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What is Acupuncturist Malpractice?

May 31, 2016 | Medical Malpractice

Alternative medicine is becoming increasingly popular among Americans for the treatment of various medical problems. Once considered a radical form of treatment, acupuncture is becoming an option in mainstream medicine. It is estimated 10% of Americans have tried acupuncture and that more than 1/3 would consider trying this form of treatment. Additionally, nearly 50% of physicians in the country have either referred patients to acupuncturists or would be willing to make such a referral.

Acupuncturist malpractice occurs when an acupuncturist does not practice within the accepted standards of acupuncture and the patient gets injured as a result. In some states, an acupuncturist is considered a primary care professional and is held to the same standards as any other primary care practitioner.

Liability

There are two ways that an acupuncturist can be liable for medical malpractice: through commissions and through omissions.

  • Commissions – A commission is when an action is taken, or something is done. For a commission to be labelled as malpractice, the acupuncturist must have done something to the victim and that action must have caused the patient to suffer some injury. Common examples include medical needles being inserted too deep or even a needle breaking inside a patient, resulting in injury.
  • Omissions – An omission is a failure to do something that one is supposed to. Common examples of omissions that can be considered acupuncturist malpractice are failing to diagnose a condition or missing a diagnosis. Failing to refer a patient is also an omission. For instance, if an acupuncturist finds out that a patient has cancer, it will be considered as a malpractice if he fails to refer that patient to the appropriate doctor.

Standard of Care for an Acupuncturist

In an acupuncturist malpractice case, the standard of care is the level of care that would be expected of a reasonably skilled acupuncturist.

How to Prove Acupuncturist Malpractice

Just like medical malpractice, proving acupuncturist malpractice can be very challenging. The following elements will need to be proven:

  • Standard of Care – You will need to establish what standard of care the acupuncturist should have followed. It is likely that this will require testimony from an expert witness, usually another acupuncturist.
  • Breach – You will need to prove that the standard of care was breached by the acupuncturist. This is done by showing that the acupuncturist did not act the way that other reasonably skilled and able acupuncturists would have under similar circumstances.
  • Causation – This means that you will need to prove that by breaching the standard of care, the acupuncturist caused you harm or injury.
  • Damages – It is necessary that you are injured in some or the other. Even if it is clear that your acupuncturist was negligent, you cannot file a malpractice suit if you did not suffer some type of damage.

If you have an acupuncturist malpractice case, it is important to get an experienced attorney to represent you in court as pursuing a malpractice claim may get complicated and end up being a very difficult process. An experienced attorney will know the nitty-gritties and minute details of the malpractice laws in your state. This will allow him to give you appropriate advice and counsel on how to pursue your claim.

RMFW Law Delivers the Goods

If you or a loved has been injured by an acupuncturist, you should immediately seek the help of a dedicated and proven medical malpractice attorney at Rosenberg, Minc, Falloff, & Wolff of RMFW Law at 212 697 9280. You can discuss the facts of your case during this free consultation. Is your case viable? Give us call!

We know how a case should start. We know how to build a solid case. We know what it takes to overcome the legal obstacles that stand in our way so we can satisfy our clients who need to be made financially whole again. We know what legal doors to open and when to open them. RMFW Law has been around the block before; we know what it takes to convince the other side to settle. We are only paid when you are paid.