Joint and muscle pain can be debilitating, and many people suffering from musculoskeletal issues often seek medical treatment. Rheumatologists can offer relief from the symptoms of acute and chronic disorders, but in some instances, miscalculations and other errors cause patient harm. If you were hurt due to rheumatologist malpractice, you have the right to pursue claims for damages, and you should speak to a lawyer. The assertive Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are dedicated to helping people harmed by careless physicians seek justice. If you hire us, we will help you fight for a fair outcome.Harm Caused by Rheumatologist Malpractice
Rheumatologists are doctors that specialize in the treatment of rheumatic diseases, which are disorders that cause pain in a person’s joints, ligaments, bones, and muscles. Many of the conditions rheumatologists treat are autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. These diseases must be diagnosed and treated promptly to inhibit the further progression of symptoms. Thus, patients with symptoms of a rheumatic disorder often have to undergo blood tests, CT scans, MRIs, and other diagnostic tests to obtain an accurate diagnosis. If a rheumatologist does not identify concerning symptoms, though, or does not prescribe the tests needed to accurately assess a patient’s health, it can result in a missed or delayed diagnosis. Doctors that provide an accurate diagnosis but inappropriate or inadequate treatment can cause harm as well.Seeking Damages for Medical Malpractice
Patients harmed by an incompetent rheumatologist generally must prove negligence to show the doctor should be liable for medical malpractice. In Maryland, to establish negligence in the context of medical care, a plaintiff must show that a defendant doctor had a duty to treat the patient in compliance with the standard of care. The standard that applies is the care that a competent doctor in the same specialty would exercise in a similar situation. The plaintiff must also show that the defendant deviated from the standard in some way. Finally, the plaintiff has to establish that the departure from the standard of care was the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s harm. This means that the plaintiff needs to prove that, if the defendant did not breach the standard, the plaintiff would not have suffered any losses.
In many cases, the defendant will argue that an underlying illness affecting the plaintiff or some other factor rather than the defendant’s negligence caused the plaintiff’s damages. Thus, the plaintiff will usually have to obtain an opinion from a medical expert to prove causation. Usually, the expert must be someone who practices in the same specialty as the defendant or otherwise is knowledgeable or experienced in that practice area. The expert will explain the applicable standard of care to the judge or jury and how the defendant’s actions deviated from the standard. The expert must then link the defendant’s behavior to the plaintiff’s harm.
The plaintiff may need to retain a second expert to describe the harm the plaintiff sustained, the treatment the plaintiff had to undergo or will need in the future, and any permanent limitations the plaintiff suffered as a result of the defendant’s acts. A plaintiff that proves liability in a rheumatologist malpractice case may be awarded costs for past and future medical treatment, compensation for lost wages, and out of pocket expenses. A plaintiff may also be granted damages for the intangible harm sustained, like pain, mental anguish, and emotional trauma.Speak to a Trusted Attorney in Baltimore
When the doctors trusted to resolve joint and muscle issues cause harm it can lead to agonizing pain. If you were hurt by a careless rheumatologist, you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. At Arfaa Law Group, our lawyers can assess the facts surrounding your harm and advise you whether you have a viable claim for damages. We proudly help people pursue rheumatologist malpractice claims throughout Baltimore, where our office is located. You can contact us at (410) 889-1850 or through the form online to set up a meeting.