Most people visit a chiropractor for pain relief or to help them increase their body’s range of functional motion. Patients might utilize chiropractic treatment to help them recover after surgery or to avoid surgery altogether.

Unfortunately, chiropractic treatment can result in severe injury in some cases. If your health has suffered because of a chiropractor’s negligence, a compassionate medical malpractice attorney could help you seek compensation for your injuries. Speak with a Newburgh chiropractic malpractice lawyer as soon as you realize that something has gone wrong.

Chiropractors Have Limited License

A chiropractor is a licensed medical provider. To receive a license in New York, an applicant must complete at least two years of university and four years of chiropractic college with a satisfactory grade point average. They also must pass a state licensing exam.

Chiropractors are trained medical professionals and may call themselves “Dr.” but their qualifications are not equivalent to a medical doctor’s. According to New York Education Law § 6551, a chiropractor is qualified to use their hands, or a mechanical or electrical device, to correct misalignment or distortion of the spine to remove nerve interference. A chiropractor may use scores of techniques, but they cannot diagnose or treat disease, prescribe medication, practice surgery, or provide other treatments.

Chiropractors believe that spinal misalignment can cause or contribute to a range of conditions. Patients might seek treatment from chiropractors for back or neck pain, headaches, numbness in the extremities, shoulder pain, leg pain, muscle spasms, and other symptoms that could be related to spinal misalignment.

Defining Chiropractic Negligence

In a personal injury lawsuit, the injured person must prove another person negligent. When the defendant is a medical professional, a plaintiff proves negligence by showing that the defendant did not adhere to the prevailing standard of care. A Newburgh malpractice lawyer must show that the chiropractor did not exercise the same knowledge and skill that a typical chiropractor in the Hudson Valley would have provided in a similar situation.

Patients who believe they might have a malpractice claim against a chiropractor must recognize that they cannot hold the chiropractor to the same standard as a medical doctor. However, they could sue a chiropractor for not recognizing when a condition required referral to a medical doctor or for causing injury through their treatments. A patient could bring a lawsuit alleging chiropractic malpractice if the practitioner:

  • Failed to diagnose a condition that required medical intervention
  • Performed a manipulation or other treatment without obtaining informed consent
  • Caused a herniated disk resulting from a manipulation
  • Inflicted nerve damage through a manipulation
  • Performed a treatment or manipulation outside their scope of practice
  • Induced a stroke in a patient resulting from a ruptured artery

In most cases, the law allows injured patients only 30 months to bring a malpractice lawsuit against their chiropractor. However, exceptions to the law might offer plaintiffs more time in certain cases.

Compensation in a Chiropractic Malpractice Case

When a plaintiff proves that their injury resulted from a chiropractor’s negligent treatment, they are entitled to compensation for their injury-related losses. These losses fit into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages. New York places no caps on the amount of economic or non-economic damages an individual could collect.

Economic damages are losses that have a readily ascertainable value. If a botched adjustment caused a back injury that required surgery, damages could cover all the associated expenses, as well as incidental expenses, medical equipment like walkers or canes, and the costs of household help. If the injury kept the plaintiff from work, damages could cover their lost wages.

Non-economic damages compensate for the intangible effects of the injury, which do not have a fixed value, such as a plaintiff’s disability, embarrassment, pain, inability to enjoy favorite activities, and other subjective impacts of the injury. A Newburgh chiropractor malpractice attorney could present testimony from the plaintiff and their family members to establish the extent of a plaintiff’s non-economic damages.

Work With a Newburgh Chiropractic Malpractice Attorney to Seek Justice

If you developed a severe injury because of a chiropractor’s negligence, you deserve payment for the harm they caused. A Newburgh chiropractic malpractice lawyer understands this complicated area of law and could get you the financial help that you need. Call today to work with a dedicated legal professional.