How much you can sue for medical malpractice in Maryland depends on two distinct factors: how the malpractice has affected your life and the limits imposed by the state on how much you can collect in non-economic damages (that is, physical and mental pain).
A Maryland medical malpractice lawyer can make sure you understand your case’s full worth before you ask the liable party’s insurer to pay you back for your losses.
Economic Versus Non-economic Damages After Medical Malpractice
Economic and non-economic damages are the two main types of compensation that you can ask for after a medical malpractice incident. A personal injury attorney can add up the value of all of your damages to determine how much you can sue for medical malpractice in Maryland.
Economic Damages Caused by Medical Malpractice
You could potentially suffer great financial losses because of a malpractice incident. These can include:
- Money spent on medical treatments, such as surgery, medication, and therapy
- Loss of earnings from when you stayed home to recover
- Reduced earning capacity if your malpractice injury permanently impacts your ability to work
- Every other expense related to the malpractice, such as the cost of hiring someone to walk your dog for you (if you do not normally need to hire such a person)
If the malpractice cost your loved one their life, you could file a wrongful death case for their end-of-life expenses and the loss of their financial support.
The amount of money you lost will dictate how much you can seek in a legal action. For example, if your lost wages total $2,000 and your medical expenses total $10,000, you could ask the insurer to pay you $12,000.
Medical Malpractice and Non-economic Damages
When you visited your provider, you may have already been suffering because of your medical condition. Now, thanks to their negligence, you are experiencing even worse pain due to:
- Physical and emotional trauma associated with the malpractice injury
- Loss of enjoyment of life if you suffered debilitating injuries
- Scar tissue that affects your appearance or inhibits your movements
- Disabling injuries that reduce your quality of life by preventing you from taking care of your own needs or the needs of others
Accurately calculating your non-economic damages from medical negligence can be difficult: after all, there is no bill or receipt that spells out the monetary worth of your physical discomfort or of the sorrow you feel now that you cannot take care of your own children.
Part of a medical malpractice attorney’s job is helping clients express such intangible suffering in financial terms. This would enable you to sue for a fair amount after a malpractice incident.
For legal consultation, call (410)777-8960
Maryland’s Limits on Non-economic Damages in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
According to Maryland law, as far as economic damages are concerned, you can sue for whatever amount fairly reflects your losses. With non-economic damages, you have to work within Md. Cts. & Jd. Proc. Code § 3-2A-09, which places a cap on how much you can ask for.
This is how Maryland’s cap on non-economic damages works:
- The cap was originally set at $650,000.
- The cap has increased by $15,000 every year since 2009.
- The total amount you can seek in non-economic damages therefore depends on the year in which your injury occurred.
For example, say a doctor misdiagnosed your condition in 2022. You could sue for up to $860,000 in non-economic damages, provided you have enough evidence to justify your asking for that amount. If the misdiagnosis occurred in 2021, you could only sue for $845,000.
Finding Evidence of Your Medical Malpractice Injuries
Ultimately, how much you can sue for comes down to the evidence. Can you and your lawyer find enough material to prove how much you have suffered because of the malpractice? Can you demonstrate beyond doubt that the negligent medical provider caused—and should pay for—that suffering?
Ultimately, you have to show that a medical professional failed to provide the standard of care while treating you and that their medical error caused you injuries. Medical malpractice lawyers know where to go looking for evidence that can strengthen a client’s case. Common sources of evidence include:
- The client’s medical records, which can illustrate a healthcare provider’s error
- Witness testimony, if any other providers were present at the time and can confirm the negligent party’s actions
- Expert testimony, which can help establish that no competent medical care provider should behave as the negligent party did
- The negligent party’s records, which can show whether or not they have faced other malpractice suits for similar behavior
- The client themselves, who might have materials like photos, receipts, or bills that can prove they deserve damages
- The client’s friends and loved ones, who can speak to how much the client’s life was negatively affected by the malpractice
Deadlines for Suing After Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice victims must meet the state’s time limit for filing a lawsuit. Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. Code § 5-109 defines the statute of limitations for malpractice lawsuits, , and this law can be complicated and includes many exceptions. Generally:
- You can start a case up to five years from the date of the malpractice.
- You can start a case up to five years from the date you reasonably discovered your injuries resulted from negligent medical care.
- If your child has been the victim of malpractice, you can start a case up to five years from the date they turn 11 years old.
Do not be discouraged if you are unsure which statute applies to you. A medical malpractice attorney can review your situation and help you file your case on time.
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Start a Maryland Medical Malpractice Case Today
Thanks to our ten years of experience, MD Accident Law can tell you how much you can sue for medical malpractice in Maryland—and the best ways of getting the insurer to agree to pay what you ask for. Call our team at (410) 777-8960 so you can focus on healing while we focus on your case.