When you go to see a doctor or any other health care provider, you expect competent care. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that medical errors, including communication errors, take place all the time. In some cases, these errors leave the patient’s condition untreated, while in other cases, they make the patient’s condition worse. If a medical professional has injured you or someone you love due to a communication failure, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice claim.
Unfortunately, communication errors are a common form of medical malpractice. One report, entitled “Malpractice Risks in Communication Failures,” found that communication failures in the health care setting could be linked to many deaths each year. In fact, nearly 2,000 patient deaths and $1.7 billion in malpractice costs could have been avoided if there had been better communication between medical professionals and patients.
These errors can take place in a number of ways, including but not limited to:
- Lab results getting lost or being sent to the wrong person.
- Physicians receiving but failing to read the lab results.
- Crucial information being buried deep in a file as opposed to being listed first.
- Incidental findings not being told to the patient (i.e., finding a thyroid nodule during an MRI).
- Radiologists communicating their findings in a vague manner so that they get ignored.
- Over- or under-prescribing drugs, leading to the patient’s condition worsening.
- Not listening to the patient and misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose as a result.
The mistakes that result from a communication error can result in costly medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, rehabilitation costs, and other expenses for the patient. You have the right to pursue compensation through a medical malpractice claim if a medical error caused or worsened your condition. Of course, the exact amount of compensation you will be able to recover will depend on the facts of your specific case.
Under Maryland law, medical malpractice takes place when a person is hurt because a medical professional failed to exercise the standard of care and skill that another medical professional in the same specialty would have used in the same or similar circumstances. It is not enough to show that the medical professional deviated from the appropriate standard of care. The plaintiff must also show that this deviation was a direct cause of his or her harm.
Medical malpractice claims are subject to strict timeframes within Maryland. As a result, it is important to act quickly if you believe you have a potential medical malpractice case. Failing to file within the appropriate statute of limitations could mean losing your right to file a claim altogether.
If you believe you or a family member has been harmed by a medical professional’s communication error, it is important to seek the help and guidance of a skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorney. At Arfaa Law Group, we understand that communication errors can happen in a variety of ways, and you can rest assured we will thoroughly scrutinize the facts of your case. To get a free evaluation of your case, you can call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.
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