Medical malpractice lawsuits involving a procedure where the medical professionals left some object in the patient’s body are surprisingly common. When a medical provider fails to remove foreign objects–such as surgical sponges, clamps, instruments, and other materials used during a procedure–after surgery, this conduct can result in serious medical harm. These medical errors often require additional surgeries and medical treatment to correct the injuries caused by such mistakes. In some cases, these “never events” may even be life-threatening and cause permanent damage.
To successfully file a lawsuit related to the leaving of an object in a patient’s body in Maryland or Washington, D.C claimants must prove that their doctor or hospital failed to provide them with the standard of care required by law. In legal terms, this means that those responsible for providing the medical care:
1. Owed the patient a duty of care
2. Breached that duty through negligence or recklessness inconsistent with professional standards
3. Directly caused harm due to the breach of duty
Depending on the facts of each case, proving negligence may require obtaining supporting witness statements from doctors or nurses who witnessed the procedure taking place and having experts review hospital records related to the surgery.
Medical malpractice claims in Maryland are subject to caps on non-economic damages. This means that subjective losses, such as pain and suffering, are capped at $860,000 as of 2022. However, there is no cap on economic damages in Maryland. This means that any objective, verifiable losses – such as medical bills and lost wages – can be compensated at full value.
In Washington, D.C. there is no cap on non-economic damages, and patients can recover the total amount of financial and emotional harm they have suffered.
It is crucial for claimants injured by objects left inside their bodies during surgery to understand that time limits apply for filing these types of malpractice lawsuits. Generally, there is a three year time limit to file a claim. Failing to act within the state’s statute of limitations could prevent victims from recovering compensation for their injuries. Limitations issues are complicated, and discussion of your particular circumstances with an experienced medical malpractice attorney is essential as soon as you suspect you have been a victim.
If you or a loved one were harmed from an object left behind during surgery, you may have a case for medical malpractice. The skilled attorneys at D’Amore Personal Injury Law will provide you with a free evaluation of your case and advise you of your legal rights. There are never any out-of-pocket costs to you unless they win your case. Reach out today at 410-324-2000 to schedule a free consultation.
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