The first thing people notice about someone is usually their face and expression. It is not surprising, therefore, that the inability to make facial expressions can be devastating. Unfortunately, damage to facial nerves during medical procedures can cause facial nerve paralysis. Such injuries are not a common side-effect of facial surgeries, however, but are usually brought about by medical malpractice. If you suffered injuries during a medical procedure that left you with an inability to move part of your face, you have the right to pursue claims against your care provider, and you should speak to an attorney promptly. The skillful Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group can examine the circumstances surrounding your harm and advise you of your potential claims.Facial Paralysis Caused by Medical Malpractice
There are many nerves in and around the face that control a person’s ability not only to express themselves but also to do simple things like drink from a straw or blink. If such nerves are damaged, it can lead to paralysis in part of the face. Facial nerve damage is often the result of errors committed when operating on parts of the face, head, ears, or neck. For example, a doctor may inadvertently sever a nerve. If facial nerve damage is a known risk of a procedure, but a doctor fails to advise a patient of such a risk, the doctor may be deemed liable for failing to obtain the patient’s informed consent. Facial paralysis can also be caused by stroke and brain tumors.Elements of a Lawsuit Arising Out of Facial Paralysis
People who suffer facial paralysis or other injuries due to their doctor’s incompetence will often seek damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. In most instances, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case will set forth a negligence claim against the defendant.
To establish a defendant’s negligence under Maryland law, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty and that the duty was breached. In the context of medical care, the duty owed is to comply with the applicable standard of care, which is the care that a competent professional working in the same specialty as the defendant would offer in the same situation. Any acts or omissions that deviate from or fall below the standard of care would likely constitute a breach. In the majority of cases, the plaintiff will need to retain a medical expert to offer testimony regarding the standard of care and what is required under the standard, and the manner in which the defendant departed from the standard.
The plaintiff must establish causation and damages as well. In other words, they must show that the defendant’s breach caused them to suffer actual harm. While the defendant’s behavior does not have to be the sole cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, it must be a significant factor in bringing them about. In most instances, expert testimony is needed to link the defendant’s acts to the plaintiff's injuries and to quantify the plaintiff’s losses. A plaintiff that proves a defendant committed medical malpractice may be able to recover compensation for the cost of any medical treatment they had to undergo or will need in the future, any wages they lost as a result of their injuries, and any expenses they paid out of pocket. They may also be awarded damages for the pain, trauma, and mental distress they suffered.Consult a Capable Baltimore Attorney
Facial paralysis is more than a cosmetic concern, as the ability to move parts of the face is essential for many aspects of life. If you suffered facial paralysis because of the careless acts of a physician, you should consult an attorney to discuss what damages you may be owed. The capable Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group possess the skills and resources needed to prove negligent doctors should be held responsible for the losses they cause, and if you hire us, we will work diligently to help you seek a favorable outcome. We frequently help people pursue medical malpractice claims in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can contact us by calling (410) 889-1850 or by using our form online to set up a free and confidential consultation.