of Winning a Malpractice Case?
- How Much Money Can You Get in a Medical Malpractice Case?
Our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers represent victims of medical negligence and their families in malpractice lawsuits brought against doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes.
Under Maryland law, medical negligence occurs when a doctor, nurse or other health care professional injures a patient with negligent or inappropriate medical care. The consequences of medical malpractice are life-altering. If an accountant or other professional provides negligent services, it typically just costs you money. Medical neglect and malpractice can cost your health and your life.
If a doctor or hospital provides poor medical care, however, it can result in permanent physical injuries and sometimes death. In many cases, the harm caused by healthcare providers neglect can never be undone. Instead, our legal system offers victims of medical malpractice financial compensation if the health care provider breached the standard of care.
Doctors and hospitals are not in the habit of admitting that they committed malpractice. If you want financial compensation for malpractice injuries you will need to show that you are legally entitled to it. To have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit in Maryland, you need to be able to prove 2 things:
- the doctor’s care deviated from accepted medical standards or practices; and
- this deviation from standard medical practices actually caused your injury.
Establishing each of these elements is a complex and expensive process that evolves throughout the litigation. For starters, the plaintiff needs another doctor to act as an expert witness. In fact, Maryland medical malpractice law requires all lawsuits are supported by a qualified expert opinion confirming that the case has merit. This is called a certificate of merit.
Getting an opinion from another doctor that your case is valid is just the first step and does not guarantee success. The defendants will present their experts who will say that the doctors did nothing wrong and your claims have no merit.
- This video explains the 7 steps of a Maryland malpractice lawsuit
If you are thinking about pursuing a medical malpractice claim, you want to know your chances of winning. Winning is defined as getting financial compensation by settlement or a jury verdict.
Once you retain a lawyer and file a medical malpractice lawsuit in court, your chances of getting financial compensation are very good. In fact, 3 out of every 4 medical malpractice plaintiffs end up getting financial compensation.
Approximately 70% of medical malpractice lawsuits filed in the U.S. are resolved with an out-of-court settlement without going to trial. Only about 10-15% of malpractice cases end up going to trial. Doctors win 80% to 90% of those cases that do go to trial.
These are national percentages which take into account cases filed all across the country. Our own success rate at Miller & Zois is significantly higher.Average Settlement Value of Maryland Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice cases have a much higher value than any other type of personal injury case. Nationally, medical malpractice claims have an average settlement value around $300,000 to $380,000. The median settlement in medical malpractice lawsuits is slightly lower at $250,000. For malpractice lawsuits against health care providers that go to trial and win, the average jury verdict nationally is just over $1 million.
Keep in mind that these are national averages. The average and median settlement value of medical malpractice cases in Maryland is significantly higher than the national averages. The Baltimore average settlement value is also higher than the Maryland average.Common Types of Medical Malpractice Cases in Maryland
Medical malpractice regularly occurs in all medical fields and clinical settings from the operating room of a major hospital to the exam table of your family doctor or urgent care facility. The specific nature of the negligent medical care can also come in an endless variety of forms. However, there are certain types of medical mishaps that most frequently result in lawsuits. Diagnostic errors, birth injuries and surgical mistakes make up the bulk of the malpractice claims our attorneys handle.Misdiagnosis and Failure to Diagnose
Diagnostic malpractice includes misdiagnosis and failure to diagnose, which often overlap. Accurately diagnosing your medical problem is one of the most important things a doctor does. When a health care provider fails to diagnose a condition or incorrectly diagnosis it as something else, it results in incorrect or delayed treatment which can cause significant harm.
This is why misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, and delayed diagnosis are the most common type of healthcare provider negligence claims. Delay in diagnosis of cancer, specifically breast cancer and colon cancer, is the most common type of diagnostic malpractice claim.Labor & Delivery Malpractice (Birth Injuries)
Birth injuries like cerebral palsy give rise to a large number of medical negligence cases against OB/GYNs and hospitals in Baltimore. The reason for this is simple: a large percentage of all birth injuries are the direct result of medical negligence during labor and delivery.
This is because there are a number of obstetric complications that often occur before or during childbirth that must be resolved in a very short window of time. Common examples of pregnancy and delivery complications include:
- shoulder dystocia
- placental abruption
- uterine rupture
- fetal macrosomia
- umbilical cord prolapse
- C-section and other delays in labor and delivery.
These complications are well known and OB/GYNs are trained to respond to them. A skilled, experienced doctor and delivery team should be able to handle these complications and deliver the baby without serious injury or death. Poor communication and rushed decision making by the medical staff often results in injury.
The most common type of birth injury mistakes occurs when doctors fail to perform a timely emergency C-section in response to signs of fetal distress. Another common type of birth injury claim involves negligent misuse of birth assistance tools such as obstetrical forceps and vacuum pump extractors.
Sadly medical mistakes during childbirth often have the most devastating consequences of any type of medical mistake. Most delivery error suits involve damage to the baby’s brain as a result of prolonged oxygen deprivation. Many brain injuries are almost exclusively caused by medical negligence during delivery: cerebral palsy, Erb's palsy, and HIE.Surgical Errors
Surgical negligence includes any type of mistake or medical negligence related to a surgical procedure or post-operative care. When performing medical procedures, surgeons (and supporting doctors and staff) are held to the same standard of care required of all doctors. A surgeon must perform each surgery with the skill and care reasonably employed by other surgeons under similar circumstances.Surgical Malpractice
Happen more often than people think. One recent report estimated that 10% of post-surgical deaths are the result of preventable medical errors. Some common types of surgical malpractice include:
- Gallbladder removal surgery
- Wrong site surgery
- Anesthesia errors
- Surgical infections
- Gastric bypass surgery
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
- Laparoscopic intestinal surgery
Hospitals are legally obligated to ensure a certain level of care for all patients. This means hospitals can be directly liable if they fail to deliver the proper level of care resulting in severe injury or death. Moreover, hospitals are vicariously liable for the actions of their employees such as nurses, technicians and sometimes doctors. For a mistake made at a hospital, there is a very good chance that the hospital will have some liability in addition to the doctor. (see also Emergency Room Malpractice)
From a plaintiff’s perspective, hospitals are more favorable defendants than medical professionals. There are several reasons why it’s sometimes easier to go after a hospital for a medical error.
First, juries tend to hold individual doctors in high esteem and give them the benefit of the doubt. The same is not true for hospitals. Juries are much more willing to lay blame on hospitals as opposed to individual doctors.
Hospitals also make better malpractice defendants because they are more likely to settle cases. Hospitals are businesses. They will settle injury and wrongful death malpractice cases to protect their image and keep stories of attorneys and malpractice out of the news.
Finally, many jurors have already had a bad experience with a hospital. Baltimore hospital malpractice lawyers want jurors that have had experience with a Baltimore hospital because so many have had an awful experience.Medication Errors
Medication errors involve administering or prescribing incorrect medication and related forms of medication related negligence. Claims based on medication errors can be brought against doctors, pharmacies, and other healthcare professionals involving in the prescribing and administration of drugs.
Below is a list of the types of medication errors that frequently result in viable claims:
- Wrong Drug Combination: a patient is injured when they take two prescription medications that dangerously interact with each other. Both the prescribing doctors and the pharmacies involved can be liable in this situation.
- Incorrect Medication: the doctors, nurses or pharmacies administer the wrong drug. When this sort of mistake results in injury to the patient, a clear claim for malpractice exists.
- Side-Effect Injuries: when doctors prescribe medication they are supposed to be aware of the potential side-effects of a drug. Prescribing doctors must ensure that the risk of the medication do not outweigh its benefits. When a patient is injured by medication side-effects they may have an action against the doctor.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are licensed health care providers and can be sued for their mistakes just like hospitals and doctors. Lawsuits against nursing homes usually involve some type of neglect. These facilities are notorious for being chronically understaffed and elderly residents fail to get the care and attention they are medically entitled to. Nursing home neglect commonly leads to injuries such as bed sores, falls, malnutrition or dehydration and other health problems which can often prove fatal for elderly patients.
Some nursing home lawsuits involve mental or physical abuse of residents by staff. This can include assault and battery, excessive use of physical restraints, sexual abuse, over medication, and other types of improper and abusive mistreatment.Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers Miller & Zois
Miller & Zois is the Baltimore medical malpractice firm that many judges, lawyers, and doctors have turned to after a catastrophic injury or wrongful death due to a medical provider's mistake. Why? First, our results speak volumes. We have gotten these results because our we know how these cases work. We know the medicine. We have years of experience and the tenacity to put you in a position to get the top settlement or jury award at trial.
While most of our lawsuits against doctors and nurses claims end in a settlement, we are more than willing to take deserving cases to a jury. Last year, we delivered over $12 million to our client in malpractice settlements and verdicts. The year before, we tried two medical malpractice lawsuits, winning both cases that totaled $2 million. The combined offer to settle those cases before trial was $200,000. Our last medical malpractice victory in Baltimore City was for $10 million. The year before we earned a $5.2 million verdict, also in Baltimore.
Miller & Zois stands apart from other malpractice law firms because we have the experience, resources, and skills to win these cases -- and the past results to prove it. We make sure the days when a Maryland doctor can bury their mistakes are in the past.
Our last malpractice trial in P.G. County lead to a $5.5 million verdict. Another client was recently awarded $1.5 million in a case in Baltimore County. The insurance company refused to make any settlement offer at all. We followed that up a few months later with a $10 million jury award against the University of Maryland Medical Systems. Another jury awarded our client $5.5 million in Prince George's County. Make no mistake. The best medical malpractice lawyers in Maryland are the ones that consistently obtain great jury awards for their clients.
The top medical malpractice lawyers take cases to trial. We do. These jury results get attention. Far more quietly, we are delivering even greater results for our clients in confidential settlements in cases few will hear about. Because the vast majority of our medical malpractice cases settle successfully before trial. Last year, we recovered over $10 million for our clients in Maryland cases. What you can expect from us - and what our past and present clients will tell you - is that if we take your case, we will fight for you with every weapon we have.
There are not many Maryland malpractice law firms that have achieved the results for their clients that Miller & Zois has. One reason we win so many of these cases: we only take a claim to trial if we are 100% convinced the doctor made a mistake and the injuries are the result of medical errors. Our attorneys have no problem taking on a tough case. But our team has to honestly believe in the claim before we will accept the claim.
The take-home message for you? If you are looking for a malpractice lawyer to fight for you, Miller & Zois has a real history of success with insurance companies and hospitals throughout Maryland. Our top rated Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys will put that experience to work for you.
If we think you can win, we will help you. There is no fee or cost to you if we do not get a recovery for you. Call 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation. You can also text chat immediately with a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney -- not an operator -- at 410-431-1484.FAQs:
Medical malpractice occurs anytime a doctor, hospital or healthcare provider acts in a negligent manner and that negligent act directly results in injury or death to the patient. A healthcare provider acts in a negligent manner if they deviate from professional standards of care.
Knowing whether you have a medical malpractice claim is often very difficult because doctors almost never admit to mistakes. If you suspect medical negligence, the only way to know if you have a case is to consult with a malpractice lawyer. Our attorneys look for 2 things when determining whether you have a case: (1) did the provider’s treatment breach the standard of care; and (2) did that breach result in serious physical injury.
If we think you may have a good malpractice case, our attorneys take the investigation to the next level. We consult with qualified medical experts (from the relevant medical specialties) and pay them to review the facts of your case.
A claim of medical malpractice must be proven by presenting expert opinion testimony from other doctors. The plaintiff in a medical malpractice case needs to find another doctor that is willing to testify that the defendant was negligent and breached the standard of medical care.
After your initial consultation with you lawyer, it usually takes about 4-6 months to get the necessary expert opinions and actually file the lawsuit. Once the lawsuit is filed most cases take between 16 to 24 months before a final resolution. Baltimore malpractice lawsuits move slightly quicker than most malpractice suits in Maryland.
In Maryland, the statute of limitations on a claim for medical malpractice is 3 years. The 3 year period begins to run from the date that the plaintiff discovered (or should have discovered) the injury resulting from the malpractice. See Md. Code Ann., Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-109. There are several exceptions to this 3-year rule. For example, if the plaintiff is a minor at the time of the injury, they will have until their 21st birthday to file a malpractice claim.
Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose is most common type of medical malpractice case. Diagnostic errors account for roughly 40% of malpractice claims.
For medical malpractice cases that actually go to trial, plaintiffs’ only win about 21% of the time. However, at least 70% of malpractice cases get resolved in pre-trial settlement. This means that around 3 out of every 4 plaintiffs who file a medical malpractice case, end up getting money.
The national average for payout in a medical malpractice lawsuit is around $250,000. This includes both settlements and verdicts. The average settlement value of a medical malpractice case in Maryland (particularly in Baltimore) is significantly higher than the national average.
If you live in the Baltimore-Washington area and you or a family member is a victim of a doctor or nurse's mistake, you need the most compassion AND the best lawyers who will fight to get you the best possible result. We do this very well. Our lawyers are listed in Best Lawyers and SuperLawyers.
Put our experience handling medical negligence cases to work for you. You need legal advice and action to guide you through this. Our top rated malpractice attorneys will review the facts and medicine in your case, consult with the top medical experts, and tell you what your legal rights are and help you chart the best path forward win the compensation you deserve. Call Miller & Zois at 800-553-8082 or get a free online case review.