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Failure to Diagnose Autism

Baltimore Attorneys Representing People Harmed by Incompetent Medical Care

Autism is a condition that impacts a child’s cognitive, communication, and social skills. Many people on the autism disorder spectrum can lead typical lives, but generally, an early diagnosis and intervention are critical to their development. The failure to diagnose autism can result in a child missing out on valuable treatments and therapies, though, and physicians that neglect to correctly diagnose children as being on the autism disorder spectrum may be liable for medical malpractice. If you or your child sustained losses due to a delayed autism diagnosis, you should speak to an attorney about your possible claims. The trusted Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are adept at helping people harmed by the incompetence of healthcare providers in the pursuit of damages, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf.

Consequences of the Failure to Diagnose Autism

Autism is characterized as a neurodevelopmental disorder, that typically causes a wide range of communication, social, and cognitive issues. The first signs of autism typically appear within the first three years of a child’s life. In some instances, a child that initially developed at a normal pace will regress in their speech or social skills, while other children never reach developmental milestones.

Doctors diagnose children as being on the autism disorder spectrum based on their behavior. Signs that a child might have autism include fixations on certain interests, activities, or behaviors, repetitive patterns, difficulties interacting with other people or reading social cues, and problems communicating. Autism can cause substantial functional impairments, but there are numerous interventions healthcare providers can employ to increase a person with autism’s ability to live independently and function in society and diminish their symptoms. Generally, interventions that begin earlier are more successful. Thus, the failure to diagnose autism may lead to delays in obtaining necessary treatment.

Claims Arising Out of the Failure to Diagnose Autism

Parents typically expect the healthcare providers that treat their children to offer them adequate care, which includes providing prompt and accurate diagnoses. If a doctor neglects to meet this expectation, they may be deemed liable for medical malpractice. In the majority of medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff will set forth a negligence claim against the defendant. In Maryland, to prove the negligence of a healthcare provider, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. The duty imposed on a doctor or other medical professional is to provide treatment that rises to the standard of care, which is the care that a capable practitioner working in the same specialty as the defendant would provide in a similar situation. Next, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached the duty owed. For example, the failure to diagnose autism may demonstrate a departure from the standard of care. Then, the plaintiff has to demonstrate that the defendant’s breach of the standard of care caused the plaintiff to suffer quantifiable losses. In other words, that they sustained damages that would not have occurred absent the defendant’s acts or omissions.

Generally, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case will need to hire one or more experts to explain issues to the jury that are beyond their understanding. For example, an expert can opine on the standard of care that applies to the defendant, the manner in which they deviated from the standard of care, and how their behavior caused the plaintiff’s harm. Expert testimony can also help to establish the plaintiff’s damages.

Consult an Assertive Baltimore Attorney

People on the autism disorder spectrum who undergo early intervention can go on to live full lives, but early treatment is often critical to their success, and the failure to diagnose autism can have devastating consequences. If you or your child suffered losses due to a physician’s carelessness, you should consult an attorney to discuss what damages you may be owed. The assertive Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group possess the skills and resources needed to help you achieve a favorable result, and if we represent you, we will zealously advocate on your behalf. We frequently represent injured parties in medical malpractice cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can reach us via our online form or by calling us at 410-889-1850 to set up a confidential meeting.