There are a huge number of people out there that claim to offer one alternative treatment or another. Some of them are generally respected and operate with licensing and insurance, just like a regular doctor. Chiropractors and acupuncturists would be examples of such practitioners.
There are others that are more on the fringes of the medical world -- homeopaths and healing touch providers, for example -- and they may or may not even be liable for malpractice lawsuits. It depends on the circumstances, but alternative practitioners can oftentimes be sued for medical malpractice.
Know the Risks
There are some alternative medical providers who do have quite a bit of authority and are expected to keep their duties to their patients. The efficacy of chiropractic medicine, for example, is not accepted by the entire medical world. Chiropractors can do things like take x-rays and they do offer their clients services that are advertised as specifically related to improving their health. This means that, whether or not the entire medical community accepts that they are real physicians of any sort, they are held to essentially the same standards as are surgeons and family practitioners.
Alternative providers have, according to some reports, been sued more frequently than in the past for medical malpractice. Their methods are, in some cases, becoming more accepted as having measurable results. This means that more people go to them and, thus, there is more of a chance that they'll end up being sued if they deliver negligent care. Your attorney will have to discuss with you whether or not someone who offered you healthcare services is liable for being sued for physician malpractice or in some other way as part of a medical malpractice claim. Some practitioners, however, if they're very fringe and running a scam, may be more at risk of being charged with standard fraud then being successfully sued for malpractice as a healthcare professional.
Protect Your Rights
When you visit an alternative healthcare provider, make sure that you are being given competent service. If you have a question about care you were rendered and whether or not someone who failed to deliver it properly could be sued for malpractice, speak with an attorney. They might find that you have a medical malpractice claim that you could file against them, and this may mean a large settlement or jury award for you. Medical malpractice is serious and, even if it's committed by an alternative practitioner, can have devastating results.