Medical Malpractice cases are known to be some of the most complex and difficult to prove. This is because these cases almost always require expert testimony, include a lot of medical terminology, and are up against hospitals and medical professionals that are working hard to protect their business. Contributory negligence is an important factor in medical malpractice cases in Maryland. Here is what you need to know.
A Patient’s Negligence
In a medical malpractice case, the patient is typically suing their health care provider for negligence that led to their injuries. However, a common defense used is that the patient’s negligence contributed to their harm. A patient can be negligent by providing false information about their health history, not following their health care provider’s instructions, lying about the nature of their injuries, and/or doing things that worsen their health condition or injury.
Pure Contributory Negligence
Different states have different rules regarding contributory and comparative negligence. In Maryland, the pure contributory negligence rule applies. This means that if the patient had ANY part in their worsened conditions or injuries, they can’t recover any damages from the malpractice. If a patient is suing their provider for a delayed diagnosis, but they failed to show up for multiple appointments, they contributed to the negligence and therefore, their claim is invalid. This means that even a patient who is only 1% responsible for their injuries is completely barred from recovering any damages.
Last Clear Chance Doctrine
In those states that follow the pure contributory negligence rule, there is also a last clear chance doctrine. This means that if the health care provider had the last apparent opportunity to avoid the injury and failed to do so. Even if the patient contributed to the negligence, they can still receive damages if they can prove that the doctor had the last clear chance to prevent the injury.
Have You or a Loved One Suffered Injuries as a Result of Medical Malpractice? Contact The Snyder Law Group Today!
The Snyder Law Group, LLC, proudly represents clients throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our experienced Baltimore attorneys understand the frustration that comes with an insurance company, medical professional, or other party that refuses to accept liability for negligent or reckless behavior. You can take heart in knowing there are talented and experienced lawyers ready to work for you. We are experienced in handling personal injury claims of medical malpractice or injury resulting from serious car and truck accidents, and have secured hundreds of millions in verdicts settlements*. Please visit our website,www.410thefirm.com, for more information and follow us on Facebook,Twitter,Google +, and LinkedIn.