When Can Chiropractors Be Guilty of Medical Malpractice?

chiropractic-malpracticeIn the course of seeking relief from one’s back pain, neck pain, sciatic nerve pain, or reoccurring headaches, you may choose to see a chiropractor for help. Whether an injury occurred in a car accident, work accident, or as a result of pregnancy or another health situation, many people have found that seeing a chiropractor is beneficial and alleviates their pain—sometimes for days, weeks, or months.

How Do Chiropractors Treat Patients?

Chiropractors perform manual manipulations of the body as they make adjustments to certain body parts—most often patients’ backs, necks. and shoulders—in an effort to bring relief and get the body back in proper alignment. They draw on their training and use special techniques and sometimes medical devices and machines for treating patients. Unfortunately, sometimes chiropractors can make a patient’s pain and injuries worse. This is often the case when a chiropractor is careless and uses too much force.

Effects of Chiropractor Malpractice

When a chiropractor is negligent and performs an adjustment in the wrong way or with too much force, a patient can suffer many different injuries, such as broken ribs, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons, sciatic nerve pain, nerve damage, herniated discs, spinal cord injuries, strokes, facial paralysis, compression of the nerves in the spinal column (cauda equine syndrome) and more.  Even preterm labor and birth injuries can occur as a result of poor chiropractic care and bad manipulation. Sadly, chiropractor malpractice is very serious and very real.

When Poor Chiropractic Treatment Causes a Stroke

A stroke is probably the most severe type of injury a patient can suffer as a result of receiving a neck adjustment that uses rapid twists of the neck. A stroke can happen because a chiropractor causes a tear in the inner lining of the neck’s vertebral artery which carries blood to the brain. When a tear occurs, a blood clot can form and impede the blood flow to the brain. As a result, a patient may suffer a chiropractor-induced stroke, also referred to as a vertebral artery dissection (VAD). Many people who suffer a stroke end up with physical impairments, cognitive problems, and emotional issues. In a worst-case scenario, strokes can even lead to death.

Any injury that a patient suffers following chiropractic manipulation can be the result of too much force, failure to perform the adjustment correctly, or a misdiagnosis.

Chiropractors and Medical Malpractice

Although chiropractors are not medical doctors, they are health care providers, and all health care providers are expected to meet and exceed the standards of care in their profession. When a chiropractor does not meet those standards, a patient may suffer injuries. If this occurs, it is up to the victim and the victim’s attorney to establish that the chiropractor acted negligently and did not exercise reasonable care and that another competent chiropractor would have done things differently under the same circumstances.

In order to be able to prove chiropractor negligence and sue a chiropractor for medical malpractice, it is critical to work with an attorney who may know if the type of treatment that the chiropractor performed was something he or she was or wasn’t qualified to administer under state law. Also, an experienced lawyer will be able to hire the right expert witness who can testify to what the chiropractor did wrong and what a competent chiropractor would have done to treat the patient.

Although suing a chiropractor for negligence can be complicated, it can be done with the right attorney on your side who is willing to research your matter and establish a strong case to prove the chiropractor did not meet the standard of care.

Pursuing Justice

If a chiropractor made your injuries worse, caused new injuries, or caused the death of your loved one, you need to talk with an attorney as soon as possible. We would be honored to answer your questions and help you on your journey towards pursuing justice and just compensation. Call us today for a free consultation.