Back pain is a common ailment, and many people who suffer from back and neck pain will seek treatment from a chiropractor. Chiropractic adjustments are meant to offer relief, but unfortunately, in some instances, an improper adjustment will worsen an injury or cause a new condition to develop. Although some people believe only medical doctors can be held liable for malpractice, chiropractors and other healthcare providers can be held accountable for any harm they cause as well. If you suffered an injury due to negligent care rendered by a chiropractor, it is sensible to speak with legal counsel to discuss whether you may be able to pursue a claim for damages. The knowledgeable Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of the Arfaa Law Group can assess the facts of your case and advise you of your options for seeking recourse for your harm.Harm Caused by Chiropractic Care
Chiropractors typically adjust or manipulate their patients’ spines. If an adjustment is not performed correctly, however, it can cause grave injuries, such as herniated discs, nerve damage, compression of nerves, and fractures. A negligently performed adjustment can also exacerbate existing neck or back pain. Patients can also suffer a reduction or loss in their ability to control their bladder or bowels, facial paralysis, and vertigo.
In some cases, an improperly performed manipulation can cause a patient’s artery to rupture, which ultimately can lead to a stroke. The stroke may not occur for days or weeks after the chiropractic treatment, however. Thus, it is critical for people who believe they have been harmed by chiropractic malpractice to maintain accurate records of their treatment and symptoms. A seasoned medical malpractice attorney can help you gather the appropriate evidence in support of your claims.Proving a Chiropractor Committed Malpractice
Although chiropractors are defined as healthcare providers by Maryland law, a chiropractor does not have to have a medical degree. Rather, they must have a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, undergo testing, and obtain a chiropractor license. Thus, as with medical doctors, there is an established standard of care that chiropractors must adhere to when they treat patients, and they can be held liable for malpractice if they deviate from that standard.
Generally, a person pursuing a chiropractic malpractice claim will assert that the chiropractor was negligent, and the negligence caused the person’s harm. To prove a chiropractor should be held liable for negligence, the person must demonstrate the standard of care that applies. Typically, this is done through expert testimony regarding what care a competent chiropractor with the same skills and experience would render in a similar situation. That person must then prove that the chiropractor departed from the standard of care and that the departure was the proximate cause of his or her injury, which means that the person must show that the injury would not have occurred if the chiropractor had not deviated from the standard of care.
In many cases, a chiropractor defending against a malpractice claim will argue that the harm alleged was caused by a pre-existing condition or another factor. Thus, expert testimony is usually required to link a chiropractor’s inadequate care to a person’s harm as well.Damages Recoverable in a Chiropractic Malpractice Case
If you suffered injuries due to a chiropractor's incompetent care, you can pursue compensation for your economic and noneconomic harm. Economic harm consists of the cost of any medical treatment you had to undergo for your injuries, including any hospitalizations, surgeries, and therapy, as well as any assistive devices or out of pocket costs. If you were unable to earn an income because of your injuries, you may also be awarded compensation for your lost earnings. Noneconomic harm generally refers to the pain and suffering you experienced due to your injuries. Additionally, if you were married when your injury occurred, your spouse may also be able to pursue damages.Meet with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Baltimore
If you were injured by a negligent chiropractor, you can meet with an attorney to discuss what damages you may be able to recover in a malpractice lawsuit. The diligent malpractice attorneys of the Arfaa Law Group in Baltimore have the skills and experience required to help you pursue your claim, and we will tirelessly pursue any compensation you may be owed. You can contact us via our online form or at 410-889-1850 to set up a conference to discuss your case.