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Sports Medicine Malpractice

While watching the World Series, the Olympics, or any other major sporting event, it is easy to overlook the tremendous effort that each athlete has exerted to play their sport. Every no-hitter and gold medalist has spent years training, conditioning, and learning how to out-think their opponents. Many of the most inspiring sports tales involve athletes who have recovered from debilitating injuries or learned to transfer their skills. These stories and other dramatic on-field injuries remind us of the extremely important behind-the-scenes players who maintain the health and strength of our favorite players.

When athletes sustain injuries because of strenuous and intense exercise, sports medicine specialists can provide both preventative and emergency care. Frequently, sports medicine specialists provide specialized care for sports-related injuries or help athletes improve their health to enhance their performance. Malpractice in sports medicine occurs when a specialist fails to adhere to the professional standard of care of other specialists in this field. Call the Upstate New York medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano for a consultation if a sports medicine doctor misdiagnosed you or provided the wrong treatment.  We help clients throughout Upstate New York, with offices in multiple convenient locations. Our extensive experience in the medical malpractice field is reflected in the results we have achieved for our clients.

Today, more individuals participate in sports than ever before. Physicians who treat athletes face unique diagnostic and treatment challenges, as well as an increased legal liability risk. Physicians must be willing to seek guidance from specialists, especially when cardiac, spinal, or neurological issues are present. Concerns of the physician include the evaluation of potential concussions, spinal injuries, and heat stroke on the field.

Athletes must typically visit a physician more frequently than the average person due to the inherent nature of their sport. Athletes of all ages are frequently seen in the physician’s office, whether they are receiving treatment for an injury or simply ensuring they are healthy enough to continue playing. Unfortunately, as the number of medical professionals increases, the likelihood of medical malpractice in the field of sports medicine increases.

Before, during, and after a game, those in sports medicine and athletic training who are responsible for the well-being of the athletes bear a great deal of responsibility. Many athletes are susceptible to injury due to the grueling toll that strenuous exercise takes on the body, and it is the responsibility of these trained professionals to prevent the worst from occurring. Nonetheless, we are all familiar with tragic tales involving sports injuries that could have been avoided with additional care on the part of either the trainer or the athlete. However, when sports injuries are caused by negligence, they can be tragic and constitute medical malpractice.

Malpractice in sports medicine occurs when a physician, typically a sports medicine specialist, fails to provide the standard of care expected of medical professionals in this position. In the majority of instances, sports medicine specialists can be a valuable resource for athletes of all types, providing them with specialized care for injuries and assisting them in achieving peak health with a focus on their chosen sport. Specialists in sports medicine can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that keep athletes off the field, as well as the prevention of injuries through routine care. Failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, failure to treat, prescription drug errors, and improper treatment are examples of medical errors that may lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit in sports medicine.

If a sports medicine specialist fails to timely and accurately diagnose your injury, your condition may worsen due to a lack of appropriate treatment. In some instances, a specialist in sports medicine may lack sufficient knowledge to treat an injury. In this case, he should refer you to a specialist who can treat your injury. If your sports medicine specialist fails to refer you to the appropriate specialist and your condition worsens as a result, you may be able to recover damages for medical malpractice. An experienced attorney can evaluate your case and determine if the medical error constitutes medical malpractice.

When a sports medicine specialist or other sports-oriented physician treats a patient negligently or carelessly, the situation can worsen. Patients with injuries may not heal properly, even to the point of never being able to play their sport of choice or participate in normal day-to-day activities again. To recover damages for sports medicine malpractice, you must establish the following: (1) the sports medicine specialist owed you a professional standard of care, (2) he deviated from that standard, (3) the deviation caused your injuries, and (4) actual damages.

In a sports medicine malpractice lawsuit, it is possible to recover damages. These damages may include both material and immaterial losses. Typically, tangible losses are well-documented and simple to quantify. Included are medical expenses, lost wages, replacement services, and out-of-pocket expenses. Your lost earnings may be recoverable if you were a professional athlete who suffered a permanent disability due to medical malpractice, depending on how much longer your athletic career was expected to last. If your sports medicine specialist misdiagnosed your sports-related spinal injury and it worsened and caused permanent damage, you may be able to recover compensation for a wheelchair, rehabilitation, assistance around the house, and modifications to your home, such as installing a wheelchair ramp. Intangible losses could be more difficult to quantify. Pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of consortium are examples. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be able to recover damages for the loss of enjoyment of life caused by your inability to play a beloved game.

Like other doctors, sports medicine specialists may make errors. Unfortunately, those errors can cost an athlete his or her career. If you were harmed by sports medicine malpractice, you should contact Upstate New York’s experienced and knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We represent injured clients and their families throughout Upstate New York, including Syracuse, Rochester, Albany, Buffalo, Elmira, Binghamton, Auburn, Ithaca, Oswego, Norwich, Herkimer, Delhi, Cooperstown, Cortland, Lowville, Oneida, Watertown, Utica, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Lyons, and surrounding areas.  Please call us at 833-200-2000 or contact us via our online form to discuss your case.

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