Suicide Malpractice

EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING VICTIMS OF SUICIDE MALPRACTICE

There are few medical events more stigmatized or with more popular misconceptions and myths than suicide. Perhaps the most prevalent myth is that many or most people who have attempted suicide or expressed suicidal ideation are “destined” to commit suicide and nothing and no one can prevent it from happening. The reality is that most suicidal individuals are highly ambivalent, that the suicidal impulse is an acute condition that can pass in time, and that suicide can often be prevented by timely medical intervention. When medical professionals fail to meet standards of care when treating individuals at risk of suicide, they should be held accountable.

THE ROLE OF NEGLIGENCE IN SUICIDE ATTEMPTS

When a patient is admitted to a hospital’s emergency department following a suicide attempt, doctors evaluate the person’s physical and mental health. This evaluative procedure is a complex, detailed, and time-consuming process informed by the physician’s training and experience. It is an active process in which the clinician evaluates suicidal intent and lethality, dynamic meanings and motivations for suicide, the presence of a suicidal plan, the presence of overt suicidal/self-destructive behavior, the patient’s physiological, cognitive, and affective states, his or her coping potential and epidemiologic risk factors.

After a thorough assessment has been conducted, an individual treatment plan must be designed. Success is more likely when the treatment plan rests on a solid foundation of data and assessment. Psychiatrists (and other medical doctors or providers) in Connecticut have a duty to involuntarily commit a patient who is suicidal or poses an imminent risk of self-harm if efforts at encouraging voluntary admission fail.

Giving the evaluative process short shrift or failing to appropriately respond to the clinical presentation can be deadly.

OUR ATTORNEYS WILL STAND UP FOR YOUR FAMILY’S RIGHTS

When suicide occurs in a medical setting, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be necessary to hold a healthcare provider accountable and to ensure that the opportunities to prevent further avoidable deaths are not squandered.

For instance, a psychiatrist or other healthcare provider may be liable for failing to properly assess a patient’s suicide risk by failing to learn about prior suicide attempts, suicidality, and feelings of hopelessness and anxiety, failing to take into account the person’s behavior prior to discharge from the hospital, or failing to adequately obtain and consider data from collateral sources such as the patient’s family.

If you lost a loved one to suicide due to negligence in a medical setting, our attorneys would be honored to speak with you about your potential legal options. There’s no cost and no obligation, and our conversation is totally confidential. Contact us today to speak with an experienced suicide malpractice attorney.

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If you or someone you love has suffered an injury or illness, you need to take immediate action so we can start our investigation. It’s not just a legal matter; it’s about helping you rebuild your life.

We have a proven track record of success. Other lawyers refer their cases to us because we have the experience and resources to resolve these complex matters.

It’s important that you contact us right away, before evidence disappears and critical legal deadlines expire. Our office is centrally located in Watertown and we offer legal counsel to victims and their families throughout Connecticut. Contact us online or by phone to schedule a free consultation.