Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider violates the governing standard of care when providing treatment to a patient and the patient suffers an injury. Medical malpractice can result from action or by the failure to take a medically appropriate action. Examples of medical malpractice include:
- Misdiagnosis of or failure to diagnose a disease or medical condition;
- Failure to provide appropriate treatment for a medical condition; or
- Unreasonable delay in treating a diagnosed medical condition;
Medical malpractice actions can be brought against any licensed health care provider including doctors, counselors, psychologists and psychotherapists. There are various types of malpractice suits that can be brought against therapists. All cases of therapist abuse involve malpractice. However, not all cases of therapist malpractice include abuse. Psychotherapist abuse usually involves exploitation of a patient for the therapist’s own advantage. Sexual relations with a current patient are not permitted even if alleged to be consensual. If exploitation occurs, a malpractice case can also be brought against the therapist for a violation of the standard of care. All licensed therapists are held to a standard of care and psychiatrists additionally are also required to medicate patients appropriately.
Medical malpractice actions must be filed within thirty months of the date of the act or omission. For medical malpractice actions involving minors, a minor ordinarily has three years from the date of his or her eighteenth birthday to commence litigation, but the statute of limitations can be extended depending on the circumstances such as when the person first reasonably realized the harm.
If you feel that you have received negligent care from a therapist, consult with an experienced attorney.