How to Obtain a Certificate of a Qualified Expert for Your Maryland Medical Malpractice Case

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Medical Malpractice Published on November 8, 2018 and updated on May 15, 2023.

lawsuit filing formMaryland requires you to obtain a certificate of a qualified expert and file it with the court after filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is one of the reasons why it helps to have a trusted attorney working with you.

The Maryland medical malpractice attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl Law are available to assist you in securing a certificate of qualified expert and fighting for the compensation you deserve. Request a free, no obligation consultation today.

Purpose of a Certificate of Qualified Expert

Maryland courts require a certificate of qualified expert to be filed to prevent frivolous medical malpractice cases. Frivolous cases that lack merit are expensive to take to trial and eat up the court’s time.

In Maryland, a plaintiff must file a certificate of a qualified expert in court and serve all parties with a copy within 90 days of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. A certificate of a qualified expert contains a statement from an expert that states he or she reviewed the case and that the licensed health care provider did not meet the acceptable standards of professional care when treating the plaintiff. A certificate is not required if the defendant does not dispute liability in the matter.

Maryland courts consider a qualified expert to be a medical professional who is board-certified in the area of medicine relevant to the case. For example, if your case is against a neurosurgeon, a licensed neurosurgeon in Maryland or another state would typically be considered a qualified expert. You could also select as your qualified expert someone who taught the relevant specialty of medicine within five years of the date of the alleged malpractice.

A qualified expert who completes the certificate or testifies as an expert in medical malpractice cases may not devote more than 20 percent of his or her professional activities towards doing so. The court will not accept the certificate if the expert devotes more than 20 percent of his or her professional activities to testifying in personal injury claims.

What if I Need More Evidence?

If you need more time to file a certificate of a qualified expert, you may be granted an extension of the 90-day deadline if you can show there is good cause.

In Maryland, plaintiffs must file medical malpractice cases within the state’s statute of limitations. In most cases, the medical malpractice claim must be filed within five years from the date the injury occurred, or within three years from the date the injury was discovered, whichever date comes first.

If patients are not at least 11 years old when the alleged medical malpractice occurs, the statute of limitations does not begin until the patient turns 11 years old. If the patient was not yet 16 and the malpractice caused harm to the reproductive system or resulted from a foreign object (such as a tool being left in the body during surgery), the statute of limitations starts when the patient turns 16.

If the patient was diagnosed with a mental impairment at the time of injury or was not yet 18, the statute of limitations usually runs out within three years from the date the disability ends or the patient’s 18th birthday.

Contact Nicholl Law for Help

For help with your medical malpractice claim, contact the Maryland medical malpractice lawyers of Nicholl Law. Our qualified attorneys will help you obtain a certificate of a qualified expert as well as other evidence essential to supporting your claim.

Request a free, no-obligation consultation and learn what legal options may be available to help you recover compensation for your injuries. We require no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation on your behalf.

Call 410-244-7005 or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form now.