Wrongful Death Arising from Medical Negligence
Injury Lawyers Helping Malpractice Victims in Baltimore
When you go to the doctor or a hospital, you trust the healthcare providers
you see to treat you properly. Unfortunately, every year a number of people
die due to medical negligence. Sometimes medical professionals make fatal
mistakes that kill patients instantly. In other cases, mistakes worsen
the patient’s condition and accelerate death. If someone you know
has died due to a medical mistake, you may be able to take legal action
against the at-fault party. At Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt, our
medical malpractice lawyers provide experienced and skillful representation to clients in
the Baltimore area and throughout Maryland.
Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death
A wrongful death claim is a type of lawsuit that can arise from injury
cases like those involving car accidents, slip and falls, or medical malpractice.
In the medical malpractice context, a wrongful death claim can arise when
negligence by a healthcare provider leads to a patient’s death.
Medical errors can lead to wrongful death in a variety of ways including,
but not limited to: anesthesia errors, surgical errors, post-surgical
mistakes, failure to treat properly, drug complications; emergency room
negligence, misdiagnosis and more.
A wrongful death claim rooted in medical negligence differs from an ordinary
negligence claim in a few important ways. For one, the duty of care owed
to a patient by a medical professional is much higher than the duty of
care owed from one ordinary person to another. This is because medical
professionals are held to an elevated professional standard of care. The
standard of care refers to the customary level of care that a healthcare
provider in the same profession, with similar training, would use in the
same or similar circumstances.
In order to prevail on a wrongful death claim in the context of medical
malpractice – it must be shown that the patient’s death occurred
because of the healthcare provider’s failure to adhere to the standard of care.
An individual who intends to file a medical malpractice suit against a
healthcare professional is required to provide notice of intent to sue
at least ninety days before filing the lawsuit. Maryland also requires
that a medical doctor sign off on a medical malpractice claim. In any
medical malpractice claim, a qualified statement must be filed that states
the healthcare professional breached the accepted standard of care and
proximately caused the plaintiff’s injury. This pre-suit procedure
is intended to parse out frivolous claims and only allow claims with merit
to move forward.
An attorney representing an injured patient will help them meet the requirement
of finding a medical expert witness to substantiate the medical malpractice
lawsuit. The qualifications of the medical expert will vary depending
on the facts of the case. There are three basic requirements for an expert
witness: i) the expert witness must have clinical experience; ii) the
medical expert must have provided consultation relating to clinical practice;
and iii) the medical expert must have taught medicine in the defendant’s
specialty or a related field of medical care or in the area of medicine
in which the defendant provided care or medical treatment to the plaintiff
within 5 years of the date of the alleged medical malpractice negligence.
Wrongful death claims have to be brought within the applicable statute
of limitations. The statute of limitations simply refers to the time frame
in which a claim must be filed. Under Maryland law, a wrongful death claim
brought on a medical malpractice theory by the decedent’s dependents
must be filed within three years from the date of death.
Wrongful Death Attorneys Representing Families in Prince George’s County
At Wais, Vogelstein, Forman & Offutt, our
wrongful death attorneys have helped countless families in the Prince George’s
County area pursue the justice and compensation they deserve for the harm
they have suffered. We strongly believe in holding negligent medical professionals
accountable for their actions. Losing a loved one is never easy, and the
experience is even more traumatic when the death is unexpected. We proudly
serve clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C.
If you have questions or concerns about your case, please do not hesitate
to contact us
online or call us at (410) 567-0800 for a free case evaluation.