The most typical psychiatric medical malpractice claims include:
- Improper diagnosis
- Improper treatment
- Failure to prevent suicide
- Failure to warn threats to others
If any psychiatrist believes that their patient may be considered a suicide risk, they must conduct an assessment. Factors considered include age, history, living standard, employment, and sexual orientation. If a doctor fails to conduct such an assessment and the patient injures or kills themselves purposely, the doctor may be held liable.
Additionally, courts have upheld that if a patient makes threats against another person, the psychiatrist has a duty to warn the other party. Failure to do so could be considered medical negligence if the patient carries through with the threat.
Psychiatrists may also be held liable if patients have adverse reactions to prescribed medication. Doctors who place their patients on medication must make risks associated with that medication clear. They must also closely monitor their patients for adverse reactions and side effects. With the number of psychiatric drugs on today’s market, there are several options available to a patient that may work better with their body chemistry.
People rarely consider that a psychiatrist can be sued for medical malpractice but it does happen. Psychiatrists are medical professionals who are held to a standard of care. When that standard is not upheld, they may be found guilty of malpractice. In the case of psychiatrists, the mental condition of a patient must be strongly considered as decisions are being made regarding medical care.
If you believe that you have been harmed by a psychiatrist’s error or negligence, call our office. We will review the details of your case at no cost to you and advise you of your options. Call now for a free case evaluation.