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What circumstances give rise to a medical malpractice or medical negligence claim?
This simple question is not an easy one to answer. The mere fact that you have had a bad result from medical care is not enough. Routinely, doctors, hospitals and other medical personnel obtain consent forms for medical procedures that spell out problems that could occur. While signing such a form does not absolutely take away your right to bring a malpractice action it does provide the healthcare provider some cover if things go wrong.
The basic rule of thumb is that healthcare providers are not permitted to deviate from the standard of care expected of them. This standard of care is usually defined by other healthcare providers practicing in the same area. One of the most important reasons to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer such as the lawyers at Clark & Steinhorn is to assist in analyzing what the standard of care is and in finding an appropriate expert or experts.
How long do I have to file such a claim?
Maryland and the District of Columbia each have somewhat different rules for determining how long one has to bring a claim. The basic legal limit involves a concept called the statute of limitations. While there are exceptions, the general rule is that any such claim must be filed with the appropriate court or arbitration office within 3 years of injury. The analysis involving how long one has to file a claim is very complex and often will require detailed analysis by a medical malpractice lawyer experienced in such matters.