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Are Chiropractors Subject to Medical Malpractice Law in Illinois?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Many patients in Chicago seek chiropractic treatment each year. For some patients, however, Chiropractic treatment leads to injury, or even death.

These cases leave many patients and their families wondering if they can file a medical malpractice claim for chiropractic service or other forms of alternative care in Chicago. Illinois law does allow patients to pursue a legal case against a chiropractor who causes injury or death because of a negligent act or omission.

The Role of a Chiropractor

Chiropractors are medical professionals who diagnose and treat neuromuscular disorders. Though many chiropractors reduce pain and improve mobility through chiropractic manipulation, they are expected to consult with and refer to medical doctors or other practitioners when appropriate.

Chiropractic Malpractice

A chiropractor in Illinois is held to the same accepted standards of care as any other chiropractor. In a case where a chiropractor’s work crosses over into another specialty, such as that of a medical doctor, he or she will be held to the same standard of care as a doctor in that field.

Chiropractic malpractice cases in Illinois work in the same way as traditional medical malpractice cases. The plaintiff must prove that the chiropractor was negligent and that this negligence caused the patient injury. Just as in these traditional medical malpractice cases, there are several situations that could be responsible for patient injury.


Misdiagnosis is a common form of medical malpractice for chiropractors. An incorrect diagnosis can lead to worsened symptoms and denied access to appropriate treatments. The scope of a chiropractor’s practice is much smaller than that of a medical doctor, and a chiropractor will often not have access the full range of diagnostic tools that are available to traditional medical practitioners.

Informed Consent

Another common cause of malpractice is lack of informed consent. Some patients who visit chiropractors regularly, find that treatments initially make them feel better, but later experience side effects. Later evaluations by medical doctors often uncover injuries caused by the chiropractic treatment. In Illinois, chiropractors are required to inform patients of the risks associated with their treatment. Failure to do so, could be cause for medical malpractice.

For those who have been injured as the result of chiropractic care in Chicago, and their families, the laws that ensure their rights can seem confusing. An Illinois malpractice attorney has the tools and resources to determine the cause of an injury and help the court determine if medical malpractice occurred.

Categories: Medical Malpractice