Although doctors and nurses are often the subject of medical malpractice actions, there are many others who fall within the category of healthcare providers and must be held accountable for mistakes that lead to severe and long-term harm. Chiropractors fall within this group.
A chiropractor manipulates different body parts in order to alleviate a specific medical issue or assist in the rehabilitation of an injury. A person undergoing other types of medical treatment may seek out the additional assistance of a chiropractor in order to improve recovery times or work on different issues. It took many years for this to be accepted as a mainstream type of medical care, but most people now accept that there are benefits to getting chiropractic care. However, there are times when the chiropractor makes a serious mistake that leads to severe, long-term harm.
When a Chiropractor Commits Malpractice
Chiropractors are held to a specific medicals standard of care, which is based on what a reasonable average chiropractor with the same education, training, and experience would have done under the same or similar circumstances. The deviation of the behavior of the chiropractor charged with malpractice from this reasonable chiropractor standard is the evidence of the malpractice. A more extreme deviation makes demonstration of a breach of duty easier for a trier-of-fact to find that the chiropractor was negligent.
There are many different types of medical malpractice. Several of the most common forms of medical malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis – A chiropractor may determine that a person was suffering from a specific type of injury and proceed to provide care relating to that diagnosis. When that diagnosis is wrong, it may lead to additional harm to the person by the treatment of the wrong medical condition, as well we a worsening of the actual medical problem;
- Failing to provide sufficient information for the person to make an educated decision – Lack of informed consent is a very serious situation because the individual is agreeing to a course of treatment without understanding the potential negative consequences or other reasonable alternatives that might be more in line with his or her preferences; and
- Negligence during the administration of chiropractic care – The reality is that chiropractic medicine involves the manipulation of very sensitive areas of the body. There are many severe, and potentially permanent, injuries that might occur if the chiropractor makes a mistake during the provision of services. Some of the common types of injuries include:
- Torn muscles and tendons, as well as other soft tissue damage;
- Ruptured or bulging intervertebral disks;
- Damage to the spine that results in partial or complete paralysis, including paraplegia or quadriplegia;
- Strokes – the adjustments by a chiropractor may involve strong thrusts and manipulations that could lead to damage to the walls of an artery, resulting in a condition known as cervical artery dissection. This damage can lead to the formation of a blood clot that breaks off and results in a severe and life-threatening stroke; and
In order to prove that there has been negligence in a malpractice case against a chiropractor, it will be necessary to retain the services of a medical expert who has knowledge and experience as a chiropractor. Depending on the jurisdiction in which the case is brought, there will be specific requirements that the expert must meet, including limitations on what percentage of his or her professional life is spent acting as an expert witness. This is because the expert plays a critical role in the establishment of the applicable standard of care, the demonstration of how the defendant deviated from that standard of care, and how that deviation (breach) was the direct and proximate cause of the harm that the plaintiff suffered.
In order to move forward with a malpractice case, it is important to gather all relevant medical and treatment records and speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible as there are strictly enforced time limits on the period in which a malpractice case may be filed.
Stern Law, PLLC Advocates for Victims of All Types of Chiropractor Malpractice
Any medical professional and healthcare provider can make a mistake that leads to severe harm. Some of these mistakes do not rise to the level of malpractice. However, when the error that caused devastating injury was entirely preventable, it is crucial to get dedicated and skilled legal assistance as soon as possible. For more than 30 years, the experienced medical malpractice attorney at Stern Law, PLLC has fought to get victims of professional malpractice the compensation that they need to move forward with their lives. Stern Law, PLLC also has compassionate and knowledgeable staff members ready to provide information and resources for those who have questions about medical malpractice issues 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of whether or not you are a client. Call us at 1-844-808-7529 or fill out an online contact form in order to learn how we can help you get through this difficult time.