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Hospital Risk Management

Chevy Chase, MD |

What are the responsibiliies of a Hospital Risk Manager and the risk management team? My husband and I have a pending malpractice claim with a hospital and we do not have an attorney. We are both trying to doing it on our own and when I called today, to check the status of our case, we were told that it is currently with the hospital risk manager. As far as we know, the adjuster has reviewed and we have not been notified that our claim has been denied. The insurance company has had the claim for 5 months. Is risk management the last step in the claims process. Should we get an attorney at this late stage of the process? Any insight is appreciated.

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Attorney answers 4


Candidly, you are wasting a lot of time and energy trying to work with the hospital on your own. I have seen folks try to do this periodically over the years and the story is always the same. The hospital says they understand and want to help. They talk with you. They meet with you. They lead you to believe that something will happen. But, nothing ever does. You are good people and want to believe that the hospital folks recognize they did something wrong and will make it right. After all, that is what good people do, right? But, there is no place where a healthy dose of cynicism is needed than when dealing with hospitals and insurance companies. Once you get burned you will see what I mean. They will drag this out until it is too late for you to file a suit. Understand that the hospital risk manager's job is to make sure the hospital never pays you a dime if he/she can help it. The risk manager is simply doing his/her job. Don't wait until you get burned on this. Your lawyer is going to require enough lead time to investigate the case, line up experts, and prepare the lawsuit papers for filing well in advance of the deadline for doing so. Not only is the risk manager not the last step in the process, you are not even at the first step of the

Phillip Charles Gilbert

Phillip Charles Gilbert


I agree with Mr. Girards and write only to add that you need to be aware that pursuant to Maryland law the "statute of limitations" that applies to your claim may be as short as three years from the date of the provision of the care in question, or up to a maximum of five years IF it was/is reasonable under the circumstances for you not to have "discovered" the negligence immediately (the classic example being when a surgeon leaves a sponge in someone during an operation and that isn't "discovered" until an x-ray is taken at some later date). Also, as a former medical malpractice defense lawyer myself, I also strongly agree that you should know that it is very probable that the risk management folks are actually attempting to "lead you down the path" and do not really have any intention of settling the case.


You really need to consult a lawyer.
You may very well find yourself without any remedy at all if you continue to try to do this on your own.
Please don't be penny wise and pound foolish. There are very good lawyers in your area and it is worth the investment.


This is not the kind of case you want to handle on your own. Consult an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.


Don't say a word to risk management or risk sabotaging your claim. Find a med mal lawyer in your state from Avvo and get proper representation.

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