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Home > Blog > Medical Malpractice > Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim Against a Nurse, Physical Therapist, or Chiropractor?
by: NPHM | December 12, 2022

Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim Against a Nurse, Physical Therapist, or Chiropractor?

When many people hear the phrase “medical malpractice,” they think of a lawsuit filed against a doctor or surgeon. That’s because most medical malpractice claims are filed against those providers. However, they aren’t the only healthcare professionals who treat patients and who can potentially harm them due to negligent mistakes and carelessness.

However, patients aren’t always sure of their legal rights when they are harmed by medical personnel who aren’t licensed doctors or surgeons. Because of that, they may not think to file a lawsuit, as they may believe that they aren’t eligible for compensation.

If you or someone you love was harmed by a nurse, physical therapist, chiropractor, or other medical provider who doesn’t have the initials “M.D.” after their name, here’s what you need to know.

You Can Sue a Nurse for Medical Malpractice

Suing doctors or surgeons for medical malpractice is more straightforward than suing nurses. That’s because doctors and surgeons have oversight and authority over nurses, and when nurses make mistakes, the liability often falls on the doctors or surgeons who were overseeing their work.

However, nurses are also capable of making negligent and dangerous mistakes that have nothing to do with the doctors or surgeons they work alongside. For example, they may fail to perform basic tasks such as monitoring patients’ vital signs or checking on alarms when they go off in patient rooms, they may administer the wrong medication, or fail to update patients’ charts.

In these cases, nurses may be held liable for medical malpractice while the doctors or surgeons they work for won’t share any liability. However, patients may also be able to sue the hospitals or clinics the nurses work for due to a failure to properly train, supervise, or monitor the nurses whose negligence resulted in their injuries or illnesses.

You Can Sue a Physical Therapist for Medical Malpractice

Physical therapists play an important role in helping patients recover from various injuries, illnesses, and surgeries. They can speed up recoveries and even help patients return to work faster than expected or even get them back on the job when it was previously thought they were permanently disabled.

But like all healthcare providers, physical therapists can seriously harm their patients when they’re negligent. They may commit medical malpractice by:

  • Failing to inform patients of the risks of certain exercises and movements
  • Performing dangerous or unorthodox movements that injure patients
  • Performing therapy that’s beyond patients’ limits due to age or overall health condition
  • Not listening to patients’ complaints of pain or discomfort during physical therapy sessions

Patients who are harmed due to negligent physical therapists can face a wide range of complications, including torn ligaments and muscles, nerve damage, broken bones, worsening pain, and even spinal cord injuries.

You Can Sue a Chiropractor for Medical Malpractice

Some patients experiencing back, neck, or joint pain seek the help of chiropractors to alleviate their symptoms and improve their mobility. However, some studies indicate that chiropractic adjustments and treatments can put patients at risk of injuries and even death.

Like physical therapists, chiropractors can be used for medical malpractice when their negligence results in their patients suffering preventable harm, including injury or other health complications. For example, they may be held liable if they:

  • Fail to diagnose a serious medical condition: Chiropractors often take X-rays of patients’ spines to look for signs of misalignment. If a chiropractor notices a tumor or other cause of back pain that can’t be treated with a chiropractic adjustment but treats the patient anyway or fails to tell the patient or their doctor about the problem, they can be held liable for malpractice.
  • Injure a patient during an adjustment or treatment: Chiropractors must err on the side of caution when treating patients. When they treat patients too aggressively, they put them at risk of suffering damage to their muscles, tendons, and spinal cords. In some cases, chiropractic treatment can result in serious health problems such as paralysis or stroke.

Contact Us if You Suspect a Healthcare Provider Harmed You

Whether they’re a doctor, surgeon, nurse, physical therapist, chiropractor, or any other healthcare provider, medical professionals are supposed to do their jobs as carefully and safely as possible. When they don’t, serious injuries and complications can occur.

If you or someone you love was harmed by a healthcare provider, even if they aren’t a doctor or surgeon, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact the Ohio medical malpractice lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy today for a free consultation. We want to help your family get the money you need to move forward with your lives.

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