Medical errors don’t always involve surgery. In fact, some of the most dangerous medical mistakes don’t involve any incisions at all. Mental health malpractice, which occurs when a psychiatrist or other medical provider fails to meet normal standards for patient care, can have devastating consequences. The victims of mental health malpractice may experience verbal, physical, or sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted doctor, or may suffer avoidable injuries due to serious medical errors. In some cases, psychiatric malpractice places patients at risk for suicide, tragically leading some to become victims of wrongful death.
If you or one of your family members suffered harm due to the careless or improper actions of a mental health professional, the Baltimore medical negligence attorneys of Bennett & Heyman, P.A. are here to help. We have more than 70 years of combined legal experience holding negligent medical providers accountable for their mistakes. We understand that your claim may involve sensitive issues, and will handle your case with compassion and professionalism from day one. Our mission is to help you recover the compensation you deserve, including compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, and other losses you have suffered. To speak confidentially with an attorney in a free legal consultation, call Bennett & Heyman at (410) 429-7856, or contact our law offices online.
What is Psychiatric Malpractice in Maryland?
Examples of mental health malpractice include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Abandoning or threatening to abandon the patient
- Disclosing confidential information about a patient, without his or her consent, in violation of HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) or similar regulations
- Failing to diagnose a patient, or misdiagnosing one condition as another
- Maintaining a sexual relationship with a patient
- Prescribing improper medications or dosages to a patient (for example, carelessly overprescribing a potentially dangerous medication)
- Subjecting a patient to sexual, physical, or verbal abuse, or threatening to abuse or hurt a patient
- Using unnecessary physical restraints on a patient
- Withholding, or threatening to withhold, a patient’s medication or other types of treatment
Can I Sue My Psychiatrist for Malpractice?
Malpractice cases are very complex, with many factors being analyzed to determine liability. In order to have a potentially successful claim and recover compensation, the patient must prove that malpractice occurred by demonstrating certain facts. These facts are that:
- There was a duty of care. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals owe their patients a certain level or standard of care.
- The duty was breached. The medical provider improperly deviated from the normal standards practiced and accepted. For example, the psychiatrist might have improperly withheld medication, or may have used physical restraints when doing so was unnecessary.
- The breach of duty caused the patient to suffer harm. The patient was harmed due to the psychiatrist’s negligent conduct. Examples include physical harm, such as injuries, and financial harm, such as medical bills resulting from treatment of injuries.
Compensation for Mental Health Malpractice in Maryland
When a mental healthcare provider is negligent, consequences for the patient may include worsening of his or her condition, overdose-related health complications, or even premature death. Financial compensation, or “damages,” may be available for the victims or their surviving loved ones.
While monetary compensation cannot undo the emotional devastation caused by malpractice, the damages from a successful claim can help to provide for quality treatment and care. In the case of a patient’s wrongful death, damages can also help to pay for funeral and burial costs, lightening your family’s burden during a difficult time. Damages available in a mental health malpractice lawsuit may include compensation for:
- Diminished capacity to earn income
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost earnings and income
- Medical bills, including future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
Many malpractice cases are settled outside of court, while a small number go to trial. Our knowledgeable attorneys have spent decades immersed in Maryland’s legal system, and will pursue the strategy that gives you the greatest likelihood of recovering compensation for your injuries.
Baltimore Mental Health Malpractice Lawyers Handling Claims Against Psychiatrists
If you, your son or daughter, or one of your family members died or suffered injuries because of a psychiatrist’s mistakes, Bennett & Heyman is here to fight for justice for you and your loved ones. Our experienced attorneys handle each case personally, ensuring your claim receives the care and attention to detail it deserves. We will pursue a strategic course of action in tireless pursuit of compensation for your family.
Care providers who are negligent, reckless, or predatory must be held accountable. Our law firm is dedicated to seeing that happen. For a free consultation, call Bennett & Heyman at (410) 429-7856, or contact us online.