Medical malpractice may be more closely associated with physical conditions and injuries caused by surgeons or specialists like cardiologists, but psychiatric malpractice is also a real concern in the medical field.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by the negligence or wrongdoing of a mental health provider, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered. The psychiatric malpractice attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC, have more than a combined 100 years of experience standing up for injured clients in Connecticut. We are happy to provide targeted legal guidance and discuss your options for a malpractice claim.

Types of Psychiatric Malpractice Cases

The complexities of psychological disorders and emotional trauma make treatment in the psychiatric field challenging, but mental health professionals like psychiatrists and psychotherapists have a duty to their patients just like any other healthcare provider. Negligence and carelessness on the part of psychiatric service providers can come in many forms, but they typically fall within five categories.

Abuse of Power

There is an inherent power dynamic in the relationship between doctors and patients, and this is especially true for psychiatrists and their patients. When mental health professionals use their position of authority to coerce or force a patient to do something that is not in their best interests, this could be considered an abuse of power that leads to injuries and harm.

Abusive Treatment

Abuse in the psychiatric field is far too common. When healthcare professionals think they can take advantage of patients suffering from psychiatric disorders and illnesses, and their abusive treatment leads to further harm, they could face liability in a medical malpractice claim.

Medication Errors

Prescribing medications is a careful balance. The dosage must be effective without hurting the patient or having a harmful interaction with other medications. Psychiatrists who do not prescribe or administer the correct medicine in the appropriate dosage can cause significant harm to patients.

Diagnosis Errors

Many psychiatric disorders have the same or similar symptoms, which can make diagnosis challenging. However, misdiagnosis or late diagnosis can lead to a patient’s actual illness not getting treated and cause complications from unnecessary treatment for a disorder they didn’t have.

Third-Party Liability

The nature of some psychiatric conditions is that they make the patient a danger to themselves or other people. Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals must provide prompt and proper care to protect their patients and the public and ensure that their patients are stable before releasing them.

Psychiatric malpractice may look like:

  • Failing to provide the proper treatment
  • Failing to adequately supervise a patient
  • Causing further emotional or psychological harm
  • Ignoring the signs of a serious mental health condition
  • Misdiagnosing a psychiatric disorder
  • Discharging a patient before they were stable
  • Administering the wrong medicine or wrong dosage

Damages for People Injured by Psychiatric Malpractice

Medical malpractice claims, including those against psychiatric service providers, often involve an award for damages such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma

Punitive damages may also be an option in rare cases involving gross negligence or wrongdoing.

A Trusted Advocate in Your Psychiatric Malpractice Case

The psychological and mental distress caused by a psychiatrist’s abuse or negligence can make it difficult for injured patients to feel hope about recovery or to trust someone to help them on that journey. At D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC, we prioritize our clients’ needs by providing compassionate and dedicated representation because we understand how frightening and overwhelming the process can feel without someone on your side. Contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn more about why we would be the ideal partner in your fight for justice.