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Sports Medicine Malpractice

Lawyers Representing Injured Athletes in Syracuse

When athletes experience injuries because of intense and strenuous exercise, sports medicine specialists can provide both preventative and acute care. Sports medicine specialists often provide targeted care for injuries sustained in the course of athletics or help athletes improve in wellness to better their performance. Sports medicine malpractice happens if a specialist fails to abide by the professional standard of care of other specialists in this practice area. If a sports medicine doctor misdiagnosed you or provided the wrong treatment, call the Syracuse medical malpractice attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano for a consultation.

Sports Medicine Malpractice

If your sports medicine specialist or doctor negligently diagnoses or treats you, you may sustain serious injuries. In some cases, patients who are injured and misdiagnosed or improperly treated cannot heal properly. This may affect their ability to participate in their usual daily activities or play their sport again. In order to recover damages for sports medicine malpractice, you will need to prove: (1) the sports medicine specialist owed you a professional standard of care, (2) he deviated from the professional standard of care, (3) the deviation caused your injuries, and (4) actual damages.

Usually, you will need to retain an expert who is also a sports medicine specialist to determine the professional standard of care, how it was breached, and causation. The professional standard of care for a sports medicine specialist depends on the geographical region. You will need to show that a reasonably competent sports medicine doctor in or around Syracuse would have behaved differently under the same circumstances.

Mistakes that May Be Actionable

Mistakes that may result in a sports medicine malpractice lawsuit include failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, failure to treat, prescription drug errors, and improper treatment. An error may occur during a physical examination prior to participation in sports, or it can occur in the course of care provided in the same time frame as participation in a sport.

If a sports medicine specialist fails to timely and accurately diagnose your injury, your injury may worsen as a result of not receiving the proper treatment required to heal. For example, if you suffered an ankle sprain, but doctor did not order the proper test or administered the appropriate treatment, a complex sprain may not heal properly, resulting in chronic pain and difficulty playing in the future. For another example, if your doctor carelessly prescribes pain medication for a cervical fracture, you may develop an addiction that adversely impacts your performance or necessitates drug rehabilitation when you would ordinarily be playing.

In some cases, a sports medicine specialist may not know enough to treat an injury. In that case, he should refer you to a doctor that can treat the particular injury. If your sports medicine specialist fails to provide the proper, necessary referral, and your condition worsens as a result, it may be possible to recover damages for medical malpractice. An experienced lawyer can evaluate your case and determine whether the medical mistake qualifies as malpractice.


Compensatory damages may be recovered in a sports medicine malpractice suit. These damages can include tangible and intangible losses. Tangible losses are often documented and easily quantified. They include medical bills, lost wages, replacement services, and out-of-pocket costs.

If you were a professional athlete who experienced a permanent disability due to medical malpractice, your lost earnings may be recoverable, depending on how much longer your athletic career was expected to last. If you became paralyzed because your sports medicine specialist misdiagnosed your sports-related spinal injury and the injury worsened and resulted in permanent harm, you may be able to recover compensation for a wheelchair, rehabilitation, help around the house, and changes to your home such as adding a wheelchair ramp.

Intangible losses may be harder to quantify. They can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of consortium. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be able to recover damages for the loss of enjoyment of life you experience as a result of not being able to play a game you loved.

If your loved one died due to a sports medicine specialist’s failure to diagnose or treat an injury, you may be able to recover wrongful death damages. These are pecuniary losses that flow from a death such as medical bills and funeral and burial costs.

Consult a Seasoned Attorney in Syracuse

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 consult an experienced lawyer. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we provide aggressive, but compassionate representation to athletes and their families in Rochester, Syracuse, and other cities in Upstate New York, including in Oneida, Cooperstown, Auburn, Lyons, Canandaigua, Oswego, Binghamton, Wampsville, Watertown, Ithaca, Elmira, Herkimer, Utica, and Lowville. Contact DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 833-200-2000 or by completing our online form.

Client Reviews
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY