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My son in law saw a chiropractor for his back, which put him in the hospital with a herniated disk requiring surgery. No Ins.

Faribault, MN |

He spoke to a P I lawyer who wouldn't help, - said its hard to prove it was the chiropractor, - said a sneeze could cause. This Dr caused sciatic nerve damage, drop foot and permanent pain, - he was in the ER within hours of the visit.
We emptied our savings to pay a surgeon for emergency surgery, but still $40,000 medical bills after reductions. They earn less than half this in a year. Collectors are calling, and they ignore calls, They struggle month to month and can't pay.
1. Do they have a negligence case. The Dr did not look at xray before treating.
2. They are thinking bankrupt. Are there any other alternatives or help for them? Can they just continue to ignore these calls? Is interest added? What can happen to them? What can they do?
Thank you for any help

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Attorney answers 5


This answer should not be taken as legal advice because 1) I am in California and, according to your post, you are in a different state, and 2) we don't have an attorney-client agreement. However, general personal injury principles can apply which may shed some light on this. The answer to question 1, whether there is a viable negligence case, is: possibly yes and possibly no. Without reviewing the evidence, e.g. documents, medical records, and without interviewing witnesses who might testify, for example, that the "Dr did not look at xray before treating" (sic), it is not possible to say whether a negligence case is strong, i.e. worth filing. I would recommend putting together the following and giving it to a local attorney: 1) timeline of events, 2) witness list, 3) copy of all relevant documents, and 4) calculation of damages, losses, etc. Your second question deals with debt and debt collection. There are many alternatives to bankruptcy, e.g. negotiating the debt down with the person/entity to whom you owe money, creating a payment plan, borrowing money, etc. You can continue to ignore the calls at your own peril, but I don't recommend that. Often just acknowledging that you know that you owe can buy you A LOT of time. Interest may be added depending on how long the account is delinquent. Many things can happen if you continue to do nothing: your wages might be garnished, your credit may suffer, among other things. I suggest finding a local attorney who can take your injury case and then creating a debt restructuring and/or payment plan that will keep you out of trouble.


First they need to talk to another attorney, one that handles medical negligence cases. Do not wait on this, medical negligence claims have very short statutes of limitations. You can contact me, but you may be able to find someone closer to your home. I do work with attorneys that are licensed in MN. Your son should talk to a bankruptcy attorney to find out pros and cons of bankruptcy. If he does file bankruptcy he must list the potential claim against the chiropractor as an asset or he may waive his right to pursue the claim. It is not a good idea to avoid contact with creditors. Eventually they will file lawsuits, obtain judgments and start collection which can be very disruptive. Your son may be able to get help with credit counseling through local family agencies. Be careful in dealing with commercial debt restructuring debt firms, make sure you understand what they charge and what they can actually do. The unwary can end up worse off than where they started.


there isn't much I can add here, other than to say I think there is a case worth investigating but the worse thing would be to file bankruptcy.
See a local lawyer ASAP.


Call a few more lawyers until you find one who takes the case. Might have to offer to pay for the costs up front, so the lawyer is not out of pocket.

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Your son-in-law should contact a firm that handles medical malpractice claims. There are multiple such firms in the Twin Cities. A google search of "medical malpractice lawyers minnesota" will reveal several. Consultations are generally free.

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