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Gross negligence may play a role in a medical malpractice claim

If a doctor breaches his or her duty to a patient by failing to adhere to the appropriate and applicable standard of medical care, then that doctor may be found negligent and held liable for any harm caused to the patient. Gross negligence refers to actions that go beyond standard negligence. Maryland doctors who are grossly negligent may act so recklessly that even the average person would be aware that their behavior is inappropriate.

If you and your attorney decide to file a medical malpractice claim based on gross negligence, you will have to establish the same four elements you would have to prove for a standard negligence case: duty, breach, causation, and damages. However, for gross negligence, both the physician's breach of duty to the patient must be extreme and obvious to non-physicians. For example, you don't have to be in the medical field to know that operating on the wrong part of the body or leaving a surgical instrument inside of a patient during surgery is a clear violation of the doctor's duty to his or her patient.

In some states, your gross negligence claim may be based on the theory of "res ipsa loquitor," which literally translates to "the thing speaks for itself." In the medical malpractice context, this means that if your doctor's actions were obviously negligent and your injuries could not have occurred without this negligence, then you don't necessarily need testimony from an expert witness to prove negligence.

Filing a medical malpractice claim based on gross negligence can be challenging but well worth it in the end. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you navigate the legal process with regard to these types of claims and, through competent and diligent representation, give you and your family the best chance of financial recovery given the circumstances at hand.

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Maryland Trade Center III
7501 Greenway Center Drive # 460
Greenbelt, MD 20770
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