Physician Communication Errors
Physicians have a duty to communicate with other health care providers and patients in a clear manner. However, errors often happen when a medical professional is “handing off” a patient to another medical professional. If a physician fails to properly communicate with or about their patients, the consequences can range from mild complications to serious health problems. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a physician communication error, a Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer at our firm can help. At Arfaa Law Group, we have helped many Maryland residents recover the compensation that they deserved for their harm, and we can help you as well.Cases Based on Physician Communication Errors
Unfortunately, medical errors are the third-leading cause of preventable injury and death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer. One significant source of these errors is poor communication between health care providers. An estimated 80 percent of serious medical mistakes involve some form of miscommunication. A study by UC San Francisco and eight other institutions found that by improving communication, medical professionals could reduce patient injuries from medical errors by 30 percent.
Physician communication errors can happen in a variety of ways, such as:
- Lab results getting lost or being sent to the wrong person;
- Physicians receiving lab results but not reading them properly;
- Vital information being missed because it is buried deep in a patient’s file;
- Incidental findings of a check up not being told to the patient;
- Patient information not being transferred properly during a shift change;
- Important information about a patient’s health being communicated in a vague manner so that it gets ignored; or
- Not listening to the patient and misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose them as a result.
Failures in communication can lead to serious patient harm. If you or someone close to you has been harmed due to a failure to communicate, you will likely be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the at-fault party. Under Maryland law, medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider fails to use the level of care that another health care provider in their specialty would have used in the same situation, thereby being a direct cause of injury or death to a patient.
If they can establish medical malpractice, the plaintiff may be able to recover reimbursement for medical bills (present and future), pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs, lost income, and any other costs arising from the malpractice. In rare situations, punitive damages may be awarded to a plaintiff in cases in which there is clear and convincing evidence of fraud or other egregious conduct.
Medical malpractice cases in Maryland must be filed within a specific time frame, known as the statute of limitations. An injured patient generally must file this type of claim either within five years from the date of the injury or within three years from when the injury was discovered, whichever is earlier. Failing to file within the appropriate time frame generally will mean losing your right to take legal action altogether. No matter how seriously you were injured or how clear it is that the defendant acted negligently, this rule could bar your ability to receive compensation. Thus, it is essential to consult an attorney who understands and will comply with the procedural rules governing a Maryland malpractice case.Contact a Baltimore Lawyer to Discuss Your Legal Options
If you or someone close to you suffered harm due to a physician communication error, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. At Arfaa Law Group, Baltimore attorney Julia Arfaa knows what it takes to establish medical malpractice and hold negligent parties accountable for the harm that they cause. We understand that the last thing that you want to handle on your own is a lawsuit, and we will try to make the process as seamless as possible for you. We represent people who are seeking an injury attorney throughout the state of Maryland. To discuss your case in more detail, call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.