Physician Assistant Malpractice
Many doctors and hospitals employ physician assistants to help them manage busy practices. While physician assistants do not have medical degrees, they are nonetheless considered health care providers in Maryland and are expected to offer patients competent care. Unfortunately, not all physician assistants uphold their obligations, and their patients often sustain losses as a result. If you suffered harm because of the carelessness of a physician assistant, you might have grounds for pursuing a physician assistant malpractice claim, and you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. At Arfaa Law Group, our seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys are adept at pursuing damages from reckless health care providers, and if you engage our services, we will gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of obtaining a favorable outcome.Examples of Physician Assistant Malpractice
Physician assistants provide many of the same services as doctors. Specifically, they can conduct physical examinations, offer diagnoses, and treat people for health concerns. In Maryland, they must be supervised by a licensed physician, and the care they can offer is limited to the scope of the physician’s practice. For example, if the supervising physician is a dermatologist, the physician assistant cannot treat people for non-dermatological issues.
Generally, the same acts and omissions that constitute physician assistant malpractice are the same as those that would be considered malpractice if undertaken by a doctor. For example, if a physician assistant fails to obtain a patient’s complete medical history and subsequently prescribes a contraindicated medication that causes the patient harm, it may be considered malpractice. Similarly, if a physician assistant fails to observe or address concerning symptoms leading to a delayed or missed diagnosis, the oversight may be deemed malpractice. Harm caused by inappropriate or inadequate treatment, incorrect diagnoses, and treatment delays may also constitute malpractice.Claims Arising Out of Physician Assistant Malpractice
Pursuant to Maryland law, physician assistants are health care providers and therefore can be held liable for medical malpractice if they provide medical treatment in an incompetent manner. In many cases, the injured party can pursue claims against the physician assistant’s supervising physician as well.
Generally, a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case will allege the defendant acted negligently. In Maryland, negligence is comprised of four components, and a plaintiff must establish each of them to establish liability. First, the plaintiff must show the defendant owed them a duty. With regard to physician assistants, the duty owed is to provide the same level of care that a competent physician assistant practicing in the same community would render when presented with the same set of facts. Similarly, a supervising physician may owe the plaintiff a duty to ensure the physician assistant made reasoned and appropriate treatment decisions.
The plaintiff then must prove that the care or lack of care offered by the defendant constitutes a breach of the standard. In the majority of medical malpractice cases, the plaintiff will need to hire a medical expert to opine regarding the standard of care that applies and the manner in which it was breached. The third and fourth elements are causation and damages. In other words, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer quantifiable harm. Usually, establishing causation and damages requires expert testimony as well.Confer with a Capable Baltimore Attorney
Physician assistants can help doctors and hospitals offer people care, but if they do not perform their duties appropriately, they may harm, rather than help, their patients. If you sustained injuries due to the carelessness of a physician assistant, you might be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to confer with an attorney. The capable Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group have ample experience navigating the complexities of medical malpractice cases, and if we represent you, we will work tirelessly to help you seek a just outcome. We have an office in Baltimore, where we frequently represent injured parties in medical malpractice lawsuits. You can reach us by calling 410-889-1850 or using our online form to set up a confidential and free consultation.