Clinical trials play a crucial role in advancing medicine by testing the safety and effectiveness of new treatments. However, as with any medical procedure or intervention, there are risks involved. If you’ve experienced adverse events during a clinical trial, consider seeking out the legal advice of a medical malpractice lawyer to pursue the justice you deserve.
How Do You Know If You Can Sue For Medical Malpractice in Clinical Trials?
Inadequate Informed Consent
Before participating in a clinical trial, you should have been given all the necessary information about the potential risks and benefits. If the researcher did not provide you with a comprehensive understanding, and you subsequently experienced adverse events, it may be grounds for a claim.
Negligence in Monitoring
Clinical trials require rigorous oversight to ensure patient safety. If researchers failed to monitor your health closely during the trial or did not act promptly when issues arose, it could be seen as a breach of their duty.
Faulty Trial Design or Execution
If the design of the clinical trial itself was inherently flawed, or if researchers did not execute the trial according to the approved protocol, and this led to your adverse event, you might have a valid claim.
Strengthening Your Case
Ensure you can access detailed medical records highlighting your condition before, during, and after the clinical trial.
Are there individuals—like medical staff, fellow participants, or family members—who can validate your claims? Their testimonies can be pivotal.
In medical malpractice cases, expert witnesses can often make or break a case. These are professionals in the field who can attest to whether the standard of care was breached. Ensure you have or can obtain such testimony if needed.
Voluntary Assumption of Risk
Clinical trials inherently come with some level of risk, which participants typically accept when they give informed consent. If the risks were clearly outlined and understood, it may be challenging to argue for negligence.
Standard of Care
To have a valid medical malpractice claim, there must be a deviation from the standard of care. If the researchers followed all appropriate protocols and standards, even if an adverse event occurred, it might not qualify as negligence.
It must be proven that the negligence directly caused the adverse event. If other factors could have contributed to the negative outcome, the claim’s validity might be in question.
Factors to Consider Before Filing a Lawsuit
While many attorneys work on a contingency basis (meaning they’re only paid if you win), not all do. Understand upfront costs, percentages taken post-settlement, and other potential financial obligations. When relying on legal expertise, it’s important to find out more about how you can access the services you need to secure a legal victory.
Revisiting the event can be emotionally distressing. Trials might necessitate recounting traumatic experiences multiple times and in a public forum.
Attending legal meetings, court sessions, and other related engagements can be time-consuming. Ensure you’re ready to commit the necessary time. With the help of a trusted medical malpractice lawyer, you can cut down on the amount of time you have to spend navigating the complexities of your case.
Medical malpractice lawsuits can attract media attention, especially if they’re against prominent institutions or involve novel medical procedures, but there are laws in place in the state of Maryland to protect you as you fight your case in court. Attorneys in Maryland are bound by the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct, which emphasize their duty to maintain client confidentiality.
This obligation ensures that personal and sensitive details shared by clients, especially in the realm of medical malpractice in clinical trials, are kept private unless explicitly required for the case. Maryland also has rules governing the public’s access to court records. While court proceedings are public in nature, the state allows for certain information, especially sensitive or personal data, to be kept out of the public domain.
Navigating the Legal Complexities
Consult With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Seek the counsel of an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice and has experience with clinical trials. They can assess the validity of your claim and guide you through the process in the context of Maryland law.
Gather All Relevant Documentation
Ensure you have all the pertinent information, from consent forms to any communication with the researchers, as this will be instrumental in building your case.
Act Timely: Maryland’s Statute of Limitations
In Maryland, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims, including those involving clinical trials, is typically five years from the date the injury was committed or three years from the date the injury was discovered, whichever is earlier. Legal experts can help ensure that you meet every deadline required to see the success of your case.
For children who were under the age of 11 at the time of the injury, the statute of limitations does not begin until the child’s 11th birthday. In addition, if a person is mentally disabled when the malpractice occurs, the statute of limitations clock doesn’t start until the disability is removed.
Participating in a clinical trial is a commendable action that often contributes to medical advancement. However, if you believe you’ve been a victim of negligence during such a trial, understanding your rights is paramount. While the path to legal recourse can be complex, with the right guidance and information, you can navigate it successfully and ensure that justice is served. Always consult with legal professionals to determine the best course of action for your specific circumstances.