When it comes to medical malpractice, most people think about a physician who makes an error in diagnosing, treating, or managing a physical injury or illness. What they may not realize is that a therapist who cares for their patients’ mental health and well-being can also be guilty of medical malpractice. They are licensed medical professionals who provide an important form of healthcare to patients with mental and emotional issues and illnesses. If the care they provide is negligent, or jeopardizes the patient’s health or safety, they may be guilty of medical malpractice.
When a patient is suffering from a mental or emotional disorder, and they take the courageous step to seek treatment, they are placing their health and well-being in the hands of a trusted professional. Therapy often involves sharing some of the most personal, painful, and traumatic experiences, which can leave the patient feeling very exposed and vulnerable. Therefore, it is the therapist’s responsibility to establish a relationship that is built on trust and mutual respect. When a therapist abuses that trust, or takes advantage of the patient’s vulnerability, it can be extremely harmful to the patient. As a result, the patient may decide to sue the therapist for medical malpractice.
Common Forms of Malpractice Involving a Therapist
Therapists go through extensive training on how to conduct therapy sessions that are safe, productive, and do not harm their patients, particularly if they are extremely upset or are having an emotional breakdown. Even the slightest misstep can be harmful to the patient, which could lead to a malpractice case. The following are examples of harmful behaviors that could result in a medical malpractice charge:
Sexually aggressive behavior toward the patient
Failure to take thorough, accurate notes
Misdiagnosing a patient to their advantage
Offering advice that causes the patient to harm themselves
Sharing personal, inappropriate details with the patient
Breaking patient confidentiality
There are two types of therapists that provide treatment for a range of mental and emotional issues. Psychiatrists have a medical degree and may prescribe medication. Psychologists do not have a medical degree, so if the patient requires medication, they must be referred to a psychiatrist. However, both are qualified to help patients who are in a fragile mental state. When the care provided is harmful, or negligent, a skilled medical malpractice lawyer can advocate for the patient and ensure that their legal rights are protected.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Medical Negligence
If you or a loved one has received substandard, or negligent care from a therapist, it is in your best interest to contact the skilled and compassionate Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We believe that a person’s mental and emotional health is just as important as their physical health. When a therapist behaves in a way that is harmful, or that jeopardizes the patient’s health and safety, it is an abuse of trust. We are committed to protecting your rights and will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, do not hesitate to call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.