Handling my own medical malpractice case, should I? To put the question another way should you attempt to represent yourself without an attorney in a Maryland medical malpractice case?
Before I answer the above question, it may be shocking for you to know, that in certain instances and for certain types of cases it may be in your best interest to represent yourself without an attorney. With that said, it is my opinion, that for a Maryland medical malpractice case you should probably consult with an attorney. As you will see below, a medical malpractice case can be different from some other types of civil tort cases in Maryland.
One simple reminder, ultimately, it is entirely up to you to decide whether you should use a Maryland medical malpractice attorney in this situation. Hopefully, this educational article will give you insight into this process.
IN SOME CASES IT MAY BE IN YOUR BEST INTEREST TO REPRESENT YOURSELF…
In the past I have had individuals to tell me that they are shocked to hear that in certain instances I suggest that it may be in your best interest to represent yourself. For example, let us say that you were involved in a small car collision. Based on the collision, you have not suffered serious injuries. As a matter of fact, you only needed minimal hospitalization and no further treatment.
The only thing that you are concerned about in this situation is to get your medical bills taken care of, which the defendant’s insurance carrier is willing to pay for in their settlement offer to you. Add to this, you do not have the time to even move forward with future treatment (assuming it is needed) due to family and other life responsibilities. In other words, it is your prime goal to get your medical bills paid for as soon as possible and to be able to move forward with the remaining part of your life.
Understanding the above, it may be in that person’s best interests to forgo an attorney and to take the settlement offer by the defendant’s insurance company and settle the case. Of course this is a very fact specific analysis, but it should give you a simple example of how in certain situations it might be in a person’s best interest to settle or to move forward with their case without an attorney.
HANDLING MY OWN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE …
When it comes to the question of handling my own medical malpractice case, there are some things that you should know about which makes these cases different from say a car collision case. For starters, and a Maryland medical malpractice case you will need the assistance of medical experts. These medical experts will give opinions on things such as the standard of care and whether you’re treating doctor deviated from that standard causing your injury. If you cannot get experts to give opinions on issues such as these then your case will not be successful.
On the other hand, in a car collision case, the use of experts is not necessarily a requirement. For example, Maryland law does not require that you need an expert to give an opinion as to whether a person has to stop at a stop sign or a red light for that matter.
In addition, things such as caps on pain and suffering type of damages do not exist in car collision cases. However, these types of caps are present in Maryland medical malpractice cases as of the writing of this article.
Things such as the use of medical experts, and standard of care issues, and causation issues, etc…can be difficult to deal with without legal training. This is one of the reasons why in my opinion you should not try to do these types of cases alone. Failing to follow the specific rules set out in this area of Maryland law can lead to the dismissal of your claim. But, as I mentioned above, it is ultimately your decision as to the question above, handling my own medical malpractice case, should I?
If you would like to speak with me further regarding an injury you have suffered while in the care of a doctor or hospital, this is what I invite you to do if you are struggling with handling my own medical malpractice case. Pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer Maryland medical malpractice questions like yours all the time and I would be happy to listen to your story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
Boston Law Group, LLC
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815