Articles Posted in Medical Malpractice

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Unfortunately, medical over-treatment is a reality across the United States. While over-treatment may seem harmless, the reality is that it can cause injury or lead to making your illness worse. Many physicians believe that over-treatment can be caused by a medical professional’s own financial motives, the fear of malpractice lawsuits, or both. If you have suffered an injury that you believe was caused by medical over-treatment, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can help you determine your legal options to pursue compensation.

According to a recent study, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other high tech scans for low back pain shot up by 50 percent between 1995 to 2015. Up to 35 percent of MRI scans for lower back pain were inappropriate. While medical societies have launched campaigns to convince doctors and patients to forego the unnecessary images, it has not improved the situation. Unnecessary imaging is not just limited to lower back pain. Americans spend in excess of $100 billion on different types of diagnostic imaging every year, much of which is unnecessary and, in some case, can be harmful. For instance, even though X-rays are relatively cheap, they can increase the risk of cancer.  According to doctors, another issue is that MRIs can provide too much information that is not related to the back pain, which can lead to confusion and surgery for benign abnormalities.

Over-treatment can take a serious toll on a patient. In addition to the expenses, patients may be subjected to risks like radiation, dangerous side effects and a number of other risks that are inherent with many intensive and invasive treatments and procedures. A doctor has a duty to treat you with the appropriate standard of care, which is the same level of care and caution that another doctor confronted with the same situation would exercise. If you are over-treated and this treatment results in harm, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit against the at-fault doctor if you can establish that the doctor violated the appropriate standard of care. In short, medical malpractice occurs when the doctor’s breach of the standard of care is a direct cause of patient injury.

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Medical records are a way to document a patient’s medical history as well as the history of care that person has received by a specific medical professional. These records are vital to ensuring a patient receives adequate care. If you’ve suffered harm due to an error in your medical record or because your medical record was mixed up with another patient’s record, we are here to help. Our Baltimore medical negligence attorneys believe that victims of malpractice deserve full and fair compensation for their injuries and losses.

A study recently conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative has revealed that matching patients to their healthcare records is an ongoing issue in medical facilities across the country. Shockingly, in some places, the current patient match rate could be as low as 50 or 60 percent. The study also found that medical record errors are more common in urban health systems where patients obtain medical care at multiple facilities, indicating a need for more efficient data exchange not just within medical facilities, but also between them.

Mismatched patient records take place when two patients, frequently with a similar name, have their records mixed up by a medical professional. This can lead to a wide range of adverse health consequences for a patient, including, but not limited to: delays in patient care; patients receiving the wrong surgical procedure; patients receiving the wrong medication and an overall increase in healthcare costs. Another type of medical records error takes place when multiple patient records exist for the same patient. Not only are duplicate records inconvenient, they can lead to misinformation and medical professionals providing unnecessary testing and treatment.

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You may be shocked to learn that medical malpractice is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. Medical errors are also the cause of countless patient injuries in Maryland and across the country. Often, these injuries and deaths are entirely preventable. If you have suffered harm caused by a doctor’s mistake, we can assist you in figuring out your legal options. As experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers, we will tirelessly fight for your right to compensation.

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that doctors with poor medical malpractice track records may be an increased hazard to patient welfare. The research revealed that out of 480,000 health care providers in the U.S., just 2.3 percent of doctors were responsible for almost 39 percent of paid medical malpractice claims between the years of 2003 and 2015. In other words, a small number of physicians are responsible for a disproportionately high number of medical malpractice claims.

In addition, the study found that physicians with numerous medical malpractice claims are more likely to move into smaller practices. For instance, doctors with five or more claims were more than twice as likely to go into solo practice than doctors with no claims. Smaller practices tend to have less oversight than larger ones. This is especially problematic because employers, rather than patients, are the ones who typically vet a physician’s medical record when they are hiring. As a result, patients just walk into these smaller practices, completely unaware of the physician’s subpar safety record.

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Medical malpractice can lead to catastrophic injuries that can impact the rest of your life. If you have been seriously harmed because of what you believe to be medical malpractice, you may be eligible to recover damages for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys are committed to representing victims of medical negligence across Maryland.

A study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that doctors are more likely to open solo practices or quit practicing medicine altogether after facing multiple medical malpractice claims. The researchers found that either one of these responses are more likely than the doctor moving far away to find work and “start fresh.” The study examined a national group of 480,894 physicians in the age range of 35 to 65 who practiced from 2007 to 2015. A total of 89 percent of the doctors had no claims, 8.8 percent had 1 claim and the remaining 2.3 percent had 2 or more claims, which accounted for 38.9 percent of all claims.

According to the findings, more than 9 out of 10 doctors who have five or more successful malpractice claims against them continue to see patients and are in no rush to move far away from where the malpractice occurred. In addition, doctors who have multiple malpractice claims on their record are 45 percent more likely to give up and try another profession than those who have spotless records. In sum, doctors with multiple malpractice claims are no more likely to relocate than those with no claims but they are more likely to give up practicing medicine altogether.

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Orthopedic malpractice often takes place during surgery but it can also happen before or after the procedure. If you have suffered an injury and you believe it was caused by an orthopedic surgeon’s negligence, our experienced Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys can help. At Arfaa Law Group, we are dedicated to helping you obtain compensation for the hardships you and your family may have suffered.

Sharrif Floyd, a former football player for the Minnesota Vikings, filed a $180 million malpractice claim against his former orthopedic surgeon, the orthopedic surgery center and others involved in his treatment. According to the complaint, Floyd went in for what he was told would be a routine operation that would be require three to four weeks of recovery. However, once the surgeon began to operate, he determined that Floyd needed microfracture surgery that required them to drill into the bone, which purportedly led to bleeding and necessitated a post-operation pain blocker. The pain-block allegedly impacted the procedure and paralyzed a nerve and the surrounding muscle in the right leg. Ultimately, the surgery ended Floyd’s football career.

Orthopedic Malpractice

Orthopedic surgeons diagnose, treat and rehabilitate patients who are experiencing disease or injury of the musculoskeletal system. This complex system, which includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves, permits a person to move, work and be active. When an orthopedic surgeon’s make a mistake, they can exacerbate existing medical conditions and even create new problems for patients. If this has happened to you or someone close to you, you may be able to sue for medical malpractice.

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When you visit the doctor, you trust that you will get proper care. Sadly, every year a number of people in Maryland and throughout the US are injured because of medical negligence. In the most serious of cases, medical professionals make fatal mistakes that kill patients and leave behind loved ones who are completely devastated. If you were hurt or lost a loved one and you believe it was because of medical malpractice, let our experienced Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers help. At Arfaa Law Group, we understand the nuances of medical malpractice law – including the strict procedural requirements that must be met in order to file and proceed with your claim.

The Kentucky Supreme Court recently struck down a law requiring a team of physicians to assess medical malpractice claims before they go to court. Specifically, the law used to give the team of physicians nine months to evaluate a medical malpractice lawsuit and then provide an opinion about whether the claim had merit. That opinion could later be used as evidence at trial. The court held that the law violated the section 14 of the state’s constitution, which states that every individual has access to the justice system without delay. In addition, the court noted that the law went against the constitutional prohibition against special legislation as it was created to benefit medical professionals and no such special protection exists for any other type of tort defendant.

Maryland “Certificate of Merit” Requirement

While Kentucky may no longer require a plaintiff’s case to be reviewed before filing in court, Maryland law still does. Maryland law mandates that a medical doctor sign off on a medical malpractice lawsuit. In fact, within 90 days of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, a Maryland plaintiff is required to file a certificate of merit from a qualified medical expert or a licensed or certified professional.

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Sadly, medical malpractice causes countless injuries in Maryland and across the United States every year. If you or a person you love has been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, you should consult a diligent Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can help. Medical malpractice cases are incredibly complex but you can trust that we will help you obtain the answers you need following a medical mistake

Seven out of 10 doctors are not willing to recommend their chosen profession to their children or other family members, according to a nationwide Future of Healthcare Survey of over 3,400 doctors released by The Doctors Company. Respondents included primary care physicians, surgical specialists, inpatient medical specialists and diagnosticians.

Respondents cited electronic health records (EHRs) and value-based care as key reasons for their viewpoint. Specifically, fifty-four percent said they believe EHRs have negatively impacted the doctor-patient relationship, and 61 percent said they believe EHRs negative affect efficiency and productivity. In addition, 49 percent said they believe value0based care and reimbursed will negatively impact patient care.

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Physician burnout is an increasingly common issue in healthcare that can seriously jeopardize a patient’s health. If you believe that you suffered harm due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At Arfaa Law Group, our seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice team can help you understand your legal rights and options. With extensive experience, we understand the nuances of this area of law.

Physician burnout is a serious epidemic in the United States. Burnout among physicians generally refers to a loss of enthusiasm for one’s work, a decline in satisfaction and joy and an increase in detachment, emotional exhaustion and cynicism. In short, burnout is a state of chronic stress. According to one study, nearly two-thirds of U.S. doctors experience burnout, depression or both. These results are consistent with a prior study conduced by the Mayo Clinic that found that about 46 percent of the 7,200 doctors surveyed showed signs of burnout. The rate was 10 percent higher than the rest of the population. Research shows that doctors who suffer from burnout take less interest in their patients, are less empathic and are more prone to mistakes.

Burnout is often the underlying cause of medical mistakes that can lead to serious patient harm. If a doctor’s error, misconduct or wrongdoing causes patient injury or death, that doctor may be liable under a medical malpractice claim. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional, by act or omission, fails to adhere to the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient. In all medical malpractice cases, the doctor’s deviation from the appropriate standard of care must have been a direct cause of the patient’s harm. In other words, a harmless error is not compensable under the law. To establish medical malpractice, the plaintiff must demonstrate the following criteria:

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When you seek medical attention of any kind, you expect to receive competent care. If you or someone close to you has been injured due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim. At Arfaa Law Group, our skilled Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys understand this area of law and can help you explore your legal rights and options.

Medical malpractice laws are always changing, and it is imperative for your attorney to be aware of legal developments that may affect your case. Consider the following. A pending decision by Maryland’s highest court could change the standard that jurors will be instructed to use in assessing these cases.

For over a century, negligence in Maryland medical malpractice cases has been guided by the “reasonably competent” physician standard of care – a standard of which juries and judges are informed through expert testimony. However, in the case of Armacost v. Davis, a Baltimore County Court judge permitted jurors to also consider what a layperson would deem reasonable under the circumstances.

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If you or a member of your family has been harmed by a medical professional’s negligence, you need to reach out to a seasoned Baltimore medical malpractice attorney who can help. At Arfaa Law Group, not only do we understand how to navigate complex medical malpractice cases, but also we understand the procedural rules that must be followed in these cases. With years of experience, we can help your family and you pursue the compensation you need to move on with your life after a medical injury.

Medical malpractice litigation generally requires using expert witnesses. These witnesses are necessary to help the jury understand medical issues that may be at issue in a malpractice trial. In Maryland, expert testimony may be admitted if the court decides that the testimony will help the trier of fact (either the judge or the jury) understand the evidence or determine a fact at issue in the case.

Under Maryland law, an expert in a malpractice claim opining on the “standard of care” cannot devote in excess of 20 percent of their professional activities to courtroom testimony. Put simply, you cannot call as a witness on the standard of care anyone who spends more than one day a week out of five working as an expert witness. The idea behind this rule is to discourage the use of “professional experts” or so-called “hired gun” doctors who simply travel to testify as opposed to seeing patients. While the principle makes sense, the 20% requirement may seem arbitrary to some.

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