When you visit a healthcare provider, you expect a certain standard of care to be met that ensures your welfare will be protected. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have a duty act with care and prudence as is befitting their years of training. When they fail in that duty, they can be held legally liable for their negligence. An alternative healthcare provider such as a chiropractor is no different.
Here’s what you need to know about chiropractors and medical malpractice lawsuits, including common injuries, the damages you may be able to recover, and how to get legal help if you’ve been hurt.
Chiropractors and Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
Chiropractors are medical providers, too, and are subject to the same type of medical malpractice laws that other healthcare professionals must follow. If a chiropractor causes harm to a patient through negligence or recklessness, he or she can be held liable for damages in civil lawsuit.
One of the most common reasons for a medical malpractice lawsuit against a chiropractor is due to injuries inflicted during an appointment when the patient’s body is being manipulated as a part of treatment. The types of injuries that result from chiropractic negligence are usually a little different than those of other medical providers, since chiropractic work is so different from conventional medical practice. Some of the injuries that may be caused by negligent chiropractors include:
- Neck and back injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries.
- Nerve damage or loss of sensation.
- Herniated discs.
- Bruised or broken bones.
Another major potential liability issue for chiropractors is the risk of a stroke or CVA (cerebral vascular accident) during a treatment session, especially when neck manipulations are involved. Delicate blood vessels, such as the vertebral artery, can be damaged during the manipulation, resulting in a blood clot that can travel into the brain, causing permanent impairment or even death.
Just as with medical doctors, chiropractors may be also found legally liable for injuries if they misdiagnose a condition or fail to diagnose a condition that any other similarly trained chiropractor should have been able to spot. Chiropractic training is also limited when compared to a physician, though, so when a potential problem is spotted, a chiropractor is should refer the patient to his or her primary care doctor before engaging in treatment that could cause harm or face the risk of a lawsuit for any injuries sustained.
Recovering Damages in a Texas Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
When you file a lawsuit against a chiropractor for medical malpractice in Texas, you’re potentially able to recover the full amount of any economic damages sustained due to the injury, such as the cost of your medical bills, rehabilitation, and so on. However, Texas has decided that non-economic damages are limited in medical malpractice cases.
Non-economic damages in a medical malpractice case include things that cannot be easily quantified or stated on an invoice, such as pain, suffering, or loss of consortium. For a lawsuit against an individual practitioner or institution, the state caps these non-economic damages at $250,000; if multiple institutions are involved, the cap is $500,000. If the lawsuit involves a wrongful death, though, the amount is also $500,000 but is adjusted for inflation: currently, the wrongful death cap is around $1,600,000. Your attorney can advise you about what level of non-economic damages you may be eligible for based on the details of your case.
Get Legal Help Today
If you’ve been hurt by a chiropractor, you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries, including recovery for your medical bills, rehabilitation, lost time and wages, and more. Wayne Wright LLP has spent decades protecting the rights of patients who have suffered harm from the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of medical professionals, and we’re here for you, too. For a free, no-obligations consultation about your legal situation after a chiropractic injury, call us by phone, use our contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.