Difficulty breathing can significantly impact a person’s quality of life and overall health. Fortunately, pulmonologists can treat many of the diseases and conditions that cause lung issues. While skilled pulmonologists may provide much-needed relief, incompetent practitioners can cause grave injuries and should be deemed responsible for the harm they cause. If you sustained damages due to pulmonologist malpractice, you should consult a lawyer to discuss whether you may be able to pursue a claim for damages. The assertive Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are experienced litigators with the skills and resources needed to help you pursue a successful result, and we will work tirelessly on your behalf.Harm Caused by Pulmonologist Malpractice
Pulmonologists focus on diagnosing and treating diseases and conditions that affect the respiratory system. For example, they care for patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea, emphysema, mesothelioma, and bronchiectasis. Typically, treatment begins with a diagnosis, which requires diagnostic testing such as CT scans, x-rays, and pulmonary function and spirometry tests. Pulmonologists often perform bronchoscopies and biopsies as well. If a pulmonologist fails to prescribe a required test or does not accurately interpret test results, though, it can lead to a missed or delayed diagnosis. Without a proper diagnosis, a patient cannot get the treatment needed, which can result in the worsening of an existing condition or the development of a related issue. In some instances, a physician will harm a patient by improperly performing a test or procedure. For example, a pulmonologist can puncture or lacerate a patient’s esophagus or lung during a procedure, which can lead to impaired function and infection.Elements of a Pulmonologist Malpractice Lawsuit
Patients harmed by pulmonologist malpractice have the right to pursue damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Usually, such lawsuits must be filed within three years of the date of harm, but the statute of limitations may be extended in certain circumstances. In most cases, a plaintiff will allege that the defendant doctor should be held accountable under a theory of negligence. In Maryland, establishing negligence requires the plaintiff to prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty but acted in a manner that constitutes a breach of the duty owed.
In medical malpractice cases, the duty the defendant owes the plaintiff is to provide treatment that comports with the applicable standard of care, which is the care that a competent physician in the same practice area would provide in a similar situation. Finally, the plaintiff must show that the defendant’s breach caused actual damages. While the violation does not have to be the sole cause of the plaintiff’s harm, the plaintiff must show that absent the breach, the injury would not have occurred.
In most cases, a plaintiff will have to retain one or more experts to prove the defendant should be found liable. For example, testimony from a medical expert with experience in the same specialty as the defendant will likely be needed to explain the standard of care the defendant was expected to adhere to and how the defendant departed from the standard. A medical expert will also be required to demonstrate that the defendant’s behavior caused the plaintiff’s harm. Finally, other experts may be needed to quantify the damages suffered by the plaintiff by offering evidence regarding the medical treatment the plaintiff needed or will need in the future, the economic harm caused by the plaintiff’s injuries, such as lost wages, and the emotional and mental toll the defendant’s actions had on the plaintiff.Confer with a Knowledgeable Attorney in Baltimore
Breathing problems can impact every aspect of a person’s life, and when they are worsened by incompetent medical care, the consequences can be devastating. If you sustained injuries due to the negligent acts of a pulmonologist, you might be able to pursue damages and should speak to a lawyer. At Arfaa Law Group, our knowledgeable attorneys hold doctors accountable for the harm they cause, and we will craft persuasive arguments to help you seek any compensation you may be owed. We have an office in Baltimore and you can reach us to set up a conference via our form online or by calling (410) 889-1850.