People know that when they’re treated by a healthcare physician, and the physician makes a mistake due to negligence, they can sue for medical malpractice if they are injured. However, people may not know that they may also be able to sue providers of alternative medicine. Given the increased popularity of alternative medicine and herbal supplements, alternative medicine malpractice is on the rise.
Exactly what constitutes “alternative medicine” is still developing in the law. But those questions should not keep victims of alternative medicine malpractice from recovering compensation for their injuries.
The variety of alternative medicine available today may surprise you. Must people are familiar with Chiropractors, but other alternative practitioners may include Massage Therapists, Acupuncturists, Herbalists, Naturopaths, Homeopaths, and Holistic Healers. You may also see traditional medical physicians incorporating alternative medicine into their regular practice. For example, a doctor that prescribes non-FDA approved medications, supplements, or treatments.
We reccommend that you use caution when pursuing any alternative medicine treatments. You should have a clear understanding what your treating physician will do for you. Then make sure they keep you fully informed of the risks posed by treatments and supplements.
Failure to Refer Patients to a Traditional Doctor:
A common claim for malpractice against an alternative practitioner is the practitioner’s failure to refer a patient to a traditional doctor or specialist. For example, if a chiropractor were to discover a cancerous mole during your treatment, and not discuss visiting a skin cancer specialist with you, that could be the basis alternative medicine malpractice.
Another cause for malpractice claims are procedures gone awry. For example, if an acupuncturist’s technique causes nerve damage or organ damage. Likewise, if a procedure is performed with un-sterilized equipment that leads to infection or transmission of disease, this could be malpractice. Recently in the news was a Texas woman who saw an acupuncturist in Arlington, Texas. She was on the treatment table with needles in her body because the acupuncturist forgot about her and went home. The patient had to pull out the needles and call 911. There is no end to the types of claims that may arise against alternative practitioners.
Filing an Alternative Medicine Malpractice Claim in Oklahoma:
If you believe you may have a claim due to an alternative medicine injury in Oklahoma, you need to discuss your case with an Oklahoma attorney experienced in personal injury and medical malpractice claims. Some important factors your attorney will need to review with you include whether the practitioner held a license in Oklahoma, and whether or not they have malpractice insurance. Even if a malpractice case is not appropriate, you may have other personal injury claims.
Lawsuits relating to alternative medicine are as involved as typical medical malpractice claims. Especially if the practitioner is not required to be licensed. Alternative medicine standards of care are more complex. Thus, it is likely more difficult to prove a breach of the standard of care. Proving breach of a duty is important in personal injury cases. A skillful personal injury attorney can learn about your injuries and investigate your case to uncover any legal duties breached and formulate a cause of action to maximize your claim.