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Psychiatric Malpractice Lawyers

As Fort Lauderdale malpractice attorneys, psychiatric malpractice is something we see more often than we would like. Although medical professionals provide an amazing service in the vast majority of cases, there are still examples of medical malpractice that leave a devastating mark on patients. Today, we want to focus on psychiatric negligence, and we want to answer some important questions. By the end, you should know whether you have a medical malpractice case, the importance of an experienced lawyer, why cases are hard to prove and much more.

How Do I Know if a Doctor is Guilty of Malpractice?

male psychiatrist with hand on knee of female patientTo start, let’s deal with one of the most common questions in this field. Is a doctor guilty of malpractice? Ultimately, this depends on the circumstances because the details of your case are important. As a starting point, some types of psychiatric negligence are more common than others. As mental health malpractice lawyers, for example, we have seen the following:

Ignoring the Accepted Medical Model - As professionals in the field, doctors need to respect the standard of care and ensure that patients are looked after; this is achieved by taking notes, ensuring the understanding of informed consent, and having the best interests of the patient in mind at all times. When a professional doesn’t follow the trusted model, there’s a chance they are guilty of medical malpractice.

Lack of Training - The mental health field has always been an evolving one, but this has been more prominent in recent times. Therefore, it makes training and education even more important than ever. When a therapist decides to use a technique without training, there is always going to be a risk involved because they’re potentially putting the patient’s life on the line.

Inappropriate Relationship - In the world of psychiatry, it’s natural for the professional to be empathetic and sympathetic towards the patient. However, this should never cross the professional line. When any medical professional is treating a patient, the relationship should never cross into a romantic or intimate one. Not only are romantic relationships between patients and therapists unethical, but they’re also illegal in many states.

Poor Diagnosis - As patients, we visit a medical professional as an expert and trust their judgment. When this assessment is incorrect, all subsequent treatments will fail to help with the actual mental health problem, and this could be medical malpractice. Similarly, the diagnosis for insurance and for treatment should always be the same.

Contact Outside the Office - Much like an inappropriate relationship, therapists should only see patients in the office under controlled conditions. If a professional sees a patient at home or anywhere else, it could impact treatment and raise questions. If an appointment does take place elsewhere, the professional should document the occasion carefully.

Too Much Self-Disclosure - Often, psychiatrists will disclose information about themselves because it helps to gain the trust of patients. However, all self-disclosure should have a purpose; it should benefit the patient. If a therapist overshares, this could be considered malpractice.

Lack of Notes - Interestingly, there’s no universal way to take notes when dealing with a patient. Instead, each professional does it in a way that helps them to treat the individual in front of them. Sadly, we’ve seen cases where a therapist fails to take proper notes and it affects diagnosis and treatment.

No Attempt to Collect Medical History - For any medical professional, medical and family histories are an invaluable tool for diagnosis. Therefore, it could be neglect or malpractice when a therapist fails to obtain this information. Why? Because it could lead to incorrect diagnosis and a failure to meet the set standard of care.

Even if you don’t recognize your own situation in these examples, don’t be afraid to contact psychiatric malpractice lawyers today. At The Injury Firm, we offer a free case evaluation so you don’t need to spend a cent to get started.

Can I Sue for Psychiatric Negligence?

Yes, but it all depends on the circumstances surrounding your case. To find success with a claim or case, you will need to prove four things, and it starts with the relationship between yourself (or loved one) and the professional. Essentially, there needs to have been a relationship established. With an established relationship, the therapist or psychiatrist had a duty of care towards you.

After this, you need to prove that the professional breached this duty of care. For example, it could be as a result of one of the things listed above; this includes too much self-disclosure, lack of notes, or ignoring the accepted medical model. As a result of this breach, you must have experienced some form of emotional or physical harm, and this is the third thing you should prove.

Finally, there needs to be a link between the breach of duty and the harm experienced. With a personal injury case, for instance, a failure to clean a spillage could lead to a slip and a broken arm. In the psychiatric world, it works in the same way in that a lack of notes leads to a poor diagnosis and emotional harm.

If you think that you can prove these four things, feel free to get in touch with The Injury Firm today. Over the years, we’ve gained the experience to help you. We’ve seen all of the case types above, and we know how to help while protecting your legal rights.

Why is Proving Psychiatric Malpractice Difficult?

 If you’ve done some research on the topic of medical malpractice already, you’ve probably seen that proving psychiatric malpractice has its difficulties. This is true for a few reasons:

Expert Witnesses - Firstly, it’s sometimes difficult to find an expert witness. When it comes down to it, what you’re actually doing is asking a medical professional to speak out against a fellow professional. If you choose to go through the process alone, you’ll struggle to find an expert witness willing to testify on your behalf. Thankfully, Fort Lauderdale malpractice attorneys have contacts and experience in this area.

Complex Evidence - To prove that a therapist was negligent, this will involve an analysis of information that’s both subjective and complex. For this reason, it’s always best to team up with mental health malpractice lawyers. Over the years, we’ve built a good understanding of matters in this area of the medical world. If even we struggle ourselves, we work with expert witnesses to strengthen the claim.

At The Injury Firm, we have the resources you need to take any potential case to trial. However, there are difficulties here too because the jury/judge needs to understand the evidence to reach an accurate and fair conclusion. If a jury struggles to stay engaged with complex medical evidence, they could miss critical details and make mistakes.

Connecting Breaches to Injuries - Next, even if you prove negligence, you then need to prove that the harm experienced was a direct cause of this negligence. Since much of the information is subjective, the defense will argue that the negligence didn’t cause or worsen your poor health. Instead, they will blame a sedentary lifestyle or genetics.

Cost of Litigation - Finally, and one of the biggest problems for victims, there is a cost to making a claim against a medical professional. Especially when this professional fails to offer a settlement, you may need to go to court and take the case in front of a judge or jury, Alone, you may not have the resources considering the increased medical bills and potential lack of earnings during this stressful time.

With these four aspects in mind, it can be difficult to prove a psychiatric malpractice case. What’s the solution? You can boost your chances of success by working with psychiatric malpractice lawyers. The lawyers at The Injury Firm have the experience, determination, contacts, passion, training, and knowledge to help your claim.

The Risk of Suicide

Before talking about the role of an attorney, we briefly wanted to explain the delicate topic of suicide with cases that contain mental health. Every year, more people in America die from suicide than homicide, car incidents, and many other causes. In fact, the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) now considers suicide as the 10th most potent cause of death. Of all those who commit suicide, it’s thought that nine in every ten involve substance abuse, depression, or mental illness. 

When an at-risk patient seeks professional help, this professional has a duty to do EVERYTHING they can to help the individual. It doesn’t matter if this professional is a physician, emergency nurse, therapist, psychiatrist, or in another field. According to some experts of suicide, a significant percentage are preventable with the right care, and this is why we’re passionate about helping individuals and their loved ones in sensitive cases.

Initially, care will always begin with a suicide risk assessment. As the name suggests, this is an evaluation to inform the physician or psychiatrist of the overall mental state of the patient. If this is performed incorrectly, the consequences are fatal. If a medical professional fails to follow the standard of care, they need to be held accountable for their actions.

Similarly, the same is true if the professional failed to learn about the individual’s medical or family history. As far as mental health problems go, this is a tragic mistake because it’s essential to pick up on previous suicide attempts, anxiety, loneliness, and other things that can help with treatment.

Why Is It Important to Have a Fort Lauderdale Malpractice Attorney?

Unfortunately, we’ve been involved in or seen psychiatric malpractice cases of all types and sizes over the years. This includes failure to obtain information, emotional or physical abuse, inappropriate relationships, poor diagnosis, abandonment, and more. We’ve also seen patients trying to fight the battle alone when they would have benefited from legal support. There are many reasons why it’s important to contact mental health malpractice lawyers:

Experience - In this field, there’s no substitute for experience. Not only do we have the knowledge, but we’ve also put this into action and to improve our service over the years. Thanks to our experience, we can build a strong case while also protecting your legal rights and avoiding common pitfalls.

Successful Process - After getting in touch, you can be confident that we’ll get to work compiling a strong claim. As well as collecting evidence, we’ll contact an expert witness. In a medical malpractice claim, the only way to get compensation is to start the process with a statement from an expert witness. At the very start, they need to state that the medical professional in question acted negligently and that a responsible professional would have done things differently.

After this, we’ll continue to protect your legal rights while chasing the compensation you deserve. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach because you deserve a tailored strategy for your case. This being said, we still have a successful procedure to follow.

No Risks - When you choose The Injury Firm, it all starts with a free case evaluation. If we don’t think you have a case, we will provide advice as to the next steps, but you won’t have to pay a thing. If we decide that you have a case and that we will represent you, you won’t need to pay anything upfront. Instead, we’ll take our fees from the compensation package.

Protect Legal Rights - When you choose to fight this battle alone, there’s a risk of the medical professional having a strong legal team and walking all over your case. With us by your side, we protect your legal rights and ensure that compensation is awarded where it’s due. Not only do you get compensation, but the professional is also held accountable for their negligence.

Customer Service - Lastly, another important reason to work with psychiatric malpractice lawyers is that you’ll have someone to answer all your questions. Our friendly team at The Injury Firm is always happy to ease your concerns and take control of the claim while you focus on recovery and wellbeing.

Feel free to contact The Injury Firm to get started today. Proving psychiatric negligence is difficult, but we can help!

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Fort Lauderdale

1608 East Commercial Blvd.
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Phone (954) 951-0000
Fax: (954) 951-1000

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The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only.  This website may contain information about The Injury Firm's past results, testimonials about the firm or a lawyer within the firm, and statements regarding the quality of The Injury Firm's work product. This information has not been reviewed or approved by The Florida Bar. Please be advised that: 1) the facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters for which results and testimonials have been provided: 2) Not all results of cases handled by the firm or its lawyers are provided and not all clients have given testimonials; and 3) The results and testimonials provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the firm or by its lawyers or of the experience of all clients or others within the firm or its lawyers. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

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