Doctor ordered chiropractic treatment without an MRI...
by Anonymous (USA)
My wife injured her neck and back at work. Her workmans compensation company denied coverage for an MRI and the doctor scheduled chiropractic care at the request of workers comp. My wife finally had an MRI a year later and it showed she has bulging discs at her C3, C4, and C5. She has numbness on her right side and swelling on her right side that hasn't gone away since the accident.
Is it malpractice for a doctor to schedule chiropractic care on a patient with a neck injury without ordering an MRI first? Is the workers comp company negligent for denying the MRI in the first place?
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.
ANSWER for "Doctor ordered chiropractic treatment without an MRI...":
You may have the basis if a malpractice claim, especially if the doctor's failure to order an MRI resulted in your having to endure unnecessary pain and suffering for a year. If at the time you saw him you made it clear your neck and back were causing pain, it is arguable a reasonable action for your doctor would have been to order an MRI.
In addition, you may have the basis of a "bad faith" insurance claim against the workman's compensation insurance company. Their failure to provide you with the medical treatment you required can be evidence of bad faith, especially if you made your pain obvious.
True bad faith insurance claims can result in substantial jury awards to victims. The jury can assess damages for the pain and suffering you unnecessarily endured and an additional amount as punitive damages.
Medical malpractice and bad faith insurance claims should always be pursued by an attorney. Your next step should be to visit with one at your earliest convenience. Most won't charge for an initial office consultation. And if an attorney accepts your case you won't have to pay any money in advance, or during the time of the representation. The attorneys fees will come out of any settlement or court verdict against the insurance company and the doctor.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.