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Failure to Diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis

Baltimore Attorneys Aiding People in the Pursuit of Compensation for Harm Caused by Medical Malpractice

Rheumatoid arthritis is a complicated illness that typically begins with pain and swelling in the joints. An accurate diagnosis is essential to the proper management of rheumatoid arthritis, but sadly, many people are not diagnosed until their disease has progressed and caused permanent harm. While uncontrollable factors may make it challenging to diagnose a patient, in many cases, the failure to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis is the result of medical negligence. If you suffered harm due to a delayed or missed rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis, you have the right to seek compensation, and you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible. The knowledgeable Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group have ample experience handling challenging cases, and if you hire us, we will help you fight to protect your interests.

Complications Arising Out of the Failure to Diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Signs of rheumatoid arthritis include tender, warm, swollen, and stiff joints, fever, and sudden weight loss. There is no one test that determines whether a person has rheumatoid arthritis; instead, it is usually diagnosed following a series of blood tests and diagnostic imaging.

Rheumatoid arthritis differs from osteoarthritis in that it affects the tissue lining the joints, causing swelling, joint deformity, and bone erosion. It can also lead to serious complications, such as heart issues, lung fibrosis, neuropathy, and kidney disease, and increases the risk of developing certain cancers. Treatment is usually focused on mitigating symptoms and screening tests to prevent serious issues from developing. Thus, a timely diagnosis is critical.

Seeking Damages for the Failure to Diagnose Rheumatoid Arthritis

A doctor’s failure to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis directly impacts their patient’s treatment, prognosis, and quality of life. As such, many patients harmed by such failures choose to seek compensation via medical malpractice claims. A plaintiff in a medical malpractice lawsuit will usually set forth a negligence claim against the defendant.

In Maryland, negligence is made up of four components, and the plaintiff must prove each component to establish a defendant’s liability. Under the first element, duty, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed them a duty to abide by the applicable standard of care, which is the care that a competent professional working in the same specialty would offer in a similar situation. The second element is a breach of the duty owed. The third and fourth elements, causation and damages, require the plaintiff to show that the defendant’s breach directly led to the plaintiff sustaining actual losses.

A plaintiff that demonstrates a defendant’s negligence may be awarded compensation for the cost of any necessary medical care, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and damages for the trauma, mental anguish, suffering, and pain they endured.

Expert Testimony in Medical Malpractice Cases

As the standard of care that applies to medical professionals falls outside of the realm of knowledge of the average juror, expert testimony is usually needed to explain the standard to the jury and to opine as to how the defendant breached the standard. Similarly, expert testimony is generally required to link the defendant’s breach to the plaintiff’s harm and to provide an accurate measurement of the plaintiff’s losses. Only people with certain qualifications can opine as experts; usually, they must have experience working, teaching, or consulting in the same practice area as the defendant.

Consult a Seasoned Baltimore Attorney

Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating illness, and an early diagnosis is an important factor for stopping disease progression and managing symptoms. If you were hurt by a doctor’s failure to diagnose rheumatoid arthritis, you might be able to pursue medical malpractice claims against your doctor, and you should consult an attorney. The seasoned Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can inform you of your options and help you to seek the best legal outcome available under the facts of your case. We have an office in Baltimore, where we frequently represent people in medical malpractice cases. You can contact us via our online form or by calling (410) 889-1850 to set up a free and confidential conference.