Many states have specific laws pertaining to medical malpractice lawsuits. Some of the statutes are relatively standard while others are unique in some aspects. Maryland uses a medical malpractice standard that also allows for the state’s antiquated contributory negligence law barring injured parties from being financially compensated for injuries if they have even a small degree of fault with respect to the incident. However, that bar typically does not apply in medical malpractice suits unless they are retroactive claims that are submitted in the later stages of a statute of limitations filing period.
Statute of limitations
All states have a statute of limitations that apply to filing personal injury lawsuits. While most states use a one or two-year filing window, Maryland allows three years for malpractice claims. Additionally, the window is extended for injuries suffered by minors under 11 years old. Furthermore, a surgical foreign object claim can be filed up until age 16.
Just as many other states do, Maryland also has a cap on the maximum allowable damages in a medical malpractice personal injury settlement. The cap is currently set at $650,000, but it is also increased annually to account for the cost of living. However, joint and several liabilities are allowed in Maryland.
Most states allow doctors to testify or provide depositions in court as witnesses. This means that many times a doctor will also be considered an expert, so their testimony and opinion on the standard of care carries a great deal of weight.
These are just a few aspects of the unique Maryland medical malpractice laws. While there is some latitude in making the decision to file, it is still often best to begin a legal action as soon as the need for a claim becomes apparent.