Our eyes are precious and should be handled with the utmost care. Optometrists, like any other medical professionals, can make mistakes. Some mistakes may be minor and easy to rectify. Serious mistakes, however, can have devastating consequences for the patient. While medical malpractice cases against optometrists are not common, they do happen. If you believe that you have been seriously injured due to an optometrist’s malpractice, the Baltimore optometry malpractice lawyers at Arfaa Law Group can help you file a lawsuit against the at-fault party.What is an Optometrist?
An optometrist is a licensed eye doctor who examines eyes for both vision and health issues, corrects refractive errors by prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses, and may offer low-vision care and therapy. It is important to recognize the distinction between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist. An optometrist has more limited training, which is why they generally focus on eyeglasses and contact lenses, as well as other ways of improving vision. Optometrists play a vital role when it comes to eye health and are typically the first point of care for many patients. When needed, optometrists refer patients to ophthalmologists for further treatment.Filing a Claim for Optometry Malpractice in Maryland
As with any other physician, an optometrist may be held accountable for medical malpractice when their negligence results in an injury. Optometrist malpractice can take many forms, including but not limited to:
- Failing to diagnose an optical disease;
- Failing to document suspicious findings;
- Injuring a patient’s eye with the improper use of a medical device or instrument;
- Prescribing the wrong glasses or contact lenses;
- Failing to refer a patient to a specialist;
- Misdiagnosing a vision-related ailment; or
- Prescribing the wrong treatment.
Not every adverse outcome is a result of medical malpractice. Instead, an optometry malpractice attorney in the Baltimore area likely can help a victim bring a claim when the optometrist fails to use the standard of care that a reasonably competent optometrist in the same situation would have used, thereby causing a preventable injury to the patient. Optometry malpractice cases are contingent on proving four specific elements. The optometrist owed the patient a duty of care, the optometrist breached the duty of care owed to the patient, the optometrist’s breach was a direct cause of the patient’s injury, and the patient suffered damages, such as vision loss or other health problems, as a result.
In Maryland, medical malpractice can be a viable claim against an optometrist in any situation in which the optometrist has caused the patient harm through actions or inaction. For example, if an optometrist fails to provide a referral in a case in which it would have made a difference to the patient’s vision or eye health, a Baltimore optometry malpractice attorney likely can hold that optometrist liable for malpractice.Recovering Damages in Optometry Malpractice Claims
If a doctor is found liable for malpractice, the patient will be compensated for the harm that he or she has suffered. While each case is different, a plaintiff can typically recover economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include things like medical costs, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and compensation for assistive technologies that the patient may need to deal with his or her injury. Non-economic damages include compensation for intangible harm, such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and more.Consult with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
Optometrists are trained to recognize red flags when it comes to a patient’s eye health. Despite this training, they often make mistakes. If you have been injured due to an optometrist’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our medical malpractice lawyers are committed to protecting the rights of patients across Maryland. We understand the serious toll that a medical injury can take on every aspect of a patient’s life, and we will zealously advocate for your rights at every step of the way. To find out if you should sue an optometrist for malpractice, you should call us today at 410-889-1850 or contact us online for a free consultation with an optometry malpractice lawyer in the Baltimore area.