Failure to Diagnose Ligament Injuries
By Younker Hyde Macfarlane on June 01, 2020
Ligaments are strong elastic fibers that provide support to the joints, including the knees, ankles, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. When ligaments become stretched, torn, or otherwise injured, it can cause significant pain.
When an orthopedic doctor cares for ligament injuries properly, it can greatly enhance a person’s comfort. Unfortunately, a failure to diagnose ligament injuries can result in serious damages. Individuals in the Salt Lake City, UT, area who have suffered damages as a result of a failure to diagnose can seek compensation for their losses by working with the medical malpractice attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane.
Symptoms of a Ligament Injury
Ligament injuries are most commonly the result of a sports injury, though car accidents, physical trauma, degenerative diseases, and general wear and tear can also lead to stretched or torn ligaments. When ligaments are damaged, the surrounding joint is likely to appear bruised and swollen. Ligament injuries can cause pain and sometimes muscle spasms. Stretched and torn ligaments do not provide ample support, so joints may be loose and are unlikely to move normally.
Damages Stemming from a Failure to Diagnose
With proper treatment, which often involves a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation, most ligament injuries heal without causing long-term damage. Even more severe ligament injuries should heal properly with bracing, physical therapy, or surgery.
Unfortunately, doctors sometimes fail to thoroughly examine a patient and determine what is causing the pain. In a rush to get to the next patient, a doctor may fail to diagnose a ligament injury, or misdiagnose it as a problem with the bones. When ligament injuries are not diagnosed and properly treated, the patient can endure unnecessary long-term damages.
Some of the losses that may be suffered by our Salt Lake City clients who have experienced a failure to diagnose ligament injuries include:
- Prolonged pain and discomfort
- Limited motility and mobility
- More advanced injuries
- Formation of scar tissue along the ligaments
- Need for surgery or other more invasive treatments
- Need for continual physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Prolonged time off work while recovering from injuries
Proving Medical Malpractice
If failure to diagnose ligament injuries is the result of medical malpractice, the patient has a right to seek financial compensation for their losses. The problem is that medical professionals are highly unlikely to admit liability for a failed diagnosis. The best way to prove medical malpractice following a failure to diagnose is by working with a knowledgeable medical malpractice attorney, such as those at Younker Hyde Macfarlane.
Our Salt Lake City legal team can gather evidence to demonstrate the four basic principles of a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- There was a patient-doctor relationship
- The medical professional was negligent in providing care
- Negligent care resulted in an injury for the patient
- The injury caused damages
The most difficult part of a medical malpractice case to prove is negligence. To demonstrate that negligence occurred, we must show that the medical professional failed to provide the accepted standard of care, meaning he or she did not provide the same care that would have been received by a similarly trained medical professional presented with the same circumstances. Our attorneys work with other medical professionals to show that the medical care provided was unacceptable and resulted in unnecessary losses for our client.
If you have suffered injuries and losses that you believe to be the result of medical malpractice, our attorneys can help you explore your legal options. To discuss your situation with our team at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, send us a message as soon as possible or call (801) 335-7025.
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