Baltimore Psychiatric Malpractice Attorney
Most individuals seeking treatment from a psychiatrist are often going through a hard time and need help getting through a challenging situation. When these doctors let their patients down, the results can often be devastating and, in some cases, even fatal. That’s why you need a skilled Baltimore psychiatric malpractice attorney to fight for you.
A patients’ relationship with their psychiatrist is one of the most trusted and important relationships they have. Unfortunately, these doctors are human, and mistakes can happen. However, patients wronged by medical professionals deserve legal recourse for the harm endured due to a psychiatrist’s negligent actions. Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers stands by to help them pursue compensation. Call us today.
You Can Count on Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers
If you have experienced physical or mental harm because of your psychiatrist’s reckless or negligent actions, the legal team at the Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers is here to help. Our Baltimore psychiatric malpractice attorneys are ready to fight for the justice and compensation you deserve and need.
The team at Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers is dedicated to serving the residents of Baltimore and the surrounding area when medical professionals don’t exhibit the competence associated with their trade. Take a look at how we’ve helped many other people like you. Call us today for a free case evaluation and to receive more information about how we can help.
Table of Contents
- How We Can Help You Get the Justice You Deserve
- What Is Psychiatric Malpractice?
- How Do You Know if You Have a Claim
- Types of Health Issues that a Baltimore Psychiatrist Typically Treats
- 5 Common Treatments Offered by a Baltimore Psychiatrist
- The Statute of Limitations for a Psychiatric Malpractice Claim in Baltimore
- Contact Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers Today
Psychiatric malpractice is a type of medical malpractice that is just as harmful to patients as other malpractice claims. However, one distinction between these malpractice cases is that psychiatric malpractice is often more challenging to prove.
Patients who seek help from a psychiatrist expect that the health care professional will offer them the support and help they need, but with a level of care that is reassuring, reasonable, and confidential. A breach of this duty means the psychiatrist may be responsible for the patient’s resulting damages.
Some common examples of psychiatric malpractice often include:
- Emotional, physical, or verbal abuse
- Sexual relationships with patients
- Failure to obtain critical information from the patient
- Failure to document the patient’s proper prescription medication history
- Failure to diagnose the patient’s illness or condition properly
- Failure to get informed consent from the patient
- Misdiagnosis of a condition or illness
- Improperly prescribing medication to the patient
- Withholding medication
- Unnecessarily revealing a patient’s information that is protected by confidentiality
- Providing negligent supervision
- Restraining or institutionalizing a patient without sufficient grounds
- Abandoning the patient
- Threatening to harm or leave the patient
If a psychiatrist’s negligent actions cause harm, the patient may have a valid medical malpractice claim against them.
Yet, before a patient can pursue this malpractice claim, they need to demonstrate the following:
- A relationship existed with the psychiatrist: The first thing to be established in any malpractice claim is that the patient had a relationship with the psychiatrist. Such relationships begin when the psychiatrist affirmatively acts in a patient’s case by either agreeing to take care of the patient, treating them, or diagnosing their issues, and the patient agrees to treatment.
- The psychiatrist violated the standard of care: Typically, in the medical field, there is a standard of care. In Psychiatry, this standard of care refers to the level of competence that most psychiatrists would have conducted themselves with under similar circumstances. When a psychiatrist does not meet these standards, the patient can establish that the doctor acted negligently.
- An injury resulted from the psychiatrist’s negligence: When bringing a malpractice claim, it is not enough to show that a psychiatrist violated the standard of care. To establish malpractice, the patient also needs to show that because the psychiatrist breached this standard of care, their negligence caused the patient’s harm.
- Significant damages resulted from the malpractice: For a patient to bring a viable malpractice claim against their psychiatrist, they also need to show that the psychiatrist’s negligence caused them actual damages. These damages often include deterioration of a patient’s mental state, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and medical treatment costs.
Malpractice claims are often quite challenging to prove, as establishing these malpractice elements requires extensive detailed evidence. However, when you find appropriate legal representation, it can give you the best chance of proving your claim and receiving financial recovery for your losses and injuries. The team at Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers can help review your case, determine whether you have a viable medical malpractice claim, and recommend the appropriate legal options.
Patients see psychiatrists for a variety of reasons, including mental health and emotional problems.
However, some of the more common health issues that psychiatrists treat include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Delusions or hallucinations
- Compulsive behavior
- Anxiety issues
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Substance abuse
- Eating disorders
- Panic disorders
- Borderline personality disorder
In general, psychiatrists use medications, psychotherapy (talk therapy), psychosocial intervention, and other treatments to help treat their patients and provide them the medical care they need.
In terms of medications, the most commonly prescribed medications by a psychiatrist include:
- Antidepressants: This medication is often used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorders, eating disorders, borderline personality disorders, agitation, and other mental health conditions.
- Stabilizers: Mood stabilizers are medications used to treat bipolar disorder and help prevent mania and depression. This medication aims to help smooth out a patient’s mood swings.
- Stimulants: This medication is used to treat attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy by speeding up the body’s system and increasing a person’s ability to pay attention.
- Hypnotic: Psychiatrists often use hypnotic medication to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders by encouraging sleep and maintaining deep-sleep cycles.
- Anxiolytics and Sedatives: These prescription medications help facilitate sleep and reduce certain types of anxiety that include social phobias or generalized anxiety disorder. These medications may also be used to sedate a patient before they head into anesthesia to undergo a medical procedure or surgery.
Prescription medications like the above treat specific mental health issues, but they are not the only treatments available. If needed, a psychiatrist can also use cognitive behavioral therapy, hospitalization, and even electroconvulsive therapy to treat their patients.
Legal Duty to Suicidal Patients in Baltimore
Each psychiatrist has a duty to care for their patients. However, the duty required will differ based on the situation’s circumstances and the type of patient they are treating. For instance, if a psychiatrist is treating a suicidal victim, the psychiatrist’s standard of care depends on the doctor’s assessment of the patient’s suicidal risk rather than the probability of this event happening. These suicidal assessments are routinely part of the mental health care that a psychiatrist provides.
If a psychiatrist fails to perform these proper screenings or misses reporting one of the following events, and a patient attempts suicide, the medical professional may be held accountable for the injuries and harm that resulted:
- The psychiatrist failed to monitor the suicidal patient appropriately
- The psychiatrist failed to notice signs that a patient was at risk of hurting themselves or others
- The psychiatrist failed to prevent the patient from hurting themselves
- The psychiatrist failed to document the patient’s suicidal risk assessments
- The psychiatrist failed to warn the appropriate parties when there was an imminent threat of harm
- The psychiatrist failed to evaluate the safety and environment of the suicidal patient
Damages Available in a Baltimore Psychiatric Malpractice Case
If you have been harmed because of a psychiatrist’s negligent actions, you may be entitled to certain types of compensation. In Maryland, this compensation often includes economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages: These damages are actual and verifiable losses that result from an incident.
They often include:
- Medical expenses including past, current, and future medical bills such as doctor visits, surgeries, prescription medications, and hospital stay
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Rehabilitative therapy such as physical therapy or occupational therapy
- At-home nursing care
- Replacement services such as child-care services or grocery shopping services
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic damages: These damages are subjective losses that result from the incident and are not easy to quantify.
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of reputation
Punitive damages: Unlike the other compensatory damages, designed to compensate the victim for their injuries, punitive damages punish the defendant for their egregious actions and deter them and others from committing these actions again in the future. However, in Maryland, these damages are incredibly rare, as the victim needs to show with clear and convincing evidence that the defendant acted with actual malice or conscious and deliberate wrongdoing, a wrongful motive or evil, and an intent to injure.
One important thing to note is that Maryland has passed a law that places a cap on specific types of damages available to the victim in a successful medical malpractice lawsuit. That’s why you must work with an experienced psychiatric malpractice lawyer when you go after these damages. At Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers, our legal team can determine precisely what types of damages you may be entitled to and fight hard to secure every last dollar that your injury has cost you.
The statute of limitations is a law that dictates the maximum amount of time an individual has to file a legal claim after an alleged offense. If the party does not bring this claim within the allotted period, they can be barred from pursuing compensation for their losses.
In Maryland, the statute of limitation for a medical malpractice claim is five years from the date of the injury or three years after the injury was discovered, whichever happens first. However, this statute of limitation rule also contains numerous exceptions that can lengthen or shorten the applicable time to file a case. The best way to protect your rights and ensure you get the money you need is to contact the Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers as soon as possible. Our psychiatric malpractice lawyers can determine how much time you have to file your case while ensuring that all your documentation is up to standard.
Mental health malpractice claims are incredibly tedious, complicated, and difficult to prove. Not only do you need to have a solid understanding of the state’s laws, but you also need to provide relevant and detailed evidence and sound legal arguments that can show what happened and who was at fault for your injuries. Fortunately, with the help of a Baltimore psychiatric malpractice attorney, you can get the help you need to get through this complex legal battle.
Once you retain the Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers, our attorneys can:
- Go over your case in detail, answer any questions you have, and discuss the legal options you can pursue.
- Investigate your accident thoroughly and secure the valuable evidence needed to prove fault and damages.
- Ensure that your documents are filed correctly and before the statute of limitations expires.
- Bring in the experts such as doctors and economists to substantiate your claims.
- Handle negotiations with the defense and the insurance companies, ensuring we go after a fair settlement on your behalf.
- Take your case to trial if the other side refuses to negotiate, and fight for maximum damages.
Do not wait to get the legal help you need if malpractice has turned your life upside down. At Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers, we are here to fight for your rights and obtain the money you need to rebuild your life. Contact us today at (443) 505-7343 or fill out this form for a free consultation, and let us show you how our legal team can help you.
Spector Injury & Accident Lawyers
225 E Redwood St #400C
Baltimore, MD 21202