Pharmaceutical Errors and Medical Malpractice in MarylandJune 9, 2023
Doctors and pharmacists provide care that both promotes well-being and treats medical conditions. Patients place a great deal of trust in these medical professionals. Medical professionals can make mistakes, whether failing to diagnose a condition or administering the wrong medication dosage. When that happens, you may be able to legally hold the doctor or pharmacist responsible and get financial compensation for your injuries.
Understanding Pharmaceutical Errors
Pharmacists play a crucial role in patient health. However, the same medications that can be life-saving can also be life-threatening if they are prescribed or administered incorrectly. Some estimates place the fatalities from medication errors as high as 100,000 people annually.
Here are some examples of pharmaceutical errors that can injure patients:
- Giving the incorrect medication.
- Not checking for medication conflicts.
- Incorrect dosage.
- Not counseling a patient about side effects or the proper use of the medication.
- Prescribing use of the medication at the wrong time of the day.
Medical Malpractice in Maryland
Medical malpractice cases typically follow the same pattern as other personal injury cases. The legal standard in a medical malpractice case is negligence. To prove negligence, you would need to show that each of the following elements applies:
- The medical professional owed you a duty of care.
- They breached their care by doing something considered unreasonable under the circumstances.
- You suffered an injury and losses.
- You would not have been injured had it not been for the medical professional’s actions.
The second and fourth elements are the most challenging ones to prove. You would need to compare what this medical professional did and compare it to what a reasonable doctor would have done. Doctors must not be perfect, but they must act as an average medical professionals with ordinary training. For example, the average pharmacist would check the other medications a patient is taking to ensure no conflict.
In addition, the defendant may argue that you would have been injured anyway, and the doctor was not the proximate cause of your injury. You have the burden of proof to demonstrate each element by a preponderance of the evidence.
Identifying Responsible Parties
Most often, victims of medical malpractice will sue the physician for their injuries. Other responsible parties could be sued. Your lawyer could determine exactly who may be liable for your injuries. Other responsible parties could include:
- The hospital or medical practice that employed the doctor, which is legally responsible for the wrongdoing of its employees committed within the scope of their employment.
- The pharmacy that negligently dispensed a medication.
- Nursing homes.
- Urgent care providers.
- Other medical professionals, such as nurses and physicians’ assistants.
- Non-traditional medical providers, such as chiropractors and acupuncturists.
Steps to Take if You Are a Victim of Pharmaceutical Errors or Medical Malpractice
If a pharmaceutical error or medical malpractice has injured you, you should take the following steps:
- Immediately seek legal help so your lawyer can fight for financial compensation.
- Document your injuries and get treatment for them.
- Take steps to pursue financial compensation, usually by filing a lawsuit against the medical professional.
The Statute of Limitations and Legal Considerations for a Medical Malpractice Claim
Maryland has strict time limits on filing a medical malpractice claim. You would have five years from the date of an injury or three years from when you discovered it to file a medical malpractice claim.
Any type of medical malpractice claim is difficult. You must overcome a doctor’s credibility and educate the jury on what the medical professional did wrong. You would need a lawyer who could work with medical experts to show precisely how the pharmacy or doctor fell short of their standard of care.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Those Who Have Been Harmed by Pharmaceutical Errors
If you have been injured by a medical professional or a pharmacist’s negligence, contact our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lanham, and Owings Mills, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.