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Car Accident subsequent to a Maryland DUI resulting in Medical Malpractice

Some interesting things to note following a DUI in Maryland which has resulted in a car accident and a trip to the hospital where medical malpractice becomes a real concern. Thankfully the great majority of DUIs in Maryland and elsewhere originate from simple traffic infractions like swerving or speeding; some are innocuous as a burnt tail light.  There are a few DUIs however that result from a car accident where people are injured and must seek treatment at the hospital.  This is where things begin to get hairy because if you were not terribly hurt before going to the hospital, you certainly risk life and limb at the hospital as a result of infection decease and negligence medical care which occurs at the hospital.

Research the instances of medical malpractice, MERSA or other deceases that are contracted at the hospital and it is enough to scare you into not going.  Not suggesting of course that proper medical attention should not be sought as a result of injury, just pointing out the problems that can result therefrom for the uninitiated.

According to NPR, there are roughly 440,000 deaths per year from preventable medical malpractice.  This of course is a scary concept when folks go the hospital to heal and recover- not to be made needlessly worse.  Among the medical mistakes that medical providers make annually are simple things that can hurt you as a result of rooms, beds, surfaces not being properly cleaned.  Obviously hospitals are germ factories from all the various germs and sicknesses that reside there.  It is extremely important that medical staff clean all surfaces and areas as thoroughly as possible but unfortunately this does not always happen  A good case of the skin decease MERSA will stay with you for a very long time after leaving a hospital.   Generally speaking, contracting a case of MERSA at the hospital is not actionable medical malpractice as it is perceived to be a complication from being in the hospital.  Thus, touch as few surfaces as possible, make sure medical providers wash their hands before touching you and try to make sure surfaces are clean before sitting or lying down on them.

As to regular run of the mill medical malpractice, that is far more egregious merely because it is preventable if medical providers do what they are trained to do.  Unfortunately, doctors and nurses can be tired from ridiculous long shifts that they are required to perform, they can be distracted, they can receive wrong information in their charts and the results can range from losing limbs to death and this happens all to often as the statistics bear out.  When you are at the hospital, it is incumbent upon you, the patient, to be as vigilant as possible and active in your own care.  So if you are there because a limb has to be operated on, you best make darn sure they know which side limb they are operating one.  Surgeons operate on the wrong side all too often and more then you would think.  Harmful and incorrect medications are given to patients which can cause serious and long term problems including death.  Vigilance is important and having a family member present as much as possible to help and assist in care and treatment is important and recommended even by medical providers.

An interesting legal concept to note is that if you are a victim of medical malpractice secondary to an accident, the law says that negligent medical care is a foreseeable result from a car accident and thus the negligent party causing the car accident can be held financially responsible not only for the accident and the injuries flowing from the accident itself, but also the resulting medical malpractice.  So if a simple car accident resulted in a broken leg and the victim goes to the hospital to treat that leg and the doctor performs malpractice which results in the needless loss of the leg, the negligent driver of the car, as well as the doctor are both legally responsible for the damages.