Filing in HCADRO

After we have hired experts, then the next phase in the litigation process is to file your Maryland medical malpractice case. Maryland differs from many states because it requires the claim to be filed first in an administrative agency known as the Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (HCADRO).

Picture of judge's gavel and medical malpractice file. Filing in HCADRO a medical malpractice case
Filing in HCADRO

Filing in HCADRO: Three Requirements

Lawyers must first file all claims against health care providers for medical injury for damages over the District Court limit in HCADRO. CJP 3-2A-02(a). Specifically, there are three components of this requirement.

Health Care Provider

Firstly, the claim filed in HCADRO must be against a “health care provider.” CJP 3-2A-01(f)(1) defines “health care provider” as “a hospital, a related institution as defined in § 19-301 of the Health – General Article, a medical day care center, a hospice care program, an assisted living program, a freestanding ambulatory care facility as defined in § 19-3B-01 of the Health – General Article, a physician, an osteopath, an optometrist, a chiropractor, a registered or licensed practical nurse, a dentist, a podiatrist, a psychologist, a licensed certified social worker-clinical, and a physical therapist, licensed or authorized to provide one or more health care services in Maryland.” The definition of ‘health care provider” is certainly comprehensive.

Medical Injury

Secondly, the claim must be for a “medical injury.” Id. at (g). “Medical injury” is an “injury arising or resulting from the rendering or failure to render health care.” This definition raises the question of what is health care.

The Maryland courts look to whether the conduct occurred in the setting of rendering health care but was completely lacking in medical validity. For a discussion of Maryland cases on what constitutes a “medical injury,” read the Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer Blog post on Waugh v. Dimensions.

Over District Court Limit

Thirdly, the amount sought must exceed the jurisdiction limit of the District Court of Maryland, which is $30,000. CJP 4-401(a). Of these three requirements, “medical injury” is the one that lawyers dispute most. Even so, in nearly all of our medical malpractice cases, it is clear that we must file them in HCADRO.

Documents Filed in HCADRO

The statement of claim sets forth the allegations of medical malpractice. The statute requires that we cannot state the specific amount of damages we are seeking in this document or the complaint we file in the circuit court. Instead, we state that the amount exceeds the jurisdictional limit. CJP 3-2A-02(b). There is a filing fee of $40. CJP 3-2A-03A(b)(1)

We also must file in HCADRO a certificate of qualified expert and report. Details concerning this certificate and report are on the Expert Requirements page. The statute allows the lawyer to file the CQE up to 90 days after filing the claim. CJP 3-2A-04(b)(1). The lawyer can request an extension of up to 90 days if the statute of limitations has already run and the failure to file the CQE was not willful or the result of gross negligence. Id. at (b)(1)(ii). Then HCADRO shall grant an extension for good cause shown. Id. at (b)(5).

The penalty for failing to file a CQE is dismissal without prejudice. Id. at (b)(1)(i). The plaintiff can again file in HCADRO before the later of 1) the limitations period or 2) 120 days. Id. at (b)(4)(iv). The plaintiff can then refile one time. Id. at (b)(4)(v).

If the defense contests liability (and they will), then they must file a CQE within 120 days of receiving the plaintiff’s CQE. Id. at (b)(2). A party cannot sign the CQE, nor can an employee or partner of a party, or an employee or stockholder of any professional corporation of which the party is a stockholder. Id. at (b)(7).

For a further discussion on the CQE requirements, review this Blog post.

To start this process for your case now, visit the free consultation page or video. Then contact the Kopec Law Firm at 800-604-0704 to speak directly with Attorney Mark Kopec. He is a top-rated Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer. The Kopec Law Firm is in Baltimore and pursues cases throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Also, review the Additional Resources for your Maryland medical malpractice case.

Next Phase After Filing in HCADRO

We take your claim and transfer it to court.

What Our Clients Say About Us

At the Kopec Law Firm, we are grateful that satisfied clients express their appreciation!

Mark is a knowledgeable and empathetic lawyer who speaks directly and concisely to evaluate your problem. He doesn't use attorney jargon that confuses people, rather he talks clearly. Although he couldn't help me with my situation, the consultation I had was productive because he answered my questions and gave me some clarity.

Shahnaz in Ellicott City

Dear Mark, I just wanted to express my gratitude for your dedication to my case. As you know, it has been a long and upsetting process for me, which would have been a great deal longer had it not been for the hours you put in helping me with this emotional roller coaster. Thank you again.

Shannon T. in Anne Arundel County

Dear Mark, thank you so much for your help and kindness. You provided the guidance and assistance we needed to obtain some understanding in loss of our child. We will never forget the professional and personal service provided. If anyone is in need of legal representation, I will certainly send them your way. God bless.

Kim C. in Cecil County

I wanted to say thank you for spending time with me regarding my questions about legal issues. Mere words cannot really express my gratitude. You seem to truly care about people.

Client in Baltimore City

Dear Mr. Mark, I’m truly grateful to have had you work on my son’s case. You were up front at all times and were on key every step of the way. I will always recommend your firm. Thank you so much for helping my son. P.S. Every time my son sees you on TV, he says “Mom, that’s my lawyer, Mr. Mark.” 🙂 Thank you again. You did an excellent job on the...

K.N. in Baltimore City

Dear Mark, we want to thank you for all the hard work and time your firm put in our case. You took the time to listen to us and research our case. You were honest and up front regarding the case. You responded to questions and concerns quickly. We would highly recommend your firm and services to anyone who is in need of legal representation. We...

Rebecca T. in Prince George’s County

Super Awesome team and staff! Worked with them for a case they handled for my grandchild about 10yrs ago! Would definitely use them again! I recommend them to everyone I know. Could never thank them enough! Very thorough and knowledgeable! Always kept us in the loop throughout the entire process!!!!

Letha C. in Prince George’s County

Mark explained everything in detail and brought clarity to all of my concerns.

Doris in Edgwater

I am very happy and thankful for your help. You responded very quickly. I am very happy to recommend you.

Linda in Chevy Chase
  1. 1 Free Consultation
  2. 2 Talk to a Lawyer
  3. 3 No Fee Unless You Win
Fill out the contact form or call us at 800-604-0704 to schedule your consultation.

Send Us a Message