Acupuncturist malpractice occurs when an acupuncturist departs from the accepted standards of acupuncture and this departure results in an injury to the patient. In some states, an acupuncturist is considered a primary care professional. In these states, an acupuncturist is held to the same standards as other primary care practitioners.
Acupuncturists can be liable for malpractice in two ways: through omissions and through commissions.
- Omissions: an omission is a failure to do something you’re supposed to do. Common examples of omissions that can be acupuncturist malpractice are missing or failing to diagnose a condition. It is also an omission to fail to refer a patient. For example, if an acupuncturist discovers a patient has cancer, it is malpractice to fail to refer that patient to an appropriate doctor.
- Commissions: a commission is when something is done. For a commission to be malpractice, the acupuncturist must have done something to the patient and this must have resulted in some injury to the patient. Common examples include a needle breaking inside a patient and needles being placed too deep, causing injury.
What Is the Standard of Care for an Acupuncturist?
The standard of care in an acupuncturist malpractice case is the level of care that would be expected of an acupuncturist of ordinary skill and care.
How Do I Prove Acupuncturist Malpractice?
Proving acupuncturist malpractice, just like medical malpractice, can be very difficult. It will be necessary to prove the following elements:
- Standard of Care: you must establish what the standard of care is the acupuncturist should have followed. This will likely require testimony from an expert witness.
- Breach: you will need to prove that the acupuncturist breached the standard of care by not acting in a way other acupuncturists of reasonable skill and ability would have.
- Causation: you must prove that the acupuncturist caused you injury.
- Damages: it is necessary that you be injured in some way. Even if your acupuncturist was clearly negligent, you cannot sue for malpractice without having suffered some kind of damage.
If I Have an Acupuncturist Malpractice Issue, Do I Need a Lawyer?
Pursuing a malpractice claim can be very difficult. An experienced malpractice lawyer knows the malpractice laws in your state and can advise you accordingly. If you decide to bring a lawsuit, a malpractice lawyer can represent you in court.
What If I am an Acupuncturist Facing a Malpractice Claim, Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you are an acupuncturist facing a malpractice claim you should contact your malpractice insurer (if you have one) and contact an experienced defective products lawyer as well. Do not attempt to contact the patient as this can lead to more trouble. Let your malpractice lawyer handle things for you.