D'Amore Personal Injury Law, LLC

What is Medical Malpractice

First – What is Medical Malpractice?

At its most basic, medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider, an individual, or a facility provides a patient with professionally substandard care that harms the patient. To file a successful medical malpractice case, a patient must prove that the healthcare provider failed to act with a degree of diligence, care, and skill as expected of reasonably competent providers facing either the same or similar circumstances. 

This means that when you are a patient of a doctor or a facility, you are entitled to be treated with the same level of care, diligence, and skill that other patients would receive from reasonably knowledgeable and experienced providers assessing or treating those patients.

Types of Medical Malpractice

Failure to Diagnose and Misdiagnosis

Doctors have a duty to evaluate patients thoroughly and carefully. When conditions are correctly diagnosed, patients have options to pursue proper treatment. If a patient’s condition is not correctly detected or evaluated, though, that patient can suffer. A failure to diagnose or a misdiagnosis of a harmful condition can cause that condition to develop unchecked. Conversely, misdiagnosing a patient with a condition they do not suffer can lead that patient to seek unnecessary treatment that could harm them. The most commonly misdiagnosed diseases include Cancer, Heart Attacks, and Infections.

The birthing process is inherently traumatic. However, neither the baby nor the mother should sustain unreasonable injury or illness due to this process. If your baby was cut, had oxygen deprivation, suffered from dislocated joints, diagnosed with Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), or otherwise was harmed due to the birthing process, it is important to question whether you may have a legal cause of action against your health providers.

Surgical errors can range from operating on the wrong body part to leaving a medical tool inside a patient’s body and from administering anesthesia improperly to failing to protect a surgical patient from infection. Surgical errors are frighteningly common. If you have suffered physical pain to an unexpected degree in the wake of a surgical procedure, you may benefit from exploring your legal options.  

Prescribing, dosing, and administering medication are surprisingly complex tasks that can all go wrong. Sometimes, patients are harmed by the medications themselves. Under these circumstances, a drug manufacturer may be sued via a personal injury lawsuit. Medical professionals can be responsible if a medication was improperly prescribed or if a provider failed to check for the potential of harmful drug interactions, for example. Sometimes a dosing error might be made, or improper protocols followed during medication administration, causing harm to a patient. In such cases, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

Learn about what to do after a Medical Malpractice Injury in our FREE guide.

Medical Malpractice -eBook Cover - Maryland Med Mal Attorney Paul D'Amore

Incorrect or Inadequate Approach to Treatment

Every patient’s needs are unique. Treatment of a patient’s condition without taking their unique medical history, allergies, and circumstances into account can lead to harm. Also, failure to treat a patient’s conditions as aggressively as necessary under the circumstances can lead to lasting or fatal harm. Generally, if a reasonably competent provider under similar circumstances would have approached a patient’s treatment plan differently and that patient was harmed by the approach taken, that patient may have grounds for a lawsuit.

Failure to Prevent or Treat Infection

One of the most overlooked areas of medical malpractice is the failure to prevent or treat infections. Many people have a misconception that if you suffer from an infection after undergoing surgery while staying in a hospital or residing in a long-term care facility, you can do nothing about it, legally speaking. While not every infection is legally actionable, many infections (some of which are extremely harmful and can even be lethal) are preventable and result from medical negligence. One of the most commonly misdiagnosed infections is Pneumonia.


Although physicians and hospitals are the most named defendants in medical malpractice suits, there are also nurses, nursing homes, and other healthcare providers who might commit acts of medical malpractice. For example, failing to care for a sedentary patient’s needs properly can lead to bedsores and skin infections. Not all bedsores are evidence of medical negligence, although they are a significant warning sign that a patient may be suffering from unlawful neglect.

How Quickly do Patients Need to File a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Every state has a unique “statute of limitations” when filing medical malpractice claims against offending healthcare providers. In Maryland, for example, state law provides victims of medical negligence up to five years after the adverse event occurred to file a lawsuit. If a patient was unaware that a mistake or some form of negligence occurred, they are given up to three years from the date of discovering that fact to file a lawsuit. Note that victims of medical malpractice under the age of 16 when injured are given more time than this to seek legal recourse under Maryland law.

However, no matter where you live in the U.S., it is essential to seek legal guidance as soon as you can if you believe that you may be a victim of medical malpractice. Scheduling risk-free consultations with medical malpractice lawyers won’t obligate you to file legal action. But, by acting quickly, your lawyer will be better able to preserve critical evidence, begin investigating the circumstances surrounding your harm, and otherwise protect your interests. As a result, you’ll be empowered to make informed choices within the statute of limitations period. You’ll have taken the time to seek personalized, professional guidance before making significant decisions about your legal situation.

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Speak with a Baltimore Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorney.

Our legal team takes our medical malpractice cases personally. The personal injury attorneys at D’Amore Personal Injury Law, LLC have extensive experience handling both straightforward and complex medical malpractice cases. We have secured some extraordinary results for many of our clients. But our team doesn’t rest on our achievements in medical malpractice lawsuits. We treat each unique medical malpractice case with the required focus, dedication, and respect.

You do not need to know whether you have grounds to file legal action to schedule a consultation. Our personal injury attorneys understand how the law may impact your situation.  Contact us today.

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