While malpractice by a psychiatrist can be just as harmful as malpractice by any other type of doctor, it’s not always as easy to prove. In many cases, the claims are met with skepticism simply because the patients who are seeking treatment tend to be vulnerable to begin with. It doesn’t help that this sort of treatment is personal, so finding where the lines are can be challenging.
The Four Elements of Malpractice
In order to prove that malpractice took place, there are four things a patient will be required to show:
- A doctor-patient relationship was established
- The doctor did not provide reasonable care and was negligent
- The patient was mentally or physically injured
- The negligence and the injury were related in a causal way
Understanding Abuse of Power
There are several ways in which a psychiatrist may abuse their power over a patient. Some of them include:
- Sexual abuse
- Sharing information without the consent of the patient
- Unnecessarily using restraints
- Threatening or abusing the patient verbally or physically
- Abandoning the patient
- Engaging in sexual relations with the patient
What to Know About Psychiatrist-Patient Sexual Contact
There are a few different things to be aware of in terms of medical malpractice as it relates to sexual contact between a doctor and their patient. The first is that this is behavior that is considered unethical malpractice throughout the United States. This is also considered a criminal offense in some places.
What Your Options Are
Patients have various legal options, including a complaint to the licensing board, a criminal complaint, or a civil lawsuit. The latter involves bringing in a lawyer and proving that the incident occurred. You can be awarded compensation for your situation from the court. Having a professional medical malpractice lawyer at your side can have a huge bearing on proving your case to the court.
The damages paid to you may take into account loss of wages, cost of counseling, medical bills, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Depending on location, there may also be punitive damages that are intended to punish the psychiatrist who did wrong.
If you want to file a claim, Barovick Law is here to stand at your side. We are happy to provide a consultation to determine what your options are. We can help you through the process to get the compensation you deserve.