Earlier this summer, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that a land surveyor was not liable for injuries suffered by a man who tripped and fell on a wooden stake used to mark the property’s boundaries. The stake was tied with a ribbon and stood approximately one foot above the ground. The stake, which was one of four marking the property, was visible to the naked eye.
In ruling for the defendant, the court found that land surveyors are “professionals” and thus subject to professional negligence laws, which require that professionals perform their services with reasonable care. However, the court also found that the surveyor in this case did not owe the plaintiff a duty to act with reasonable care, since the surveyor was hired by a third party, rather than the plaintiff. The plaintiff owned the property in question, but the surveyor was hired by the prospective buyers of the property, who wanted to know the property’s exact boundaries prior to the purchase.
A Professional’s Duties in Maryland
In Maryland, individuals and companies hired to perform professional services also owe their customers a duty of reasonable care. Professionals who are required to meet this standard include architects, engineers, lawyers, dentists, and doctors, to name a few.
If a doctor fails to provide a patient with reasonable care, and this failure causes a patient to be injured in any way, the patient may be eligible for compensation. In Maryland, this is called medical negligence, or medical malpractice. Medical malpractice takes many forms. Common examples of medical malpractice include a failure to diagnose a patient in a timely fashion, improper treatment of a known condition, and surgical errors.
Doctors are not the only health care professionals who may be liable for medical malpractice. Hospitals may also be liable for errors made by their employees that similarly cause an injury to a patient. Examples include improper dosing of medication or administering the wrong medication altogether.
On occasion, a patient may die as a result of medical malpractice. In these cases, spouses, parents, or children may be eligible for compensation as well. These cases are called wrongful death actions, and family members may be compensated for a loss of future earnings, as well as for non-economic damages. In this context, non-economic damages generally include the loss of companionship of a loved one.
In Maryland, there are caps, or limits, on the amount of compensation an injured patient or customer can recover for non-economic damages in negligence cases. The amounts vary, depending on whether the case is a medical malpractice case or another type of negligence action. Other factors may influence these limits as well.
Have You Been Injured Due to the Negligence of a Trusted Professional?
The lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen are leaders in the area of personal injury law. For over 20 years, the firm has championed the rights of people injured due to the negligence of professionals they trusted, including doctors. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, clients are not just a dollar sign. Our attorneys become part of a victim’s family that cares about their injuries and their rights, and we do not rest until our clients are fully compensated for their injuries. For a free consultation, call an attorney at Lebowitz & Mzhen at (800) 654-1949.
More Blog Posts:
Medical Malpractice Case Dismissed on Timeliness Grounds for Failure to Name Additional Defendants in Time, Maryland Accident Law Blog, August 15, 2016.
Plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice Case Successful against Cosmetic Clinic after Liposuction Procedure Resulted in Infection, Maryland Accident Law Blog, September 5, 2016.