Can I Bring a Medical Malpractice Claim Against My Chiropractor?
Chiropractic medicine primarily concerns the diagnosis and treatment of disorders involving the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors may use a variety of techniques including manual manipulation of the spine and soft tissues to relieve pain, restore mobility, and promote wellness. This particular field of medicine is often the subject of controversy and debate. Some people swear by the relief chiropractic treatment gives them while others believe the practice to be little more than pseudoscience. If you or a loved one were injured by a chiropractor, you may wonder whether or not you have a valid medical malpractice claim.
Injuries That May Be Caused by Negligent Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic treatment often involves the chiropractor using his or her hands or instruments to apply force to joints and muscle tissue. These treatments, called “adjustments,” are typically intended to relieve back pain and stiffness, neck pain, headaches, and other physical ailments. However, some patients find that chiropractic care actually worsens their conditions or creates new health problems. In fact, one study suggested 30 to 61 percent of all chiropractic patients experience some type of adverse effects from the treatment. Chiropractic adjustment may cause problems including but not limited to:
- Vertebral artery dissection that can lead to a stroke
- Herniated disc or worsening of an existing herniated disc
- Compression of the nerves in the lower spine (cauda equina syndrome)
When is a Chiropractor Liable for a Patient’s Injury?
Although they are not medical doctors, chiropractors still have a legal obligation to provide competent medical treatment to patients. Most medical malpractice claims are based upon professional negligence. A chiropractor may be considered negligent if he or she:
- Violates Illinois state licensing laws by performing a treatment that is not permitted under the terms of his or her license
- Performs a procedure for which the patient did not give consent
- Fails to obtain a thorough patient medical history and then provides a treatment that exacerbates a pre-existing condition
- Uses too much force during a spinal adjustment and injures the patient as a result
- Uses improper techniques that cause patient injuries or worsening pain
- Misdiagnoses a patient’s condition, which leads to delayed treatment for the real condition
If a chiropractor’s negligence leads to a patient injury, the chiropractor or medical facility at which the treatment took place may be liable for the harm caused to the patient. The patient may be entitled to compensation for his or her pain and suffering, medical bills, lost income due to missed work, and more.
Contact a Glen Ellyn Medical Malpractice Lawyer
Chiropractic care is not without its risks. If you or a loved one were hurt by the negligent actions of a chiropractor, contact Schwartz Injury Law to discuss your case and learn about your options for seeking compensation. Call our office today at 630-349-2325 and schedule a free consultation with an experienced Illinois personal injury attorney.