Yes, it is possible to file a psychiatrist medical malpractice claim in Atlanta. As with any other type of malpractice case, a claimant must prove certain elements.
Elements to File a Psychiatrist Malpractice Claim
The first element is showing the existence of a doctor/patient relationship. This is important because there is an expected duty of care if receiving treatment from a psychiatrist.
A second element is that the psychiatrist breached the duty of care owed to the patient. This stems from medical negligence, which means acting in an unreasonable manner. To determine whether a doctor's actions aren't reasonable, they are compared to what another psychiatrist under similar circumstances would have done.
Psychiatrist negligence could include a variety of actions; for instance, not adequately assessing a patient's risk of suicide. Another is prescribing a drug without considering other medications the patient is taking. It could also be a failure to properly monitor the patient while on potent medications.
The third element is that the breach in duty of care resulted in significant emotional and/or physical injury. Making a mistake doesn't automatically give a patient (or the family of a patient) the right to pursue legal action. Evidence of harm is needed. Talk to a med mal lawyer about obtaining important charts and documents from the doctor.
For example, a psychiatrist prescribed a medication that interacted with another the patient was taking, and the interaction resulted in physical harm. Sometimes this is challenging, such as with suicide.
Finally, the claimant must prove that he or she suffered damages as a result of the negligence and resultant injuries.
Damages might include:
- medical costs for treatment;
- pain and suffering; and
- loss of consortium (in the case of a suicide).
Because of the many complex issues that can arise in these types of cases, it's best to seek legal advice.
Importance of Securing Legal Representation
In addition to the complexity involved in a malpractice case, there are various laws that apply such as time limits in filing a psychiatrist medical malpractice claim. It also requires a great deal of evidence and paperwork. To learn if you have a case, contact Jason R. Schultz in the Atlanta area. Call us at (404) 474-0804.