People dealing with health concerns typically rely on medical professionals to not only provide an accurate diagnosis but also to prescribe prompt and appropriate care. Timely treatment is often critical to a positive outcome, and unnecessary delays can negatively impact a patient's health. If you suffered losses due to delayed treatment, you might be able to pursue claims against your doctor, and you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The knowledgeable Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are adept at proving careless physicians should be held accountable for the harm they cause their patients, and if you engage our services, we will work tirelessly to help you seek the results you deserve.Harm Caused by Delayed Treatment
Many chronic and acute conditions must be managed in a timely manner, as delayed treatment can lead to substantial harm. For example, if a doctor does not provide immediate care to a patient with a critical ailment such as a heart attack, hemorrhage, or stroke, it may lead to death or permanent impairment. Further, if a doctor delays treatment of a patient with cancer, the disease may progress and spread to other parts of the body, making it more challenging to treat and worsening the patient's prognosis. Similarly, delays in treating chronic conditions like kidney disease, heart failure, and diabetes can increase morbidity and cause damage to other parts of the body.Elements of a Lawsuit Arising Out of Delayed Treatment
Patients harmed by delayed treatment may be able to recoup compensation for their harm via medical malpractice claims. In Maryland, a plaintiff generally must prove a treatment delay amounted to medical negligence in order to establish a defendant healthcare provider's liability. To do so, the plaintiff must first prove that the defendant had a duty to treat the plaintiff in compliance with the standard of care, which is the care that a competent professional working in the same practice area would offer when presented with a similar set of facts.
The plaintiff must then show that the defendant breached the standard of care by delaying treatment. Typically, a plaintiff will need to engage the services of a medical expert, both to establish the standard of care that applies to the defendant and to explain how the defendant's failure to act constitutes a breach of the standard. Notably, Maryland law sets forth the qualifications for medical experts in malpractice cases, and only parties that meet the requirements will be permitted to testify.
Lastly, the plaintiff must prove he or she suffered actual harm and that the defendant's breach of the standard caused the harm incurred. Proving causation generally requires expert testimony as well. In many instances, the defendant may argue that the patient would have suffered the same adverse health consequences regardless of when he or she provided treatment, and therefore, there is no link between the defendant's actions and the plaintiff's losses. As such, in many medical malpractice cases arising out of delayed treatment, whether a jury awards the plaintiff damages hinges on the credibility and persuasiveness of each party's expert.
A plaintiff that successfully demonstrates a defendant's liability may recover compensation for the cost of any care needed for the harm caused by the treatment delay and any treatment that may be needed in the future, as well as out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages. A jury will typically award a plaintiff compensation for the intangible harm suffered as well, like pain, emotional trauma, and mental anguish.Meet with a Trusted Baltimore Attorney
Patients expect doctors to employ their expertise in deciding what care is appropriate and when it should be administered, and when doctors recklessly postpone treatment, their patients often suffer critical harm. If you sustained injuries due to delayed treatment, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses, and you should meet with an attorney to discuss your potential claims. The trusted Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group take pride in helping people harmed by incompetent medical care fight to protect their interests, and if we represent you, we will set forth compelling arguments in favor of your recovery of damages. You can contact us through our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a consultation.