Maryland Plaintiffs Must Prove Damages as Element of Medical Malpractice Claim

A patient who suffers physical, emotional, or financial injuries due to the negligence of a hospital worker or medical professional may file a Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit against the entity or individual. Medical professionals include doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, physician’s assistants, and all other healthcare workers.

A medical professional’s injurious, negligent act or omission can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit. Most frequently, these lawsuits stem from negligent health management, diagnostic or treatment errors, or inadequate aftercare. Some common examples of medical malpractice include failures to diagnose or misdiagnosis, misread or fabricated laboratory results, unnecessary surgery, surgical errors, early discharges, and disregarding patient history and concerns.

To establish a medical malpractice claim, a victim must prove four distinct elements. First, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the medical professional violated their standard of care. Certain standards are considered appropriate by the medical community at large. When a medical professional violates this standard of care, then legal negligence may be established. Next, the victim must be able to prove that they suffered an injury due to the defendant’s negligence. To do so, a plaintiff must show that their injury would not have occurred but for the actions of the healthcare worker. A plaintiff must also prove that the defendant’s actions were the proximate cause of their injury. Finally, the victim must be able to prove that the harm caused them significant damages. Significant damages encompass things such as, disability, unusual or significant pain, suffering, hardship, and costly medical bills.

Victims must be able to establish the above elements to succeed in their claim. Negligence without injury or injury without negligence will result in dismissal. Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion that is relevant to Maryland medical malpractice plaintiffs. In that case, a lead technologist at the hospital created forged mammogram reports and transmitted them to the radiologist. The forged reports indicated that the mammograms were normal. After an investigation, the hospital discovered the forged reports and promptly terminated the employee. The hospital refunded all of the insurance payments and arranged for the patients to undergo a mammogram.

Out of 17 patients affected by the forgery, only three claimed that they suffered from a condition that an accurate mammogram result would have revealed. The plaintiffs argued that they suffered physical, emotional, and financial injuries. They claimed that the stress, worry, and pain associated with a second mammogram caused them to suffer significant harm. One plaintiff also argued that her mother died from breast cancer and that the original mammogram would have detected cancer.

The court found that the plaintiffs met the first two elements of the medical malpractice claim. However, they did not find that the plaintiffs suffered harm or damages. They opined that a mammogram is a routine medical procedure, the hospital covered their financial losses, and there is no evidence to suggest that the original mammogram would have detected cancer. Ultimately, the court found that although the technologist engaged in negligent behavior, the plaintiffs did not suffer injuries. Therefore, the hospital was entitled to summary judgment.

Have You Suffered Injuries Because of Medical Malpractice?

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or death because of a negligent healthcare professional, you should contact the lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen to pursue your medical malpractice lawsuit. Maryland medical malpractice lawsuits can be emotionally challenging, and victims and their families should retain experienced, compassionate attorneys. The lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen have extensive experience handling complex and daunting medical malpractice lawsuits. If you are successful, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries you sustained. Contact the law firm at Lebowitz & Mzhen at 800-654-1949 to schedule your free initial consultation.

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