All healthcare professionals are responsible for their patients’ well-being while under their care. However, this is not always the case. Many negligent doctors, nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals engage in negligent actions that can lead to devastating consequences. In our many years of experience, we have seen countless cases where surgeons have made mistakes that put their patient’s life at risk. Fortunately, you have the ability to sue the negligent physician and fight for compensation. You may wonder how much time you have to file a lawsuit after a surgical error in Maryland. Our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys from Bennett & Heyman explain.
The Statute of Limitations for a Lawsuit After a Surgical Error in Maryland
Any person who gets injured due to another person’s negligence can file a lawsuit to recover compensation. However, injured victims do not have unlimited time to file their claims with the court. Your filing time is cut short by what is known as the “statute of limitations.” The statute of limitations is a law limiting the time you have to file your civil claim. The purpose of this law is to ensure you file your claim in a timely manner while all relevant evidence is available. Additionally, the statute of limitations also protects the defendant from being perpetually liable for their actions.
Under Maryland law, a victim of surgical error – which falls under medical malpractice – has up to five years from the moment of the medical error to file their claim with the court or three years from the discovery of the surgical error – for example, a delayed medical malpractice discovery. Five years may seem like a long time to file your claim. You may feel tempted to focus on recovering from your injuries and leave your filing for later. This may seem like a viable way to handle your case. The last thing you’d want is to face an uphill legal battle after a surgical error.
However, this may not be the most effective way to handle your case.
Medical malpractice cases – including surgical errors – can be challenging due to the amount of evidence you need and the preparation required to build a strategic case. Your attorney may need a long time to set up your case and help you prepare for trial. It is essential to hire a Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can help you with these matters and avoid having your case dismissed.
What Happens if I Wait Too Long to File My Surgical Error Claim in Maryland?
Many people believe that five years or three years (depending on your particular situation) may be enough time to file your claim. However, the more time you wait to act after your surgical error, the harder it can be for you to build up your case. There is an important reason why the statute of limitations plays such a significant role in all surgical error claims. Many people may only associate the statute of limitations with just a legal timeline for filing. However, it has more important functions.
The statute of limitations promotes a timely filing while the evidence can be readily and easily obtained and while the memories of any witnesses are still fresh. As time goes by, critical pieces of evidence and relevant data such as these can fade, be lost, or be destroyed. This can have a significant impact on your case’s overall value.
In more extreme cases, waiting for too long to file your claim can preclude you from getting compensation. For this reason, it is essential to hire the services of an experienced, skilled Baltimore birth injury attorney. We can help you ensure your claim is filed on time while building up a strategic, compelling, and persuasive case.
Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations After a Surgical Error in Maryland?
As we explained, the statute of limitations plays a significant role in your ability to obtain compensation in a surgical error claim. However, this doesn’t mean there are no exceptions to this rule. Many jurisdictions – including Maryland – allow exceptions to the legal timelines set forth by the statute of limitations.
For instance, there have been many situations where a patient was injured because a negligent surgeon or healthcare professional left a foreign object inside of a patient. While it may seem incredible, there have been numerous cases where a negligent doctor has left gauzes, sponges, or surgical tools inside the patient after their surgery.
In these events, the courts are more lenient and allow additional time to file a claim beyond the statute of limitations. An injured victim may notice an injury caused by a foreign object, months or even years after their surgery. This is why the courts allow more time to file a claim. In these cases, the injury can happen beyond the time of their surgery, enabling the victim to bring forth their claim after they discover their injury, regardless of the date of their surgery.
Handling this situation can be challenging, especially if you have never faced such a situation before. It is essential to ensure you meet all legal requirements to file your claim on time to get the compensation you deserve. For this reason, it is essential to hire an experienced, skilled Baltimore CT surgical error attorney.
Surgical Error Attorneys Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured during surgery by a negligent medical professional in Maryland, we can help. Our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys from Bennett & Heyman can help you hold the liable parties accountable for your losses and help you fight for your compensation. Thanks to our many years of experience handling medical malpractice cases in Maryland, we are able to provide you with quality legal services. We can help you fight for compensation to cover all of your losses, including your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. To learn more about our legal services in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (410) 429-7856.