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Is It Possible to File a Mental Health Malpractice Claim?

Therapist taking notes with patient on couch

Medical malpractice happens when a doctor or medical professional’s negligence leads to the injury of their patient. Most times when we think of medical malpractice, we consider physical treatments, like medications, surgeries, and misdiagnoses of illnesses or injuries. When these mistakes happen, they can lead to both physical and emotional injuries in the patient. But doctors treating physical illnesses aren’t the only ones who can make medical mistakes.

Similarly, when a mental health professional makes a mistake or misdiagnosis, the patient could suffer from physical and emotional injuries as well. Just like medical doctors, mental health professionals have a duty to their clients to provide them with expert care. If they act negligently and cause damage for their patients, then they could be subject to a mental health malpractice claim.

One of our lawyers from Madia Law LLC can help you or your loved one recover damages for the emotional or physical injuries that they suffered after the negligence of their mental health professional.

Reasons for Filing

You might know the reasons to file a typical medical malpractice claim but aren’t aware of all the reasons you could file a claim against the person you trust with your mental health care. Whether they were negligent or unethical, there are many different reasons that could lead to damages that cause you to take legal action. Here are some of those reasons:

  • Not keeping records properly. Psychiatrists, therapists, and other mental health professionals are expected to keep proper records and documentation of their patients and their visits, much like other healthcare workers do. If they don’t keep proper documentation of their diagnoses, medications, and reasoning for their choices, they could be committing malpractice.
  • Not properly treating patients. If a mental health professional doesn’t properly evaluate, inform, get consent from, and communicate with their patient, then they aren’t able to treat them properly. This could lead to malpractice.
  • Misdiagnosis and missed diagnosis. On top of not being properly treated, if a psychiatrist misses a diagnosis for a patient or misdiagnoses them, they could end up getting treatment and medication for a condition that isn’t what they have and end up suffering more injuries or other damage from those medications. Or if they go without any treatments for what they really have, their mental health could continue to deteriorate and cause them harm.
  • Not maintaining confidentiality. When it comes to mental health, much like physical health, there are confidentiality rules that keep a doctor from sharing the patient’s information with third parties. If a psychiatrist or other mental health professional breaches this confidentiality, they are committing malpractice and you could take legal action against them.
  • Neglecting suicidal patients. A patient’s mental health should always be carefully monitored and taken seriously, especially if they are suicidal. This can be determined through a suicide risk assessment that the professional must complete. If a psychiatrist doesn’t closely monitor a suicidal patient or conduct a home assessment of the patient, and they commit suicide, they could be held liable for neglecting the patient.
  • Unethical conduct. Much like a medical doctor needs to be ethical in their practice, mental health professionals also need to be ethical as well. Unethical actions like trading medical treatment for services, planting false memories in their patient’s brains, or engaging in a sexual relationship with their patient can all be grounds for a malpractice claim against a psychiatrist, therapist, or another mental health professional.

If what happened to you is not listed above but you think you could have grounds for a mental health malpractice claim, then you should reach out to one of our lawyers. We will be able to answer your questions and consult with you to determine whether or not you can take legal action against the healthcare worker who was responsible for caring for your mental health.

Our Law Firm Can Help You

Mental health is important to monitor. When you aren’t mentally or emotionally your best and need the help of a mental health professional like a psychiatrist, you deserve the utmost attention to detail and care with your treatment. The brain is complicated, which is why these professionals have a duty to give the best care possible to their patients. When they act negligently or unethically, they should be held responsible for their actions.

A medical malpractice lawyer from Madia Law LLC can represent and guide you through your legal claim. We will ensure that you feel comfortable through the entire legal process. We understand that this is a sensitive topic, and that you feel hurt and vulnerable. That’s why we will fight for your rights and keep you feeling safe and supported. Reach out to our office today so we can get started with your free consultation.