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Failure to Diagnose Mesothelioma

Baltimore Attorneys Representing People in Medical Malpractice Cases

Mesothelioma is a rare but deadly disease, and a timely and accurate diagnosis is critical to managing mesothelioma and improving a patient’s prognosis. The failure to diagnose mesothelioma, therefore, can have devastating consequences, and doctors that recklessly neglect to provide their patients with competent care should be held accountable. If you or a loved one sustained losses due to a doctor’s delayed or missed mesothelioma diagnosis, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses, and you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. At Arfaa Law Group, our skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys understand the significance of the harm caused by negligent healthcare providers, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly to help you pursue a just outcome.

Losses Caused by the Failure to Diagnose Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium, which is a thin layer of tissue that covers the lungs and other internal organs and lines the abdomen. Most mesothelioma cases arise due to asbestos exposure, but symptoms often do not appear until decades after the exposure. Signs that a person may have mesothelioma include chest pain, shortness of breath, and coughing. They may also experience fatigue, anemia, and may cough up fluid that contains blood. If the disease has progressed, tumors may be present in the lungs as well. Doctors who suspect a patient has mesothelioma may conduct chest x-rays, blood tests, CT scans, and biopsies. In many instances, however, physicians disregard symptoms of mesothelioma or attribute them to another illness. As with most cancers, a patient's prognosis depends, in part, on when they were diagnosed with mesothelioma. When it is not diagnosed until it is in later stages, patients typically have a poor prognosis.

Pursuing Damages for the Failure to Diagnose Mesothelioma

People rely on their healthcare providers to accurately assess their symptoms and provide them with a correct diagnosis. When doctors fail to perform their professional duties as expected and their patients suffer, they may be liable for medical malpractice. Generally, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit will assert a negligence claim against the defendant. Under Maryland law, to establish negligence with regard to medical treatment, a plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. The duty a healthcare provider owes a patient is to provide treatment that meets the applicable standard of care, which is the care that a competent professional who works in the same specialty would offer when presented with a similar set of facts.

Next, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant acted or failed to act in a way that constitutes a breach of the standard. In most instances, the standard of care that applies is beyond the knowledge of the judge or jury. As such, the plaintiff will usually have to hire an expert to explain the obligations imposed by the standard and the manner in which the defendant breached them. Finally, the plaintiff needs to demonstrate that the defendant’s breach of the standard of care proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer actual losses. While the defendant’s acts or omissions do not have to be the sole cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, they must be a significant factor in bringing them about. Proving causation generally requires expert testimony as well. In cases arising out of the failure to diagnose mesothelioma, the defendant will often argue that the plaintiff’s damages were unavoidable due to the nature of the disease and were not caused by any negligence on behalf of the defendant. As such, whether the defendant is deemed liable for malpractice will usually hinge on the persuasiveness of each party’s experts.

Meet With a Trusted Baltimore Attorney

People with mesothelioma require extensive intervention, but they cannot get the care they need if they do not receive a prompt diagnosis. If you were injured or lost a loved one due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose mesothelioma, it is smart to meet with an attorney to assess what claims you may be able to pursue. The trusted Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group possess the skills and resources needed to prove that negligent healthcare providers should be deemed liable for their patients’ harm, and if you engage our services, we will gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of a good outcome. We regularly represent people in medical malpractice cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can contact us through our online form or by calling (410) 889-1850 to set up a free and confidential conference.