Every doctor is legally bound to provide their patients with proper care. This holds true even if a doctor is not specialized to treat their patient. If a doctor is unable to provide specific care due to the care being out of their realm of expertise, or simply a lack of knowledge on how to properly care for their patient, they must refer their patient to a specialist who can properly treat them. If your doctor has failed to refer you and you were harmed as a result, you may be qualified for compensation. Reach out to an experienced Maryland attorney today to walk through your personal injury claim.

When should a doctor refer a patient to a specialist?

In any circumstance that a doctor cannot provide proper care, doctors are obligated to refer their patients to a specialist. A doctor is responsible for providing treatment until treatment is no longer needed or the patient terminates the relationship. As a part of treatment, a doctor is responsible for referring their patients to the appropriate specialist when they are unable to provide further care. Referring patients is a requirement under the standard of care. If a doctor does not uphold this standard of care and the patient is injured or harmed as a result, the doctor can be held liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

How can the failure to refer to a specialist harm a patient?

There are, unfortunately, many circumstances where the failure to refer a patient can lead to harm. The following circumstances can occur due to a doctor’s negligence:

  • Misdiagnosis of an illness or condition due to insufficient knowledge
  • Conditions or illnesses worsening to the point of being irreversible
  • A delayed or missed diagnosis caused by the failure to refer to a specialist
  • Fatalities caused by the failure to refer

How can I sue for medical malpractice?

The first step in suing for medical malpractice is to contact an experienced Maryland attorney who can assist you through your medical malpractice claim. If you have been harmed due to a doctor’s failure to refer you to a specialist, your attorney will gather the appropriate evidence necessary to prove that your doctor diverted from the standard line of treatment. The attorney will prove that this diversion from the standard of care resulted in your injuries and damages and that the doctor breached their duty of care by acting negligently.

What is the statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Maryland?

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Maryland is generally three years. You will have to file your medical malpractice claim within these three years after the incident occurred. If you chose to wait longer than the allotted time, you will likely be barred from suing.


If you are injured due to another party’s negligence, you must reach out to one of our knowledgeable attorneys. At Timian & Fawcett, LLC, we provide effective legal services to clients in Prince George’s County, Washington, D.C., and all of Maryland. Our firm is dedicated to assisting our clients. If you need our help, we are ready to serve. Contact Timian & Fawcett, LLC.