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What Are the Rights of Patients Injured by Chiropractic Adjustments?

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Throughout California and the United States, getting chiropractic care has long been viewed as a relatively safe treatment for back and neck problems as well as certain other ailments. According to The Huffington Post, however, experts in the British Medical Journal suggest that there may be some significant risks to chiropractic care. The article cited a study conducted at the Centre for Research and Rehabilitation at Brunel University that linked chiropractic adjustments to neurovascular complications, including blood clots and stoke.

“Given the prevalence of chiropractic care as a treatment for back and neck pain, it is important for patients to understand the risks of such care, as well as their rights should an injurious outcome occur,” explained California personal injury lawyer James Ballidis.


Chiropractic Malpractice

If a chiropractic manipulation does cause a stroke or another adverse complication, it is possible that the doctor who provided your care did not perform the technique correctly or otherwise did not take appropriate safety measures to ensure that you would not be injured as a result of undergoing chiropractic therapy.

If your stroke or other adverse reaction was caused by your chiropractor treating you in an improper manner, you may have a claim for medical malpractice against the doctor who provided you with care. Like medical doctors, doctors of chiropractic are obligated to provide a reasonably competent level of care. In addition, like medical doctors, doctors of chiropractic carry medical malpractice insurance. As such, if you suffer an injury, you may file a civil lawsuit to hold your chiropractor responsible.

To be successful in a civil action against your chiropractor, you must prove that he or she treated you with a level of care below what a reasonable professional with his or her medical training would have provided. You must also demonstrate that the poor care provided by the chiropractor was the direct cause of injury or harm. Expert testimony linking the chiropractic care and the stroke or other complication can be helpful, as can conclusive results from studies, such as those conducted by the Centre For Research and Rehabilitation at Brunel University linking spinal manipulations and stroke.

If you are able to successfully demonstrate a link between negligent chiropractic care and a medical problem that developed, your chiropractor will be obligated to pay for medical costs arising from injuries he or she caused. Damages for lost income or wages will also be paid to you if your injuries caused you to miss work. Under California law, you may recover compensation for non-economic damages as well, up to a $250,000 limit imposed on compensatory damages in medical malpractice claims. The opportunity to recover compensation for chiropractic injuries allows you to be made whole after a chiropractic injury, and victims will be able to recover either through negotiating a settlement with the malpractice insurance carrier or by proving their case in court.

Additional information on this and other civil law issues is available to the public free of charge through our office’s Preferred Friends and Clients Program.

If you would like to request one of these free resources, or to speak with a California personal injury lawyer, feel free to call 866-981-5596.

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