By far, obstetrics experiences more cases of medical malpractice than any other. The United States as a whole has a much higher rate of birth injuries than most of the developed world, and Maryland is no exception. In fact, these worrisome numbers have actually risen in the United States recently. If you or your baby were harmed due to a hospital’s negligence, you may be able to get a settlement with the help of a birth injury lawyer in Baltimore.
Ask a Birth Injury Lawyer in Baltimore: What Kind of Settlement Am I Entitled To?
When you or your baby suffered injury due to negligent actions committed by doctors or other hospital staff, you can sue the facility or the medical practitioner in some cases for your economic losses. You are entitled to receive full compensation for any economic damages incurred in your case. However, it’s also possible to get more compensation for your pain and suffering, also known as noneconomic damages. In the event of wrongful death, these amounts may increase further.
Birth injuries come in many forms. While some injuries are commonplace and are part of the birthing process, there are many avoidable injuries that could justify a medical malpractice lawsuit. For more information, click here to see what birth injuries frequently are the result of medical malpractice and how you can file a lawsuit to seek compensation. Regardless of the exact nature of your birth injury, it’s important to understand how your compensation is calculated according to Maryland law.
Economic Damages in Medical Malpractice Claims
All the economic losses that you accumulate due to a birth injury can be added to your lawsuit. There is no cap on the amount of economic damages you can sue for in Maryland. To calculate this number, you will need to bring proof of your losses to your lawyer. You can include all of your medical expenses related to your injury, as well as other expenses such as ambulance fees or even parking at the hospital.
You may also include lost wages if you were unable to work after sustaining a birth injury. If you provide your lawyer with proof of your regular earnings, the number of days you were out of work can be used to determine the total value of your missed work. Bear in mind that you must still start your lawsuit within the 5-year statute of limitations to receive any compensation, so act quickly.
Noneconomic Damages in Maryland Medical Malpractice Claims
Besides your economic damages, you are also entitled to sue for pain and suffering, which is legally known as noneconomic damages. You may not necessarily receive the full amount you request since these damages are more subjective. In addition, there is a maximum of $875,000 for noneconomic damages for cases involving injuries from 2023. In many cases, when the hospital tries to settle out of court, they offer full compensation for economic damages but a smaller amount for noneconomic damages.
If you aren’t satisfied with a settlement offer, you can keep trying to negotiate for more. Alternatively, you may take your case to court where a jury must unanimously agree on the amount of your award. As this report notes, Maryland’s juries do tend to side with plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases. However, negotiations and trials require time, which means you have to wait longer for compensation.
Tort Reform Laws Have Made Lawsuits More Difficult
Maryland is one of several states to have enacted laws that make it more difficult to sue medical facilities and practitioners for malpractice. Nevertheless, there are still upwards of 600 cases per year, many of which end in favorable settlements for the plaintiff. There are additional requirements for medical malpractice cases that other personal injury cases don’t have to fulfill.
For example, you will need another physician’s testimony to support your case. Another doctor must declare that the procedures in your case were improper or that the doctors demonstrated negligence in the way they handled your situation. You do not have to worry about finding a doctor to vouch for you when you work with an experienced law firm. Experienced lawyers can reach out to medical professionals for you.
An Experienced Birth Injury Lawyer in Baltimore Can Help You
Birth injuries can leave a lasting impact on both the mother and the child. You are entitled to seek compensation for your injuries, and with the help of an experienced attorney, you can. Despite the obstacles that the medical industry has put in place, you can still fight for what is rightfully yours through legal action. However, it is imperative that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
The sooner you act, the more likely you are to come away with a settlement in a timely manner. Look for birth injury lawyers in Baltimore to get the process started.