Mr. Boston my love one died in the hospital and we don’t know why or what caused this to happen. Having to listen to a person who contacts my office with an issue like this can be pretty hard at times do to the nature of the call.
When a loved one dies while in the hospital families are sometimes left without answers initially, or are perplexed at the answers given. The main focus of this Maryland medical malpractice educational article and supporting video is to help you understand not only how you prove a death case in Maryland based on medical malpractice, but how you can protect a potential claim in the future if you think that the death was due to medical malpractice.
HOW TO PROVE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE IN MARYLAND
Just because a bad result occurs does not mean that medical malpractice is the cause of the bad result. Maryland law requires in medical malpractice cases that a plaintiff (the person bringing the law suit) prove multiple things in court. Essentially you have to show that the treating doctor fell below the standard of care owed to the patient at the time, and by falling below this standard of care causes that person’s injury.
The last sentence in the above paragraph is really important because it outlines how a bad result can happen even while the doctors and other medical professionals stayed within the standard of care. As for the standard of care, the simplest way to understand it is what would a reasonable and prudent doctor do under the same set of circumstances as your doctor. So for example, would a reasonable doctor cut on an organ in the body without first identifying said organ?
HOW DO YOU PROTECT A CLAIM WHEN YOUR LOVED ONE DIED IN THE HOSPITAL?
One client told me that when their loved one died in the hospital everything just “hit me at once.” “I was numb.” This experience is totally understandable. With that said, one important step that can be taken during this trying time, especially if the circumstances surrounding the death are suspect at best, is to request an autopsy.
An autopsy is important because what it does is it can help understand in some cases the cause of death. Remember in the above paragraph where I outlined the basic elements of a case like this, I mentioned “caused the injury.” An autopsy can do just that. It can help pinpoint what may have happened when your loved one died in the hospital.
As an important side note, please understand that the hospital, or Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, may not automatically do an autopsy for you. In some instances you may have to pay for an autopsy to be performed by a private pathologist. You can find these doctors online in a Google search. The cost of a private autopsy can run a few thousand dollars.
DO YOU NEED A MARYLAND MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYER?
If your loved one died in the hospital and you have more questions, this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and give me a call.
I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer medical malpractice questions like yours all the time and I would be happy to listen to your story.
Boston Law Group, LLC
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815