Mental health patients require sensitive care and understanding, and as a result, their relationship with their psychiatrist is one of the most personal in the medical field. Because of this, any error or misstep from negligence can have significant consequences.
The Savannah psychiatric malpractice lawyers at Roden Law understand this unique relationship and the effects malpractice can have on a patient. Because of this, we are dedicated to helping our clients seek the compensation and justice they are owed for the suffering they have endured.
To learn more about your legal options and how our trusted team of medical malpractice attorneys can help you, schedule a free, no obligation consultation today. We charge no upfront fees and do not receive any kind of payment unless we help you get compensation first.
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What Is Psychiatric Malpractice?
Psychiatrists, like all medical professionals, have a legal duty to treat their patients with respect and provide reasonable care that is in line with how others in a similar position would. Any failure to do this could cause harm to the patient and could ultimately lead to a psychiatric malpractice lawsuit.
Types of Psychiatric Malpractice
Psychiatric malpractice can occur if a medical professional engages in unprofessional conduct or fails to provide a patient with the level of care he or she needs. This can include situations such as:
- Failing to diagnose the patient
- Misdiagnosing the patient
- Sharing information without patient consent
- Engaging in a sexual relationship with the patient
- Failing to obtain information
- Failing to properly supervise a patient who is at risk of harm to himself or herself or others
- Failing to warn others who were at risk because of the patient
- Abandoning the patient
- Physically abusing the patient
- Emotionally abusing the patient
- Threatening the patient
- Incorrectly prescribing medication
- Failing to gain informed consent from the patient
- Detaining the patient involuntarily without cause
- Falsifying patient records
Failing to Prevent Suicide
While every patient relationship is important and should be treated with care, the way psychiatrists handle suicidal patients requires extra consideration.
Any failure to properly assess and address a patient’s suicide risk could make the psychiatrist liable for any harm the patient causes to himself or herself or to others.
However, a psychiatrist is not always liable for the death of a patient who commits suicide while under his or her care. The circumstances of the case will determine the psychiatrist’s liability. A case for malpractice hinges on the doctor’s assessment of and response to the patient’s suicidal risk, rather than his or her ability to predict a suicide.
A doctor could potentially be liable if he or she:
- Failed to notice that the patient could be a risk to himself or herself or others
- Failed to take appropriate action to prevent the patient from harming himself or herself
- Did not document all risk assessments
- Failed to monitor a patient at risk for suicide
- Failed to inform the patient’s family about the risk of suicide and the steps they can take to help prevent the suicide from occurring
- Administered inappropriate medications
- Failed to confine a high-risk patient to a hospital for continued monitoring
Determining if you or a loved one has experienced malpractice is not easy. If you think you may have a case, contact our trusted team of psychiatric malpractice lawyers in Savannah for a free and confidential consultation. We will review the details of your situation and advise you of your legal options.
Call 1-844-RESULTS to schedule a free consultation.
Do I Have a Mental Health Lawsuit?
The determination about whether you can file a mental health lawsuit will rely on identifying if the doctor made an honest mistake or if his or her actions were negligent and were not in line with acceptable standards of care, such as those outlined in clinical practice guidelines and state and federal laws.
Each situation will depend on the facts of the case and the reasonableness of the treatment based on the patient’s history and needs.
In general, the following four elements of medical malpractice must be present for you to have a psychiatric malpractice lawsuit:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed – A relationship typically exists between a patient and psychiatrist once the doctor agrees to see and treat the patient and the patient agrees to attend appointments and receive treatment from the doctor. This relationship establishes the doctor’s duty to provide reasonable care to the patient.
- The doctor breached his or her duty of care – If the psychiatrist failed to provide reasonable care based on the patient’s situation or did not act within the standards of the medical community or as others with similar training in a similar position would have, the professional has breached his or her duty of care. For example, if the standard of care required that the professional diagnose a patient with a common mental health disorder based on obvious symptoms and then prescribe medication to treat it, a failure to diagnose the condition or prescribe treatment could be considered a breach of duty of care.
- The patient was harmed as a result – These actions, or inaction, must have caused the patient harm, whether physical or mental.
- There was a causal link between the breach and the harm the patient suffered – There must be proof that the patient’s injury was directly caused by the psychiatrist and that it would not have happened if it were not for the psychiatrist’s actions or inaction.
Our Savannah psychiatric malpractice attorneys are well-versed in the many rules and requirements for filing a psychiatric malpractice lawsuit. After a thorough review of your claim, we will help you determine if you have a case or not.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today to get started.
Psychiatric Malpractice Statute of Limitations
If you believe you may have a case, you should contact a trusted psychiatric malpractice lawyer in Savannah as soon as possible. There are strict deadlines for filing a malpractice lawsuit. If you miss these statutes of limitations deadlines, you will lose your ability to file a case.
According to Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A.) 9-3-71, those who have been injured by malpractice must file a lawsuit within two years of the date of the incident that caused them harm. In some situations, the timeframe will begin on the date you realized you were harmed if it was not immediately apparent at the time of the incident. However, no case can be filed more than five years after the date of the incident.
It can be difficult to determine when this deadline is for mental health lawsuits, so it is important to contact a Savannah psychiatric malpractice attorney as soon as possible to determine the deadlines and laws that apply to your case. After your consultation, our team will immediately get to work to help make sure your case is filed on time.
Do not wait. Call 1-844-RESULTS today.
How Much Are Psychiatric Malpractice Cases Worth?
If a Savannah psychiatric malpractice lawyer determines that you have a case, you may be entitled to a variety of types of compensation to attempt to repay you for the harm and suffering you have endured.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, this may include any of the following:
- Medical expenses, including future mental health care
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Physical harm
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages
Every case is unique and the compensation you can recover will depend on the injuries and losses you have suffered. Because our attorneys have decades of experience helping injury clients, we can accurately value your losses to identify an amount that provides you with fair compensation for what you have endured.
We are committed to fighting for the best interests of our clients and will do everything in our power to fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form to learn more.
Do I Need a Savannah Psychiatric Malpractice Lawyer?
Psychiatrists have a duty to provide their patients with the care they need and to “do no harm.” Their patients are most often in a vulnerable state and experiencing hardship in their life. Any failure of a medical professional to accurately diagnose a situation and provide the required care can have devastating effects on a patient.
Because of this, psychiatrists can be held liable for the harm they cause through negligence. However, proving negligence in this type of case is not easy. It will require a psychiatric malpractice attorney in Savannah who is well-versed in the state’s malpractice laws and the requirements for filing this type of case.
With the resources and skills to handle your case, our team can:
- Review the details of your situation, including analyzing your medical records for any sign of malpractice
- Analyze the medical provider’s background for any other instances of poor care or mistreatment of patients
- Hire medical experts to provide documented proof of malpractice, which is required for filing a malpractice case in Georgia, according to O.C.G.A. 9-11-9.1
- Gather all evidence for building your case
- Handle the details of negotiating fair compensation in your case
The caring and compassionate team at Roden Law is here to listen to your situation and help you determine the legal options that are best for you. Because of this, we offer free, confidential consultations and charge no upfront fees for our services. We only receive payment if you receive compensation.
Contact Roden Law today for a free consultation.
Contact a Savannah Psychiatric Malpractice Attorney
If you feel that you or a loved one has been harmed because of a psychiatrist’s negligence and failure to provide appropriate care, do not wait to contact Roden Law to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.
Our psychiatric malpractice attorneys in Savannah will carefully review the details of your claim and help you determine if you have a case and are entitled to compensation. We understand the unique relationship between a mental health professional and his or her patient, and we will help you hold liable those who caused you harm.
To learn more about how we can help you, schedule a free consultation today. We work on a contingency fee basis and do not charge fees unless we recover compensation for you.