You may see a mental health professional because your life took a sudden turn, and you are having trouble coping with it. You trust and rely on those with experience to help you get through the challenging issues.
Do you feel your psychologist, psychiatrist or therapist is harming more than helping? When professionals fail to provide the help you need or abuse their power; there may be serious harm to your mental well-being. Can you file a lawsuit for medical malpractice?
Elements of a medical malpractice case
As with other forms of medical malpractice, Florida law requires that you establish four elements:
- The existence of a doctor and patient relationship with duty of care
- The mental health professional breached the duty of care
- You suffered harm
- There is a link between the breach of duty and the harm suffered
The burden of proof rests on you to bring forward evidence that the professional caused you harm.
Common causes of mental health malpractice
Showing proof of mental health malpractice may be a little tricky. With other types of medical malpractice, there is usually a visible injury. However, Florida statutes apply to all health care providers, so those with PTSD, schizophrenia, depression and other mental health issues have recourse.
Common grounds for a lawsuit may include:
- Medication mistakes
- Diagnosis errors
- Violation of confidentiality
Just as with any medical malpractice suit, there is a statute of limitations of two years. The two years begin with the date of the injury.
If you believe a mental health professional harmed you, you may be able to file a lawsuit. These types of cases present challenges, but knowing your rights may help you get the compensation you deserve.