With a variety of potential symptoms and no definitive testing, lupus is a difficult condition to diagnose. As such, lupus is often mistaken for other illnesses. If you or someone close to you has suffered harm due to a lupus misdiagnosis, you should speak to a seasoned Syracuse medical malpractice attorney who can help determine whether malpractice occurred. Malpractices cases are often difficult and time consuming but we can help you understand your legal rights and options.
What is Lupus?
Lupus, the common term for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is an autoimmune disease that can cause a number of dangerous effects for victims. When a person has the disease, their immune system begins to attack healthy cells and tissues as opposed to protecting them. While 1.5 million Americans suffer from lupus, it is tough to diagnose, as many of the symptoms resemble symptoms that are present in other conditions. In addition, many with the condition present no symptoms for extensive periods of time, only to have the condition flare up in times of stress. When lupus is undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to cancer, kidney disease, organ damage and can even be fatal.
Liability for Lupus Misdiagnosis
A lupus misdiagnosis can lead to devastating consequences for a patient’s life. If a lupus misdiagnosis led to avoidable medicals bills, pain and suffering, lost income or was the cause of a long-term disability, you may be able to file a claim for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is a form of negligence that pertains to the acts of a medical professional during the course of treating a patient. In order to win a negligence claim, you will need to establish the following elements:
- The doctor owed the patient a duty of care (i.e., a doctor-patient relationship existed);
- The doctor breached the duty of care by deviating from the accepted standard of care;
- The doctor’s breach was a direct cause of the lupus misdiagnosis;
- The lupus misdiagnosis led to specific damages for the patient.
Burden of Proof in Medical Malpractice Cases
It is important to note that the burden of proof is on the plaintiff in medical malpractice cases. The plaintiff is required to establish the case by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which means the patient must show that it is “more likely than not” that the doctor’s incompetence directly caused the injury. In an effort to do this, the plaintiff in the vast majority of cases will use a medical expert to testify in support of his or her claim.
Syracuse Misdiagnosis Malpractice Attorney
If you have been hurt or someone you love has died as a result of misdiagnosed lupus, we can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano Personal Injury Lawyers, you can rest assured that we are committed to providing honest and straightforward advice to help guide you through the legal process. Time is of the essence in these cases so it is important to act right away. Call to schedule your free consultation today at 315-479-9000 or you can reach us online.
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Shorter Wait Times Associated with Better Physician Reviews, Syracuse Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 21, 2018