Chiropractors use spinal adjustments and other procedures to realign bones and joints to reduce pain and restore motion. They are often hired by car accident victims who are recovering from a wreck. In rare cases, a chiropractor can cause an injury or exacerbate a condition. You can sue a chiropractor for a spinal or neck injury in Maryland.
Like any other medical professional, chiropractors can fail patients and cause serious injuries and deaths. Although we often associate medical malpractice with surgical errors, it can be committed by chiropractors, physiotherapists or others who perform non-invasive procedures. Lawsuits against chiropractors in Maryland are relatively rare but they do occur.
As with any other medical malpractice lawsuit, you should talk to a Baltimore spine injury lawyer about suing a chiropractor in Maryland. You will likely struggle to make a case without the help of a legal professional.
What Can a Chiropractor Be Held Liable For?
Few people fully understand what chiropractors do. They graduate as doctors of chiropractic degrees but they are not medical doctors. Although they do not hold medical degrees, the notion that chiropractors in Maryland or elsewhere are inadequately trained is a myth. They undergo an extensive four-year chiropractic program, states Medical News Today. They concentrate on treating joint, muscle or bone pain. They concentrate treatment on the neck and the back but may treat other areas.
Chiropractors are not primary care providers. If you are seeking chiropractic treatment for a car accident spinal injury or another accident injury, you should use chiropractic treatment in tandem with other medical help and keep your doctor in the loop. Some chiropractors even treat patients off the street without appointments on a ‘walk-in’ basis. Unlike other medical doctors, chiropractors don’t prescribe medication. They follow a more alternative approach. Some of the treatments a chiropractor may recommend include the following:
- Adjustments – Chiropractors gently realign joints to increase their patients’ range of motion.
- Soft tissue therapy – Chiropractic treatment can relax a patient’s tight muscles to release tension in the connective tissues around the muscles.
- Joint bracing or taping – This treatment is intended to support muscles and sprained joints as they heal.
- Stretches and exercises – a chiropractor can recommend an exercise regime that restores a patient’s range of motion.
Although most people who seek out chiropractors receive neck or back treatment, a chiropractor will look at the musculoskeletal system as a whole and consider whether all of the joints are working. They may treat pain in the head and the jaws, the elbows, the wrists, or the shoulders. Many headaches are caused by jaw tension. Chiropractors can also ensure feet joints are working properly.
Most chiropractic procedures are performed correctly and help the person who sought treatment. If you suffer complications you may end up wondering if you can sue a chiropractor for a spinal or a neck injury in Maryland. Speak with our Baltimore personal injury lawyer for help.
Types of Spine or Neck Injuries Caused by Chiropractors in Maryland
Some potential complications associated with chiropractic adjustments are listed by the Mayo Clinic. They include:
- A herniated disc or aggravation of an existing herniation.
- Compression of the nerves in the lower spinal column;
- A stroke, (known as a cerebral artery dissection) following neck manipulation.
An article in Self highlighted the dangers of cervical manipulation. It described the case of a chiropractor who tore a critical artery in a patient’s neck causing a stroke. A doctor at the Montefiore Medical Center said he sees about two such cases a year due to the actions of chiropractors.
The article highlighted the work of Victims of Irresponsible Chiropractic Education and Standards (VOICES), an advocacy group made up of the families of more than 60 victims of chiropractic stroke. Five of them died from chiropractic malpractice.
How Often do Chiropractors Cause Strokes in Patients?
Dr. Richard Senelick wrote about the potential links between chiropractic manipulation and strokes in the Huffington Post in 2012. He noted while strokes caused by neck and spinal manipulation are very rare, the risk/benefit ratio should be considered.
People who visit chiropractors often seek relief from a nagging headache or annoying neck pain. However, you are being exposed to a treatment with potentially severe side effects. The research suggests strokes and other serious side effects from chiropractic treatments are more prevalent in young, healthy adults. It’s challenging to “predict precisely which of these individuals will have a serious side effect,” he wrote.
Proving Negligence to Sue a Chiropractor for Injuries in Maryland
If you suffer serious health effects after a visit to the chiropractor, talk to a doctor as soon as possible. Many specialists are aware of the dangers of certain procedures barred out by chiropractors. Ask if the chiropractor caused or exacerbated a condition.
Get treated for your injuries and receive an assessment about the medical challenges you face. Talk to a Maryland personal injury lawyer. Medical malpractice cases of this kind are intricate and require specialist knowledge of chiropractic procedures.
To win a case, the patient must show the chiropractor failed to adhere to acceptable standards of care shown by other qualified medical professionals. This is not always easy to prove. Your attorney will likely need to call on the services of medical experts.
Insurance is another potential problem in these cases. Not every chiropractor holds malpractice insurance. Maryland does not require chiropractors to hold this insurance. These claims may be challenging to pursue.
Your attorney will obtain all of your medical records from doctors and hospitals to determine if you have a case against a chiropractor in Maryland. Your lawyers work closely with doctors and medical experts. In medical malpractice cases, it’s important to establish the injuries would likely not have occurred if your chiropractor, or another medical professional, had not committed malpractice.
Talk to Our Baltimore Spine and Neck Injury Lawyer About Suing Your Chiropractor
Spinal or neck injuries are the most likely consequences of poor treatment by a chiropractor. In rare cases, another injury may have occurred. The fact you suffered a herniated disc or even a stoke after an adjustment does not give you a watertight case against a chiropractor. You must prove negligence on the part of the doctor. It’s difficult to do this without the help of an attorney. Talk to the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today about chiropractic malpractice in Maryland at 410-431-0911.