A stroke is undeniably a severe event that could leave a patient with long-term symptoms and effects, potentially changing their life or even resulting in death. While many strokes are obvious and require immediate, intensive medical treatment, other strokes might be less severe, or a tough patient might not show obvious symptoms. If a doctor failed to properly diagnose and treat a stroke that you or a loved one suffered, you may be entitled to sue for medical malpractice.
Our Maryland attorneys for injury and death caused by missed stroke diagnosis represent patients and their families in lawsuits against doctors and other healthcare providers for negligent care involving failed stroke diagnosis, unnecessary stroke complications, and other health effects related to a stroke. For a free legal consultation on your case, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today at (410) 694-7291 to discuss your case and learn more about filing a claim for financial compensation.
Suing for Failure to Diagnose a Stroke in Maryland
Doctors are required to bring a certain level of proficiency and skill to any medical care they provide. This is typically known as the “standard of care,” and it dictates the steps that a physician should take and the attention to care that a doctor should provide to a patient under the given circumstances. If your doctor failed to follow the standard of care while treating you or a loved one, and that failure led to them misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose a stroke, you or your loved one may have suffered serious injuries you can sue for.
A missed or failed stroke diagnosis can lead to a range of serious complications. A stroke is commonly caused by a blood clot, another blockage, or a rupture in the blood vessels leading to the brain. This can quickly cause death in the affected brain tissue, and failure to promptly treat a stroke can cause increased tissue death, neurological dysfunction, motor control issues, memory issues, physical weakness, or even death.
The first few minutes after a stroke are the absolute most important part of treatment. Quick diagnosis and treatment can allow doctors to use drugs and treatments to break up the clots and allow blood flow to return. Drugs can be administered to help essentially “reverse” the effects of a stroke and restore affected brain function. However, if a doctor does not diagnose the stroke quickly or mistakes the symptoms for another medical condition, they might lose the chance to help the patient.
In most stroke cases, the patient will have other conditions such as heart disease that make a stroke more likely, and it could be outrageous for a doctor to fail to consider that this event might be a stroke. In other cases, especially cases with young patients or patients with no history of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or heart disease, doctors might not immediately turn to a stroke as a possible diagnosis. Similarly, patients presenting with few signs or symptoms might not have workups done to check for a stroke.
In some cases, the failure to diagnose a stroke might be reasonable. In others, it could be a substantial error or could be due to a patient not being taken seriously because of their pain tolerance, their race, or their sex. If this was the case, or if the doctor made other mistakes in diagnosing a stroke, you might be entitled to sue them.
Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim Involving Failed Stroke Diagnosis
When your case goes before a judge and jury, it will be your lawyer’s job to prove that the doctor should have identified the stroke more promptly or that the signs and symptoms were so obvious that your doctor committed serious negligence by failing to diagnose the stroke.
The standard of care is often the most important factor in proving your case. The defendant doctor will often claim that failing to diagnose the condition was reasonable because the signs and symptoms were hard to read or were reasonably confused with another medical condition. However, your lawyer can provide a medical expert whose testimony can help show that the doctor’s mistakes were unreasonable and that their care did indeed fall below the standard of care in your case. If this claim is successful, you may be able to claim any damages related to the failed diagnosis.
Damages for Failed Stroke Diagnoses and Misdiagnosis of a Stroke in Maryland
As mentioned, the speed with which a stroke is treated can be one of the most important factors in the patient’s recovery. If there is any delay in treatment because the doctor is not sure whether the patient had a stroke or the doctor diagnosed the patient with a different health condition, the patient may lose an appreciable chance of recovery.
Damages for this lost chance can be substantial in many medical malpractice claims. A stroke can be absolutely debilitating, making it impossible for a stroke victim to return to work or care for themselves in many cases. If the patient is younger, this means missing out on a lot of opportunities in their life and facing substantial pain and suffering. More debilitating or fatal strokes can also cause serious harm to the victim’s family, such as lost wages, funeral and burial expenses, lost companionship, and more.
Talk to a lawyer about what damages you may be entitled to claim in your medical malpractice lawsuit for missed stroke diagnosis.
Call Our Maryland Lawyers for Help with a Lawsuit for Failure to Diagnose a Stroke
If you or your loved one suffered a stroke and the doctor failed to diagnose the condition, you may be entitled to sue for financial compensation to cover any damages or injuries resulting from the lack of treatment. The Law Offices of Randolph Rice help stroke victims and their families sue their doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers for failure to diagnose strokes and other serious medical conditions. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our Maryland lawyers for injury and death from missed stroke diagnosis today at (410) 694-7291.