Can I tell the jury that my doctor has been sued for medical malpractice in the past? This is a question that I get quite often and for many, the answer should be an affirmative. But the truth of the matter is that in Maryland, the law does not look at this issue the same way many people analyze the issue.
If you are in a jurisdiction other than Maryland, you should consult with counsel in your state for further clarification on this issue, as this topic might vary from state to state.
WHY YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO PROVE YOUR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CASE...
Once you understand how Maryland law views proving your case, it will be easier for you to understand why telling the jury that your doctor has been sued in the past is not allowed. Maryland tort law is made up of four basic elements. They are as follows:
•DUTY •BREACH OF DUTY •CAUSATION •DAMAGES
If any of these elements are missing then your case will not be successful. As a side note, in this context, damages will be the harm or injury done to you.
For Maryland medical malpractice cases another requirement is present. Essentially you need medical experts to look at whether your treating doctor fell below the standard of care owed to you, causing your damages. These medical experts teach these conclusions by reviewing the medical records in the case and any other pertinent information. If you cannot get medical experts on board regarding your situation then more than likely your case will fail.
CAN I TELL THE JURY THAT MY DOCTOR HAS BEEN SUED FOR MEDICAL MALPRACTICE BEFORE?
If you really break down the above paragraph you should be able to understand why you cannot broach the question, can I tell the jury that my doctor has been sued for medical malpractice before. Since the law requires medical experts to give opinions on things such as whether the treating doctor deviated from the standard of care, causing your injury, the actions of the doctor in a past case is irrelevant to the issue at hand.
In addition, even if the doctor committed malpractice on a patient in the past, the jury/fact finder is reviewing the actions in your present case, not some case in the past. Bringing up this issue to a jury might prevent them from properly analyzing the issues at hand and concluding "well he or she has done it in the past there's no need to look at the evidence in this case because he or she probably did what they are accused of..." This is not how we want cases decided.
NEED TO TALK WITH ME ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL INJURY?
To speak with me about an injury you suffered while under the care of a doctor or hospital this is what I invite you to do. Pick up the phone and give me a call. I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer Maryland medical malpractice questions like yours all the time and I would be happy to listen to your story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq. Boston Law Group, LLC 2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700 Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815 bostonlawllc.com 301-850-4832
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