Proposed Legislation in Baltimore May Make it Easier for Doctors to Admit a Mistake Without Assuming Liability

According to a February 2017 Baltimore Sun article, the Maryland General Assembly may approve legislation aimed at changing the medical malpractice law. It may make it easier for a healthcare professional to admit that treatment went wrong without having that statement be admissible in court.

Many supporters of the proposal argue that it would put more money in the hands of the patients because health care professionals could create treatment plans more quickly. For example, an injured patient in the report sustained an injury during a procedure because of a defective instrument. The physician quickly apologized. The hospital paid for the injured patient’s medical bills and provided a long-term compensation plan for treatment. He never filed a lawsuit.

However, opposition to the bill argue that the change to the medical malpractice would make injured patients more vulnerable. It would keep that medical malpractice out of court and away from a jury’s hands.

For instance, an injured patient would be asked to agree to the healthcare professional’s arrangement while he or she was recovering from injuries. This would not be the best time to make an important decision. The injured patient may not know his or her legal rights and agree to a settlement without understanding that he or she may give up the right to sue later.

Current Maryland malpractice law does give some protection to healthcare professionals already. They can express regret or apologize for what happened without their statements being admissible in court.

However, if they do acknowledge they did something wrong, their statement would be admissible in court.

If approved, the bill would require hospitals to create a safety and early intervention program to cover injured patients. They would have to inform the patient’s family about what happened and apologize for the medical mistake. In addition, they would have to inform the injured patient and their family about the legal right to have a lawyer during negotiations.

Medical Malpractice in Baltimore Involves a Healthcare Professional Providing Substandard Treatment

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional provides treatment that deviates from standard treatment. The substandard treatment causes an additional injury. The type of substandard treatment can vary from providing the wrong diagnosis to leaving a surgical instrument in a patient’s body or amputating the wrong limb.

Prove Medical Malpractice Happened with the Help of Hassan, Hassan & Tuchman, PA

Current law allows medical malpractice claims to be settled outside of court. If that happens, the injured patient gives up the right to sue in exchange for compensation to pay medical bills and other expenses.

If the case goes to court, we must prove:

  • The defendant owed a duty to you to avoid doing harm
  • The defendant breached that legal duty to you
  • You were injured because of the breach of legal duty
  • You are owed damages

Damages you will be able to obtain depend on the facts of your case and include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today for help.

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