New Bill Would Hold Baltimore Physicians More Accountable for Malpractice
According to a January 2017 report on WBAL, Senate Bill 195 would make doctors more accountable to their patients. The bill would help patients know whether their doctor is actually insured. For example, the bill would have helped a patient who underwent liposuction and a tummy tuck back in 2005. That year she wanted to look great for her son’s wedding, but the minor surgery turned into an alleged 10-hour nightmare. Her doctor allegedly kept her overnight at a surgery center. She died three days later at home. An autopsy revealed that she died from cardiac arrhythmia.
The woman’s family sued the doctor for medical malpractice, but they received nothing even though the judge ruled in their favor. Unfortunately, the doctor who performed the surgery did not have medical malpractice insurance. The doctor later made a settlement for $450,000, and then filed bankruptcy.
Senate Bill 195, if passed, would require every doctor practicing in Maryland to indicate to the state board of physicians whether or not they have insurance. The information would then be available to the public.
The woman’s family wanted the bill to go even further. They wanted all doctors to be mandated by law to have medical malpractice insurance. Another bill in the state house may make it mandatory for all doctors to have medical malpractice insurance.
What is Medical Malpractice in Baltimore?
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional provides a patient with substandard care. In Maryland, all patients are supposed to receive standard medical care. It does not have to be the best, but it must not cause additional harm. Additional harm would be if a patient sought treatment for a heart pain and the doctor amputated his or her arm instead.
Substandard care is negligent care. Negligence is the foundation for a medical malpractice lawsuit. An injured patient can receive damages, in the form of money, for the substandard care received.
Recoverable Damages in a Baltimore Medical Malpractice Claim
Damages available in a medical malpractice claim include:
- Additional past, current, and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Decreased earning capacity
- Funeral and burial expenses if the patient died because of the substandard treatment
In Maryland, an injured patient can receive any economic damages caused by the medical professional’s negligence. An injured patient can also receive what is known as non-economic damages. Non-economic damages are a little harder to calculate. A lawyer cannot simply hand over a bill as proof of the damages sustained. An example of non-economic damages includes pain and suffering.
State personal injury law caps non-economic damages at $770,000. If the patient died because of the substandard care received, the non-economic damages are capped at $962,500.
Contact Hassan, Hassan & Tuchman, PA about Your Baltimore Medical Malpractice Claim
You or a loved one sought medical treatment, not addition harm. Contact us about your medical malpractice claim.