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People go to chiropractors for a variety of reasons, from relieving minor aches and pains to assistance with physical therapy after an accident; they may not realize that chiropractors are not always qualified to properly treat people’s injuries. Though chiropractors have to follow various rules and regulations required in their state as a condition of their licensure, most chiropractors lack the rigorous training received by doctors. Because they lack the expertise of a doctor, a chiropractor may push a patient’s body too far during treatment or may otherwise injure the patient as a result of malpractice.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a chiropractor, you should contact of the experienced chiropractor malpractice attorneys from Zinda Law Group by calling (800) 863-5312 as soon as possible. Your initial consultation is free, and f we are not able to win your case, you will not owe us anything.
how can a chiropractor injure you?
Similar to doctors or other professionals, chiropractors may commit malpractice that causes injuries. Typically, a chiropractor has committed malpractice if a patient was injured as a result of the failure by the chiropractor to follow the generally accepted standard of care within the chiropractic profession. If your attorney is able to prove that the chiropractor failed to meet the applicable standard of care and that this failure caused your injuries, the chiropractor may be held liable for your injuries and damages.
In order to prove the chiropractor’s liability for your injuries, your personal injury lawyer will generally need to prove how the chiropractor may have acted negligently and caused your injuries. Some common ways that victims are injured by chiropractors include:
Causing a Chiropractic Stroke
One of the most serious ways you can be injured by a chiropractor is a chiropractic stroke. These strokes generally occur when an artery to the patient’s brain ruptures or otherwise becomes blocked as a result of the manipulation of the patient’s neck by a chiropractor. When treating head or neck pain, a chiropractor may perform forceful or rapid manipulation of the neck with quick, thrusting movements, known as cervical manipulative therapy (CMT).
In some cases, this treatment may cause a cervical arterial dissection (CD) as a result of excessive manipulation from the CMT. A cervical arterial dissection refers to a separation of the layers of the arterial walls which supply oxygenated blood to the brain; this injury typically affects a victim’s upper cervical spine while involving the vertebral artery or the internal carotid artery. When these arteries suffer such tears, a blood clot can form and eventually travel to the brain where it will stop the flow of blood, eventually causing a stroke.
A chiropractic stroke is especially difficult to prove as the fault of a chiropractor because they are often not immediate and may not occur for weeks after receiving the chiropractic treatment. While the blood clot itself may form after the chiropractic treatment, it may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for the clot to actually reach the brain and cause a stroke. As a result, a personal injury attorney is often necessary to successfully link the stroke to the chiropractic treatment and prove the chiropractor should be held liable for your injuries.
Typical signs of a chiropractic stroke include:
- Sudden weakness
- Sudden tenderness in the neck
- Loss of vision
- Sudden confusion
- Sudden numbness, which may often occur on one side of the victim’s body
- Slurred speech or an inability to speak
- Loss of motor function
- Coordination or balance issues
- Inability to understand what others are saying
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms after receiving chiropractic treatment, you should call 911 immediately or go to the emergency room as soon as possible. If you fail to seek medical attention as soon as possible when you begin noticing symptoms, this delay could be fatal in some cases.
Failing to Diagnose a Medical Condition
Even though a chiropractor does not have the training or skill of a doctor, they are still treated as medical professionals and have a duty of care to their patients. A chiropractor may breach this duty of care if he or she fails to properly diagnose an underlying medical condition when treating a patient, resulting in a failure to appropriately treat any such condition. If this failure to diagnose a condition results in an injury to the patient, the chiropractor may be held liable for any resulting injuries and damages.
Failing to Obtain Informed Consent
Before providing any medical services or treatment, a chiropractor must always first obtain informed consent. The chiropractor is required to inform the patient of all relevant risks or potential side effects that may be associated with the recommended treatment. Failing to first explain the possible dangers and obtain informed consent before treating a patient, may result in the chiropractor being held liable for malpractice if the patient is injured during the treatment.
common injuries caused by chiropractors
We generally expect chiropractors to be skilled and qualified at their work, while assuming that any treatments we receive will be safe, necessary, and properly administered. Unfortunately, receiving treatment from a chiropractor does involve a series of risks, including the potential of serious injury if the chiropractor fails to provide proper care or subjects you to unnecessary treatments. Some of the most common injuries that may be caused by chiropractor malpractice include:
- Chiropractic stroke
- Slipped disks
- Other spinal cord injuries
Victims of chiropractor malpractice may suffer from chronic pain, temporary or even permanent disabilities, as well as serious medical conditions; each of these circumstances typically require significant medical treatment in attempts to counter or repair any damage caused by the chiropractor’s negligence. As a result of the need to undergo additional medical treatment, victims may suffer from extensive financial burdens in addition to their pain and suffering. Making this increased financial burden worse, the victim may also suffer a significant loss of income from missing work while seeking additional medical treatment or if the victim is unable to return to work because of their injuries.
Negotiating With the Insurance Company
One of the most crucial benefits of hiring a skilled chiropractor malpractice attorney is leveling the playing field with the chiropractor’s malpractice insurance carrier. Each case is different and generally depends on the specific nature of your injuries and how they were caused by the chiropractor.
Chiropractors typically carry malpractice insurance in the event that they negligently injure a patient. The insurance company providing this coverage will then have teams of lawyers whose jobs are based on working to make sure you receive as little compensation as possible for any malpractice claim you file against the chiropractor. By reducing the amount paid to settle any claims as much as possible, insurance companies are able to maximize their profits, even at the expense of preventing you from receiving the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.
However, our team will use their experience with personal injury lawsuits and malpractice claims to level this uneven playing field with the other party’s insurance company and their team of lawyers. Your attorney may begin the negotiation process with the insurance company, which will often include a series of steps such as:
Initial Demand Letter Before Filing Suit
Your personal injury lawyer will first generally send a demand letter to the insurance company before filing any lawsuit; this demand letter usually provides an overview of your injuries as well as how they may have been caused or worsened by the chiropractor’s negligence. Finally, the demand letter will typically conclude by making an offer to settle your claim without the need of filing a personal injury lawsuit, which would incur additional legal costs for both parties. If the insurance company refuses to settle your malpractice claim at this stage, your attorney may then file a malpractice lawsuit against the chiropractor.
Settlement Negotiations After Filing A Lawsuit
Following a thorough investigation to gather any available evidence to support your claim, your attorney may then present another initial settlement offer to the insurer. The insurance company will typically reject this initial settlement offer, often while disputing various elements such as the extent of your injuries as well as whether they were caused or worsened by the chiropractor’s negligence. Your lawyer will then respond by using evidence gathered in the investigation to prove the chiropractor’s liability for your injuries as well as by using medical records or other evidence to prove the extent of your injuries. If the insurance company agrees to a reasonable settlement offer with your attorney, your lawyer will then provide your portion of the settlement check after first withholding attorney’s fees and any applicable costs.
If the insurance company refuses to agree to a reasonable settlement offer, your attorney may take your case to trial instead. Here, your lawyer will use any evidence gathered in the investigation phase or during the discovery process to prove the extent of your injuries as well as to prove that the chiropractor’s negligence caused or worsened your injuries. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury will then decide whether the chiropractor is liable for your injuries, and if so, how much compensation you are entitled to as a result of the chiropractor’s malpractice.
CONTACT a chiropractor malpractice attorney TODAY
We often go to chiropractors to feel better, to relieve aches and pains, to loosen or reduce stiffness in various parts of our bodies, or to assist in physical therapy or regain movement in various limbs. However, not all chiropractors may be qualified to perform certain actions, and thus cause temporary or permanent injuries to the patient.
If you were injured at a chiropractor’s office, you should contact one of the experienced attorneys from Zinda Law Group as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. If you were injured as a result of the chiropractor’s negligence, you may be able to pursue a chiropractor malpractice claim to seek any compensation you are entitled to. Our skilled team has years of experience in helping other injury victims pursue the maximum compensation for their injuries and damages.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.