Most people visit a chiropractor to relieve pain or as a part of therapeutic care. In most cases, the care is beneficial and ultimately solves a problem the patient has. Unfortunately, some chiropractors can exacerbate a problem and cause further injury. If this happens to you, you could have some legal recourse.
The following are some things you should consider if you intend to file a personal injury lawsuit against your chiropractor if he or she causes you injury.
What Types of Injuries Can a Chiropractor Cause?
The job of the chiropractor is to adjust the spine to help relieve pain and pressure or to correct spinal alignment. Examples of chiropractic injury includes broken ribs, nerve damage, vertigo, neck pain, and herniated and slipped discs.
A chiropractor could also induce a stroke if he or she does not manipulate a patient properly. Done incorrectly, spinal manipulations can rupture or block the arteries leading to the brain. Blood clots can form, cutting off the flow of oxygen to the brain, thus resulting in a stroke.
A chiropractor also can cause injury by failing to properly diagnose a patient’s condition. A chiropractor, just like other medical providers, are required to warn patients of potential medical conditions, regardless if they provide the treatment.
If you have a pain in your back that is not alleviated by chiropractic manipulations, you could have a hidden medical issue, such as a tumor or blocked artery. Your chiropractor has a duty of care to inform you that your problem could need more than chiropractic care and urge you to seek treatment from your doctor. If not, he or she could be held liable for injuries.
Another issue is a lack of informed consent. Before your chiropractic care begins, the chiropractor has a duty provide you with all the risks associated with the treatment. Informed consent allows you to make an informed decision. If informed consent does not happen, the chiropractor can be held liable for injuries.
How Do You Begin a Lawsuit Against a Chiropractor?
To get the process started, you need to begin collecting information and evidence as quickly as possible. Your attorney will review your evidence to determine whether or not a potential lawsuit has merit.
Some of the information your lawyer will need includes your medical and chiropractic records, the names and information of all practitioners who have treated you, your medical bills, a narrative of your condition, your health prior to the injury, and the severity and location of your pain.
What Type of Compensation Can You Expect?
If your personal injury lawsuit is successful, you can expect to receive compensation for your non-economic and economic losses. The goal of compensation is to make you financially whole and in the same position had you not been injured by the chiropractor.
Economic injuries are those you can measure with bills and financial statements. This includes payment for your medical care, rehabilitation and therapy, lost wages, and the like. You can also be compensated you for future financial losses if your injury results in permanent disability.
Always maintain copies of your receipts and bills and provide them to your attorney. You also need to provide proof of income to your attorney to demonstrate how much you would normally make; this helps determine how much compensation you will receive for lost wages and lost future wages. A recent pay stub or copies of invoices will suffice.
Non-economic damages consist of losses that are difficult to quantify, but deserve financial compensation. Examples include physical pain and suffering, depression, anxiety, irritability, loss of sex drive, insomnia, loss of personal care, and the like.
Your compensation is determined based on your personal circumstances, so it is difficult to state exactly how much you can expect to be paid. The decision on compensation will depend on various factors, including the severity of your injury as well as the precision of your documentation of pain and suffering.
If you need assistance with your personal injury case, please contact us at St. Martin & Bourque Attorneys at Law .