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What Is Psychiatric Malpractice?

  10422524_s-300x199 (1).jpgPhoto Credit: 123RF Stock Photo[/caption] Psychiatrists are medical professionals just like doctors, nurses, obstetricians, surgeons, and pediatricians. As such, psychiatrists are held to medical standards of care when they provide treatment, and the deviation from such accepted standards of care can result in liability. As with any medical malpractice claim, the injured party must show the following:

  • the psychiatrist had a duty to provide the appropriate medical care;
  • the psychiatrist failed to provide the appropriate medical care; and
  • the psychiatrist's deviation from the appropriate standard of care caused the plaintiff to sustain injuries or damages.

Common types of psychiatric malpractice can include:

  • Sexual misconduct
  • Abuse of knowledge or power
  • Threatening a patient
  • Failure to diagnose a serious condition
  • Failure to perform a suicide risk assessment
  • Failure to warn (if credible threats are made against a third party)
  • False repressed memories
  • Medication errors
  • Prescribing incorrect or harmful medications
  • Sharing information without patient consent

No medical malpractice lawsuit is without challenges, but one of the unique challenges associated with psychiatric malpractice is that delay in reporting abuse or negligence. The victims of psychiatric malpractice may be emotionally unstable or may question their own mental condition or ability to evaluate a situation. Patients often fear that their complaints about psychiatric negligence or abuse will be disregarded as a misrepresentation, a misunderstanding, or an over-dramatization of the circumstances. If you suspect that you or a loved one is the victim of psychiatric malpractice, it is important to act quickly in order to preserve evidence, protect your legal rights, and prevent additional injuries. In Illinois, a medical malpractice lawsuit without death must be filed within two years of the date of that the patient became aware of, or should have become aware of, the medical negligence. If the plaintiff successfully establishes liability, he or she may receive the following medical malpractice damages:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future income
  • Household services
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Permanent disability
  • Disfigurement

The Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish are committed to helping the victims of medical malpractice - including psychiatric malpractice - obtain maximum financial recovery.  If you have been the victim of a psychiatric malpractice, contact our office at (312) 445-9084 to schedule a free consultation to learn more about a possible medical malpractice lawsuit.   Source: Psychiatric Malpractice Lawsuits and Their Causes     Steinberg Goodman & Kalish ( is dedicated to protecting victims and their families. We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084.    

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