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Failure to Diagnose Depression

Baltimore Attorneys Representing People in Claims Against Negligent Healthcare Providers

While most people will deal with sadness or grief at some point in their life, they can usually pinpoint the source of the despair. Some people, however, experience extreme unhappiness that does not resolve because they are suffering from depression. Depression is a mental health illness that affects millions of Americans, but it can often be managed with appropriate treatment. People cannot receive the care they need if their illness is not properly identified, though, and a delayed or missed diagnosis have devastating consequences. If you or a loved one were injured by a doctor’s reckless failure to diagnose depression, you have the right to seek compensation, and you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The assertive Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are proficient at handling complex cases, and we can advise you of your rights and help you to seek the best legal outcome available under the circumstances.

Losses Arising Out of the Failure to Diagnose Depression

Clinical depression is a mental health illness characterized by a loss of interest in activities that are normally enjoyable, pervasive low mood, and low self-esteem. Risk factors for developing depression include a family history of the illness, chronic health issues, substance abuse, major life changes, and some medications.

Depression can impact many aspects of a person’s life. People with depression may either sleep all the time or suffer from insomnia, may neglect their grooming and general health, and may develop unhealthy eating habits.

There is no test for depression; instead, it is diagnosed based on a patient’s behavior, mental status, and reported experience. Depression is usually treated with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. In cases in which other treatments fail, electroconvulsive therapy may be necessary. In some instances, people suffering from depression may have to be hospitalized to prevent them from harming themselves or others. Thus, people who do not receive a prompt or accurate depression diagnosis may ultimately cause devastating injuries to themselves or someone else.

Proving Liability for the Failure to Diagnose Depression

When a doctor fails to offer a patient a prompt and accurate diagnosis, it is usually due to oversights and mistakes and may be grounds for seeking compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Typically, a plaintiff pursuing damages for the harm caused by the failure to diagnose depression will assert a negligence claim against the defendant. Under Maryland law, establishing negligence with regard to medical treatment requires a plaintiff to show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. In medical malpractice cases, the duty the defendant owes is to treat the plaintiff in compliance with the applicable standard of care. In other words, they must care for the plaintiff in the manner that a reasonable professional working in the same practice area would in a similar situation.

The plaintiff then has to demonstrate that the defendant violated the duty owed to the plaintiff and that the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm. In other words, that the harm the plaintiff sustained would not have occurred if the defendant had diagnosed the plaintiff in a timely manner.

In most instances, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case will need to hire an expert to offer testimony regarding the standard of care that applies to the defendant, to explain the manner in which the defendant violated the standard, and to link the defendant’s departure from the standard of care to the plaintiff’s ultimate harm.

Meet with a Trusted Baltimore Attorney

Depression is a debilitating illness that can have tragic consequences if it is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. If you or someone you love sustained losses because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose depression, you may be owed damages, and you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The trusted Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are proficient at helping victims of medical malpractice seek justice for their losses, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf. We routinely represent parties in lawsuits against negligent healthcare providers in Baltimore, where we have an office. You can reach us through our form online or by calling 410-889-1850 to set up a confidential and free conference.