Can I Sue My Chiropractor for Negligence?
If you live in California, there is a good chance that you have turned to a chiropractor for help healing an injury, pain, or discomfort at least once. We put a great deal of trust in chiropractors to perform adjustments and manipulations. When done well, the effects can bring relief from pain. When done negligently, however, these procedures can cause serious injuries such as herniated disks, spinal cord injuries, whiplash, soft tissue injuries, and even aneurysms. If you have suffered a serious injury or complication as a result of chiropractic care, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover for your injuries and the damages you have suffered before the statute of limitations expires.
When is a Chiropractor Negligent?
A chiropractor is not a medical doctor, but they can still be sued for negligence and professional misconduct. It is important to understand that just because there is an injury does not mean that it warrants a lawsuit. In order to have standing to bring a personal injury claim, your chiropractor must have negligently or intentionally caused your injury. For instance, some injuries are unavoidable as the chiropractic procedures involve an inherent amount of risk. Some injuries may also have been bound to occur even though the procedure was performed carefully and correctly.
A good way to know whether a chiropractor has been negligent is by looking at how another chiropractor would have acted in their position. If another similarly situated chiropractor placed in the same set of circumstances would not have acted like your chiropractor acted, then that weighs in favor of finding your chiropractor negligent. For example, it would be negligent for a chiropractor to treat patients while intoxicated, to ignore procedure guidelines, or to perform a procedure without reviewing a patient’s medical history, as another similarly situated chiropractor would not perform those actions if put in the same situation.
Can I Sue My Chiropractor?
If you suffered an injury as a result of your chiropractor’s negligent conduct, you may have standing to bring a lawsuit. In order to do so, you will have to establish that you suffered an actual injury which can be substantiated by both physical and financial harm. You can prove this by providing medical bills and evidence of lost wages if you needed to miss work as a result of your injuries. Medical records will be used to prove the injury. In some cases, it can be difficult to prove that the chiropractor caused additional harm, as patients generally came to them with an existing injury. However, even if you had an existing injury when you sought chiropractic care, the chiropractor is liable if their negligence caused your injury to become worse in any way.
Seeking medical care as soon as possible after the injury and expressing any discomfort or symptoms will help to substantiate your claim. If you are unsure whether you have a claim against your chiropractor, schedule a consultation with a personal injury attorney who can review the facts of your claim and determine whether you are likely to succeed in bringing a personal injury lawsuit.
Damages for a Chiropractor Lawsuit
You may be wondering whether it is worth the time, effort, and emotional stress of bringing a personal injury lawsuit against your chiropractor. A personal injury lawsuit exists to make a victim of someone else’s negligence financially whole again in the wake of an accident. For this reason, if you suffered only minimal financial damages, a lawsuit is likely not worth your time. However, if you incurred substantial medical bills, had to miss a significant period of work, or will be unable to return to working at the same level or position as a result of your injury, you will likely benefit from bringing a lawsuit. A personal injury lawsuit will allow you to recover all expenses incurred as a result of your injury. This includes all medical bills and expenses, costs for medication, transportation to and from medical appointments, and lost wages, in addition to anticipated future costs if treatment will need to be ongoing.
You are also able to receive compensation for pain and suffering, which is meant to compensate for the physical and emotional harm caused by the accident. This is generally calculated based on your economic damages and the permanence and severity of your injury. The more severe and longer lasting your injury is, the higher your damages will be. In some cases, where the chiropractor’s behavior was especially egregious or malicious, you may also be entitled to punitive damages. Unlike other damages, punitive damages are intended to punish the negligent party for their behavior and to discourage others from acting similarly.
Contact Mary Alexander Law in San Francisco, California
If you have been seriously injured due to a negligent chiropractor in the Bay Area, Mary Alexander Law is ready to fight to get you the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve. Contact Mary Alexander Law in San Francisco, California to schedule a consultation today.