Failure to Diagnose Chiari Malformations
The brain is a complex and highly-sensitive organ. As such, abnormalities in the structure of the brain can cause widespread dysfunction. For example, Chiari malformations, which are physical defects in the cerebellum, can lead to neurological and physical detriments. If Chiari malformations are diagnosed when symptoms first appear, they can often be successfully treated. Tragically, however, some doctors ignore symptoms of Chiari malformations until after they have caused permanent harm. The failure to diagnose Chiari malformations is often the result of medical malpractice, and patients harmed by their doctor’s incompetence may be awarded damages. If you suffered losses because of a delayed or missed diagnosis, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The trusted Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can advise you of your options and help you to seek the best legal outcome achievable under the facts of your case.Losses Caused by the Failure to Diagnose Chiari Malformations
Chiari malformations are defects in the shape of the cerebellum. Specifically, they involve the displacement of one or both of the cerebellar tonsils down into the foramen magnum, which is the opening at the base of the skull. Chiari malformations often cause a variety of symptoms, including dizziness, neck pain, vomiting, headaches, numbness and tingling in the hand and feet, diminished coordination, and an unsteady gait. Chiari malformations can also lead to the development of hydrocephalus, sleep apnea, and in some cases, paralysis. Chiari malformations are usually diagnosed via diagnostic imaging like MRIs and CT scans. The treatment for Chiari malformations usually involves surgery and medication to manage symptoms. When the complications caused by Chiari malformations are severe, a delayed or missed diagnosis can cause considerable losses.Elements of a Lawsuit Arising Out of the Failure to Diagnose Chiari Malformations
Parties harmed by a doctor’s failure to diagnose Chiari malformations will often seek to recover compensation via a medical malpractice lawsuit. As the failure to diagnose an illness is usually inadvertent, the plaintiff will typically assert a negligence claim against the defendant. In Maryland, a plaintiff alleging medical negligence must show that the defendant owed them a duty.
The duty a doctor owes a patient is to provide care that meets the applicable standard; the standard that applies is what treatment a reasonable doctor who practices in the same specialty would offer when confronted with a similar situation. The plaintiff then needs to prove that the defendant breached the standard of care. Generally speaking, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case will need to hire a medical expert to testify regarding the standard of care and the manner in which the defendant departed from their obligations under the standard.
Demonstrating that the defendant breached the standard of care, in and of itself, is not grounds for imposing liability. Instead, the plaintiff must show that the breach proximately caused them to suffer actual harm. In other words, they must prove that they suffered calculable losses and that the defendant’s behavior was a significant factor in bringing them about. Establishing causation usually requires expert testimony as well.Meet With an Experienced Baltimore Attorney
People with Chiari malformations can improve their quality of life and long-term prognosis with prompt diagnosis and treatment, but when their diagnosis is delayed or missed, they may suffer long-term impairments. If you sustained losses because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose Chiari malformations, it is smart to meet with an attorney to assess your options. The experienced Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are well-versed in what it takes to prove negligent doctors should be held accountable for the harm they cause, and if you engage our services, we will gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of a favorable outcome. We frequently assist people in medical malpractice lawsuits in Baltimore, where we have an office. You can reach us via our form online or by calling (410) 889-1850 to set up a free and confidential consultation.