Physical Therapist Malpractice
Many people who sustain injuries or undergo surgery seek treatment from a physical therapist as part of their recovery process. Physical therapy can help people regain function and mobility, but therapists that do not adequately perform their duties can harm, rather than help, their patients. Negligent physical therapists can worsen existing conditions and cause new injuries as well, resulting in increased pain, diminished health, and financial burdens. If you were hurt during a physical therapy session, you may be able to pursue a physical therapist malpractice claim and should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. The Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group pride are dedicated to helping people injured by the negligence of healthcare providers in the pursuit of damages, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly in search of a favorable outcome.Examples of Physical Therapist Malpractice
Physical therapists are responsible for evaluating their patients' symptoms and capabilities and designing a treatment plan that is appropriate for helping patients achieve their goals. In some cases, a therapist can cause unintentional harm by failing to obtain a patient's health history or neglecting to take heed of certain issues. For example, if a therapist leaves a patient with balance issues unattended, the patient may fall and suffer an injury. Similarly, a therapist may prescribe a course of treatment that is inappropriate in light of a patient's injuries or limitations, which can exacerbate or cause an injury. Therapists who use broken equipment or allow patients to use equipment without supervision can also cause serious injuries. In some instances, harm will arise out of a therapist's failure to advise a patient of the possible risks or outcomes of a treatment.Pursuing Malpractice Claims Against a Physical Therapist
Physical therapists are not doctors, but they are licensed health care providers. As such, under Maryland law, they can be held liable for malpractice. A plaintiff seeking to impose liability on a physical therapist via a malpractice lawsuit must prove the four elements of negligence. First, the plaintiff must establish the existence of a duty owed by the defendant. In a case arising out of physical therapy malpractice, the duty owed will be the duty to comply with the standard of care, which is the care that a reasonable and competent physical therapist would provide under the circumstances similar to those presented to the defendant. Then, the plaintiff must show that the defendant in some way failed to meet the standard, and therefore breached the duty owed.
A plaintiff that establishes a duty and a breach must then show that the breach proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm. In other words, the plaintiff has to prove that the injuries or damages sustained would not have occurred if the defendant had not breached the duty owed. While the defendant's breach does not have to be the only element that brought about the plaintiff's harm, it must be a primary contributing factor.
To prove negligence in a medical malpractice case, a plaintiff will typically have to retain an expert who will explain the standard imposed on the defendant and how the defendant breached the standard and caused the plaintiff's harm. Usually, the expert is someone who practices in the same area of medicine but it can also be someone qualified to offer testimony based on other experience or training. A plaintiff will usually also offer expert testimony to establish the extent and permanency of the damages suffered.Meet with a Knowledgeable Attorney in Baltimore
Physical therapists have a duty to help people maintain and improve their health, and when they take actions that impair their patients' well-being, they should be held accountable. If you suffered harm because of a careless physical therapist, it is advisable to meet with an attorney to discuss your possible claims in a physical therapist malpractice lawsuit. At Arfaa Law Group, our lawyers possess the knowledge and experience needed to hold reckless care providers responsible for the harm they cause, and we can help you to seek the full extent of compensation recoverable under the law. We have an office in Baltimore where we frequently represent people in medical malpractice lawsuits. You can reach us via our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.