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New bill could change medical malpractice law in Maryland

When someone wrongfully takes something from Baltimore residents, most would expect that person has to give it back or otherwise repay the individual for what was taken. This principle lies at the essence of a personal injury lawsuit, as those whose negligence causes injury to others are held accountable for the injury and expected to pay the damages of the injured person.

This well-established principle is often under attack in medical malpractice cases, as doctors and hospitals that make mistakes in patient care are often looking for ways out of paying for those mistakes. Arguably the latest example of this is a new bill introduced by Maryland lawmakers, and advanced by certain health systems in the state, that would limit the amount of costs hospitals and doctors would have to pay for birth injuries.

The bill would create a birth injury fund by having doctors and hospitals practicing in the area pay into the fund. Individuals who then suffered birth injuries would apply to the fund with a claim and have to prove the injury, which would be determined by an administrative law judge.

Accordingly, if the bill goes into law, it could represent a dramatic shift in medical malpractice law. Typically, claims are pursued through courts, with negligence law being applicable to the case. If a jury finds in favor of the individual, an award of damages will be given to pay for the injured person's particular damages suffered as a result of the incident.

In the end, the bill is not the first nor the last attempt to stifle the rights of injured patients. By working with a qualified attorney, individuals can vigorously pursue their claim against a negligent doctor or hospital for the damages inflicted as a result of the injury.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Maryland bill would create birth injury fund," Andrea K. Walker, Feb. 10, 2014

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