Chiropractic care can have many health benefits when dealing with an injury or general wear and tear of the body. They can help with chronic pain, lack of energy, digestive problems, muscle aches, and other symptoms. But seeing a chiropractor after an injury can sometimes lead to more harm than good. They can make mistakes that hurt your personal injury case or even cause further physical damage.
While seeing a chiropractor may be necessary for some cases because they can help determine the extent of the damage, the current effects of the injuries, the potential outcomes, and the long-term impact. They can be beneficial in personal injury cases and help attorneys by providing insight into the extent and long-term implications of the body’s physical damages.
However, chiropractors can also become your worst nightmare when dealing with medical bills and records. Some chiropractors can charge extremely high fees, make mistakes in your diagnosis, or inflate the price of your personal injury claim; insurance companies are more than willing to use this against you. In worst-case scenarios, they can even make your injury worse. By a mistaken diagnosis or misunderstanding of your condition, their treatments could be more harmful than beneficial.
Personal Injury Cases Where Chiropractors can Help
- Motor vehicle accidents: A motor vehicle accident can cause injury in virtually any part of the body, depending on the impact and severity of the collision.
- Medical malpractice: Medical malpractice is defined as an act or omission by a physician during the treatment of a patient that shifts from accepted standards of procedure in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient.
- Product liability: Products containing inherent defects that cause harm to a consumer (or someone to whom the product was loaned, given, etc.) of the product would be the subjects of products liability suits.
- Premises liability: A personal injury case caused by an unsafe or defective condition on someone’s property, such as spills on the floor, slip and falls, hazardous construction zones, defective building or sidewalk, inadequate building security, or toxic fumes and chemicals.
- Brain injury: Brain injuries are mild injuries like concussions to more severe brain injuries causing permanent damage to a victim.
Many insurance policies cover chiropractic care. The jury may assume that the treatment was necessary because the plaintiff received it, but how can we know if it was really needed. Unfortunately, chiropractors frequently make mistakes that can cause harm in personal injury cases.
Mistakes cost time and money; mistakes can even play with someone’s path to recovery or the compensation they will receive in chiropractic personal injury cases.
Common Mistakes Chiropractors Make in Personal Injury Cases
A chiropractic office’s record-keeping errors can make your personal injury case challenging to prove. For example, misdiagnosing an injury or mislabeling pain due to injury as chronic instead of acute can confuse the jury. Chiropractors may also treat the patient for injuries not related to your case; insurance companies can and will take advantage of these mistakes to use against you in court.
Common Record-Keeping Mistakes
Typos are typographical errors made in medical records. The biggest concern about typos is a discrepancy between what is in the official record and what the actuality is. For example, typos on the date of the injury, if the date is mistaken in the official record, it is tough to discredit it as the truth.
- Incorrect records/Data discrepancies
A few years ago, the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported that as many as 94% of chiropractic records are missing or inadequately present key elements, evaluation, a treatment plan, medical necessity, or contraindications treatment.
- Billing errors
Some of the most common billing errors include not sending out the bills regularly and not keeping track of accounts. If a chiropractor fails to enter a statement in their system, there will be no proof of treatment, ultimately affecting claims made in a personal injury case. Other billing errors include not having a solution for billing errors or billing templates that standardize the services of the specific chiropractor.
- Generic records (copy and paste)
This one is huge for insurance companies since they can argue that the chiropractor cares more about making a big bill than personalizing the treatment of the injured. Generic records consist of copying and pasting the same history, examination, assessment, and plan sections into the records for each service date. Records should show the plaintiff’s real progress and injuries, not a generic report that anyone could download from the internet.
Ways People are Injured by Chiropractors
First, it is essential to understand that a chiropractor is a healthcare professional who cares for a patient’s neuromusculoskeletal system, including the bones, nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. A chiropractor helps manage back and neck pain by spinal adjustments to maintain proper alignment.
Chiropractors are especially helpful when dealing with personal injuries since they focus on maintaining current and the healing and treatment of both acute and chronic pain. For the most part, it is a very safe and beneficial practice.
However, some severe complications can be associated with chiropractic adjustments, primarily when preexisting conditions exist like those that may be related to your personal injury claim. Occasionally patients have sustained injuries after seeing a chiropractor. Overly aggressive treatments can lead to injuries, and it is especially not recommended for people with preexisting spinal issues, such as spinal cord or nerve compression. There are possible risks with these aggressive treatments in the neck or spine.
The Most Common Injuries
Common chiropractic injuries include:
- Herniated disk or worsening of a disk herniation
A herniated disk is also a slipped, ruptured, or bulging disk. It’s one of the most frequent causes of neck, back, and leg pain. It is an injury to the spine that worsens when the injured is not at rest.
- Compression of nerves in the lower spinal column
Generally, the spine protects the spinal cord, but specific injuries and conditions may put pressure (compress) on the lower spinal column, disrupting its normal function. This injury can result from a herniated disk caused or made worse by chiropractic treatment.
- A type of stroke after neck manipulation
High-velocity neck manipulation can result in a vertebral artery dissection, leading to a stroke. While rare, the risk of this happening should be kept in mind for individuals already at high risk for strokes.
How Chiropractic Adjustments Cause Damage
All of the injuries mentioned before can damage a person’s health and risk developing even more severe disorders or injuries. Experts recommend avoiding chiropractic treatments if you have certain preexisting medical conditions.
Severe osteoporosis: Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and breakable, and a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture.
Numbness, tingling, or loss of strength in a body part: A common symptom associated with several conditions ranging from neurological damage to sensory-related disorders.
Spine cancer: Spine cancer consists of abnormal cell growth in the spinal canal or the spine’s vertebrae that forms a malignant tumor(s); experts do not recommend undergoing chiropractic treatment with this condition.
Increased risk of stroke: Some indicators of an increased risk of stroke include high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, high blood cholesterol levels, heavy drinking, a diet high in salt and fat, and a lack of exercise. It is also more likely that you could suffer again from another stroke if you have already suffered from a stroke.
How an Attorney Can Help You
When a chiropractor has injured a person, they can file for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice is defined as an act or omission by a physician during the treatment of a patient that shifts from accepted standards of procedure in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient. Medical malpractice is a specific subset of tort law that deals with professional negligence with a statute of limitations of two years.
Negligence is essentially when a person lacks care or acts without it and causes harm to another person. The negligence law requires the person to compensate the person injured due to his omission to act. To achieve monetary compensation for injury related to medical negligence, a patient ought to prove that substandard medical care resulted in an injury.
Evidence for medical malpractice can become a tricky situation. A patient must demonstrate medical negligence on the part of their healthcare provider. To show negligence and support your case, you need to collect medical records and other relevant evidence. These documents can be notes, test results, prescriptions, consultation records, or evaluations.
Medical malpractice is one of the most dangerous types of personal injury; it can affect the overall health in the short-term, long-term, or even permanent cases. Contact the offices of Trent Law Firm, P.C., today to discuss your case and how our experienced personal injury attorneys may be able to help. Call (866) 599-8601 for a confidential consultation.