Since accurate diagnosis is the first step towards successful treatment, misdiagnosis represents not only a delay in proper treatment, but a potentially a grave threat to patient health. At Nagel Rice LLP, where our seasoned personal injury attorneys have been proudly serving medical malpractice victims throughout New Jersey for decades, we are well aware of the dangers of misdiagnosis, especially when it comes to a serious condition like multiple sclerosis. 

If you suspect you have been harmed by a misdiagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS), contact our well-informed lawyers today to schedule a complimentary evaluation of your case. We have a long and impressive history of out-of-court settlements and positive verdicts, having recovered over $1 billion for our deserving clients over the years. Because we work on contingency, we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we bring you meaningful compensation. 

Understanding Multiple Sclerosis

MS is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. In patients with MS, the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective myelin sheath covering nerve fibers, leading to communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body. This disruption can cause a wide range of symptoms and complications, making MS challenging to diagnose and to manage effectively.

Symptoms of MS

The symptoms of MS can vary greatly from person to person, depending on the location and severity of the nerve damage within the central nervous system. Some of the most common symptoms of MS include:

  • Fatigue, a persistent feeling of tiredness unrelieved by rest
  • Difficulty walking and an unsteady gait due to balance and coordination issues and muscle weakness
  • Unusual sensations in various parts of the body, e.g. numbness, tingling, feelings of electric shock, particularly with certain neck movements
  • Muscle spasms (involuntary muscle contractions), resulting in pain and stiffness
  • Visual disturbances, including blurred vision, double vision (diplopia), or loss of vision in one eye.
  • General lack of coordination
  • Weakness in the limbs
  • Vertigo
  • Problems with sexual, bowel and bladder function
  • Slurred speech
  • Cognitive problems
  • Mood disturbances

With such a wide range of symptoms, it is easy to see how misdiagnoses of MS can occur. Still, doctors have a duty of care to their patients to follow protocols that are standard for competent professionals, so if you have suffered harm as a result of your doctor’s negligence, you are legally entitled to monetary compensation.

Why Multiple Sclerosis Is Sometimes Misdiagnosed

Despite advances in medical technology and diagnostic methods, MS is still frequently misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. Several factors contribute to this problem:

  • Conditions mimicking MS symptoms: Several medical conditions, including fibromyalgia and Lyme disease, can mimic MS symptoms, making it difficult to differentiate.
  • Failure to take a thorough medical history:  Taking a comprehensive medical history is essential for accurate diagnosis, but time constraints, distraction, or impulsive conclusions may lead some doctors to skimp on information-gathering.
  • Misinterpretation of test results: Diagnostic tests such as MRI scans and spinal taps are critical for confirming an MS diagnosis, but they may, at times, be administered incorrectly, provide inconclusive results, or be misinterpreted by the doctor who reads and analyzes them.

What MS Can Be Mistaken For

Several medical conditions share symptoms similar to those of MS. These conditions include:

  • Vitamin deficiencies: Deficiencies in vitamins such as vitamin B12 can cause symptoms similar to those of MS, including fatigue, weakness, and numbness.
  • Migraines: Migraine headaches can cause visual disturbances, sensory symptoms, and cognitive difficulties that may be mistaken for MS symptoms.
  • Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and cognitive difficulties, symptoms that overlap with those of MS.
  • Lyme disease: Lyme disease, though a bacterial infection, can cause neurological symptoms that mimic MS, such as muscle weakness, numbness, and cognitive impairment.
  • Lupus: Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect the nervous system, also presenting with symptoms like those of MS.

Misdiagnosing MS Can Lead to Disastrous Consequences

Being diagnosed with MS is disturbing to say the least, but failing to be diagnosed with MS, or being misdiagnosed with another disorder, can be even worse, resulting in troubling repercussions, such as: 

  • Delayed symptom relief will likely have a negative effect on the patient, emotionally as well as physically. 
  • Exacerbation of symptoms because the MS in not being properly managed. Irreversible neurological damage and increased disability may result.
  • Unnecessary and harmful treatments
    Misdiagnosis may lead to unnecessary medical interventions, including medications for disorders the patient does not have, with potential side effects or risks that further compromise their health and well-being.

How Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Will Help

At Nagel Rice, our medical malpractice attorneys have the well-developed legal skills and extensive experience to handle your MS misdiagnosis claim effectively and efficiently by:

  • Providing you with a free evaluation of your case reviewing the details of your case, including medical records and diagnostic tests, to determine whether you have a viable medical malpractice claim.
  • Consulting with medical experts whose testimony will support your claim by testifying that your doctor did not live up to an acceptable standard of care.
  • Developing a powerful strategy that will work equally well during negotiations with opposing counsel and insurance adjusters or, if necessary, at trial.
  • Offering you compassionate support and guidance throughout the legal process, keeping you informed and empowered.

Contact Our New Jersey & New York Multiple Sclerosis Misdiagnosis Attorneys Now

If you believe you have been harmed by a misdiagnosis of multiple sclerosis, this is the time to take action. Contact our medical malpractice attorneys at Nagel Rice today. You can depend on our legal team to treat you with the respect and empathy you deserve. While we fight vigorously to bring you justice in the form of maximum compensatory damages, you will be able to rest and recover, knowing that your case is in capable, experienced hands.

Nagel Rice LLP helps its clients with claims throughout New Jersey including Bergen County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Sussex County. We also represent clients in New York.