One major complaint about medical malpractice litigation in Maryland and in other states in the U.S. is the costs associated with litigation. And the largest category of expenses related to medical malpractice litigation is the costs of medical experts’ services on both sides of the medical malpractice case — both the medical malpractice plaintiffs and the medical malpractice defendants typically pay exorbitant fees to experts to review the medical records and other relevant documents, to research and prepare their expert opinions, to provide testimony during depositions, and to appear and provide testimony during the medical malpractice case if the case is not settled or resolved before trial.
Medical Experts And The Fees They Charge
A major source of income for a growing number of physicians and other medical professionals who have seen their Medicare and health insurance reimbursements for their clinical practices shrink to low, unsustainable levels at the whim of the powerful health insurance industry is their provision of medical expert services for their patients and others (subsequent treating physicians in medical malpractice cases can charge practically any amount they desire for their expert services because their agreement to act as experts on their patients’ behalf may be necessary in order for the medical malpractice claimants to proceed).
Medical experts charge varying fees for their expert services. Generally, the more specialized the expert’s medical field, the greater the hourly rate charged. While some physicians may charge as low as $200 per hour for their professional expert services in medical malpractice cases, specialists such as neurosurgeons typically charge much higher hourly rates (some charge as much as $2,500 per hour or more).
With the costs for medical experts in medical malpractice cases being so high, the greater the number of medical experts designated by the medical malpractice litigants, the much greater the expenses incurred by the parties to the litigation. Typically, it is the medical malpractice defendants who designate multiple medical experts in each medical field relevant to the medical malpractice issues raised in the claim, thereby attempting (in part) to intimidate medical malpractice plaintiffs from bringing medical malpractice claims due to the enormous investment of litigation costs required to have a medical malpractice jury decide the case.
This is one major reason why medical malpractice attorneys do not file “frivolous medical malpractice claims” — the huge costs associated with medical malpractice litigation that must be advanced by medical malpractice lawyers are a major disincentive to filing all but the strongest medical malpractice claims.
How Did Maryland Recently Attempt To Address The Costs Of Medical Malpractice Experts?
In the most recent Legislative Session in Maryland that ended on April 9, 2012, a bill was considered that would have limited the number of experts in medical malpractice cases that the parties could designate in any given medical field to two. Maryland Senate Bill 924 provided, “A party may not present testimony from more than two experts in a designated specialty, unless the court, for good cause shown, permits additional experts.” Unfortunately, a Maryland Senate committee did not permit the bill to be considered by the entire Senate and the bill was withdrawn from further consideration.
If you or someone you know were the victim of medical malpractice in Maryland or in another U.S. state, the prompt advice of a medical malpractice attorney in Maryland or in another U.S. state is essential to protecting and exercising your medical malpractice rights.
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