Can Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Utah Help Victims of Negligent Mental Health Professionals

ELI5: Negligence


If you’ve had a bad experience with a mental health professional, you may be wondering if you’re eligible for compensation based upon your experience. Maybe it’s time to begin searching for the best medical malpractice lawyers in Utah. Having a bad experience, especially with mental health concerns, may be an excruciatingly painful ordeal. However, before you start calling all the best medical malpractice lawyers Utah has, it’s important that you understand all the nuances of medical malpractice in the mental health field. This way, you can determine whether or not even the most experienced medical malpractice lawyers Utah has will be able to help you win the compensation you deserve.


Medical malpractice lawyers in Utah deal with a wide variety of cases because, in Utah, medical malpractice is a complicated field. If you have been injured by the negligence of a therapist, a Utah medical malpractice attorney may be able to help you. However, before you start trying to find the most qualified malpractice attorney Utah has, you’ll need to have a good understanding of medical malpractice itself. In the most simple terms, medical malpractice occurs when a doctor makes a mistake. In most of the cases of medical malpractice Utah has seen there are four elements: duty, breach of duty, damages, and causation. Due to the nature of the patient-doctor relationship, it’s fairly easy to prove duty. However, you also have to prove that the doctor breached their duty by doing something outside the standard of care, and that the patient was damaged. Lastly, the plaintiff will have to prove that the damages were caused by the doctor’s actions, and by no other way. In a lot of the cases of medical malpractice Utah has seen, proving this has been difficult. For this reason, it may be advisable to find the most experienced malpractice attorney Utah has. Medical malpractice lawyers in Utah can help you recover compensation for your injury.


It’s time to start looking for medical malpractice lawyers in Utah when your doctor has acted outside the standard of care. In very simple terms, a healthcare provider fails to meet the standard of care when he, or she, acts in a way medical professionals with similar credentials and experience would. In order to prove that a medical professional’s conduct has deviated from the standard of care, most medical malpractice lawyers in Utah will start by hiring experts with the same credentials as the defendant to testify that they would have acted differently. For example, if you have been diagnosed with mild autism, and your psychiatrist prescribes electroshock therapy, and you now have significant and permanent problems with memory due to the electroshock therapy, it may be time to start googling “medical malpractice attorney Utah”.  This is because using electroshock therapy for mild autism is not a standard treatment, and the patient has been damaged by the treatment. Though most of this is on a case by case basis, it may be a good idea to start interviewing the best malpractice lawyers Utah has.


The Utah Health Care Malpractice Act can be nuanced and complicated. In fact, after reading Utah’s law, a lot of people have questions that only medical malpractice lawyers in Utah can answer. But, one thing is certain: Much like general practitioners, healthcare providers such as psychologists and psychiatrists are able to be sued for medical malpractice. The only problem is that proving breach of duty and damages may be difficult. The problem is that almost all sessions are not recorded so there’s no reliable way to determine what was actually said. Likewise, there’s also no reliable way to determine which events did occur and which did not. Psychiatrists and psychologists are held to different standards of care since psychiatrists can prescribe medication and psychologists cannot.


Outside of extreme circumstances, it may be very difficult to sue a psychologist for medical malpractice–even for the most experienced medical malpractice attorney Utah has. This is important to know if you’re typing “medical malpractice lawyers Salt Lake City Utah” into every search engine available. There are some instances where a mental health professional can be responsible for the effects of misconduct. Since the vast majority of therapists do not have in-person contact with their clients outside of the practice, most of the cases would be based on events that have occurred during a session. And, as previously mentioned, it may be difficult to sue a psychologist if the sessions are not recorded.


A bad experience is not necessarily malpractice. For example, if you go in for surgery on your foot and, before the operation, the doctor warns you that infection is common with this surgery, it would be difficult to file a claim for medical malpractice if you end up with an infection. This is because infection is a known side effect of having a surgery done, and you were informed about it. Though it may be a bad experience, it doesn’t mean your doctor acted outside of the scope of care. And, in medical malpractice claims the medical professional must have acted outside the scope of their practice. The same thing applies to therapists and psychiatrists. For example, although therapy may be emotionally distressing, that is to be expected; it doesn’t mean your therapist made a mistake. Therapy often brings up harsh feelings. Much like medical doctors, healthcare providers such as psychologists and psychiatrists are able to be sued for medical malpractice, but winning a malpractice case because you became upset talking with your therapist would be very difficult since these emotions are a known side effect of therapy. Most medical malpractice lawyers in Utah will want to see significant evidence proving your mental health professional acted outside the scope of practice.


In order for a misdiagnosis to meet the standard of medical malpractice, you’d need to prove that being misdiagnosed damaged you somehow. This would be hard to prove in therapy because, though it may be emotionally distressing to receive an incorrect diagnosis, a jury would likely have a difficult time ascertaining exactly how much compensation to award a victim of emotional distress. It may be more likely for a court to award damages in the case of a suicide attempt or a suicide. Because, in the case of a suicide attempt, the patient might have medical bills from the attempt. And, in the case of a suicide, the family could have a wrongful death claim. However, in a case like that, malpractice would still be difficult to prove because the patient, or the patient’s family, would need to show that the suicide, or suicide attempt, was a direct result of the mental health professional’s negligence. Again, this would be very difficult to prove without the sessions being recorded. So, before calling medical malpractice lawyers in Utah, it may be best to make sure you can prove that your damages were caused solely by your mental health care provider.


Undue influence can be a cause for medical malpractice, especially when it comes to psychologists and psychiatrists. Undue influence occurs when a person in a position of power uses their position to manipulate a vulnerable person into doing something that disproportionately benefits the person in power. For example, if a therapist tells a client that purchasing products from the therapist’s MLM will cure the client’s mental illness, that could be a case of undue influence. This is especially true if the client would not have otherwise purchased the product. However, outside of extreme circumstances such as the aforementioned, it may be difficult to sue a mental health care professional for undue influence. Therapists do have a lot of influence. So, if you’re searching for “medical malpractice lawyers Salt Lake City Utah”, it’s important that you have evidence that your therapist has committed undue influence.


If you’re looking for medical malpractice lawyers in Utah, you’ll want to make sure that your mental health care provider has accurately informed you on any procedures or medications that are being prescribed. In short, informed consent laws were created to ensure that patients knew enough about the procedure and the risks associated with it to give their consent. In some situations, the risks of a procedure do not outweigh the benefits of the procedure. Proving that a person did not have enough information before beginning therapy may be incredibly difficult since the person attending therapy knew or reasonably should have known what therapy entails. However, if a psychiatrist fails to warn patients of the potential side effects of the medicine they’ve prescribed, the patient may have a malpractice claim. If you’re concerned about whether or not this has impacted your claim, you may need to speak with the best legal malpractice attorney Utah has. However, most medical malpractice attorneys in Utah may be hesitant to take a case based on informed consent in therapy without significant evidence and significant damages. In order to prove that you were not properly informed you would need to show that you were damaged and that you would not have been damaged if not for the procedure and you would not have undergone the procedure had you been properly informed. For example, you may find therapy to be upsetting to the point where you have to miss work in order to cope with the emotions that are coming up. While this is unfortunate, it may still be difficult to sue the therapist for this because emotional distress can be part of therapy and can also be difficult to put a value on.


Grooming is when a person builds and maintains a relationship with the goal of manipulating or exploiting another person for personal gain. Psychologists and psychiatrists are in the perfect position to groom vulnerable and unsuspecting clients. A mental health professional could be liable for medical malpractice if they exploit a client sexually. It may be difficult to prove that your therapist exploited you emotionally for personal gain since, as previously mentioned, the sessions are not recorded, and the therapist may argue that they were simply doing their job and it was you who pursued the sexual relationship. However, if a person who was cognitively impaired or underage were to engage in a sexual relationship with their mental healthcare provider, that may be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.


Your therapist is supposed to keep all of your information confidential. Although everything that’s said in therapy is confidential, there are some exceptions. For example, if a client mentions that they are going to harm themselves or someone else, or discloses that there has been child abuse, a therapist may be responsible for alerting the appropriate authorities. However, barring extenuating circumstances, your therapist is supposed to keep everything you say confidential. If your psychologist or psychiatrist releases confidential information in any way to someone who should not have access to it, they could be responsible if you are damaged by the release of this information. In order to determine whether or not you have a case, you may need to contact medical malpractice attorneys in Utah.


Psychologists and psychiatrists both have a responsibility to report instances of abuse. If you tell your therapist you’re being abused, or that someone else has been abused—especially children—they have an obligation to disclose the information to the appropriate authorities. If a psychologist or psychiatrist fails to report instances of abuse, and the client, or a victim of the client, is harmed by the reported abuse, there may be a medical malpractice claim. It’s difficult for medical malpractice attorneys in Utah to prove this without substantial evidence. Again, this is because therapists and psychiatrists don’t normally record their sessions.


Premises liability is a legal concept. The idea is that property owners are liable for any injuries that occur on their property due to their negligence. The classic example of this is a slip and fall. If you’re in your therapist’s office, and you slip and fall, and you become injured, the owner of the property may be liable. In this example, you might not be able to sue your therapist, but you may be able to recover compensation by suing the practice. In a psychiatric institution, such as a mental hospital, the property owners of such establishments are also responsible for keeping the premises free of any hazard that could cause a person to become injured. Though premises liability cases do not fall under medical malpractice, most medical malpractice lawyers in Utah can also handle premises liability cases.


Mental Institutions and therapeutic practices are both responsible for making sure the medical professionals they hire have the education, certifications, and experience necessary to work in the position they’ve been hired to work in. If a background check would have revealed that an employee didn’t have the proper experience or education, the practice, or hospital could be liable for any injuries that employee causes to patients. These institutions are also responsible for making sure they don’t hire someone who has a known history of harming patients. If an institution hired an orderly with a known history of assaulting patients, the institution would be liable if that orderly assaulted their patients.


Negligent supervision can apply to both medical professionals and patients. Hospitals are supposed to provide a reasonable amount of supervision to their patients. Individuals who are suffering from psychiatric disturbances may need additional supervision than adults who are not suffering from the aforementioned disturbances. For example, it is reasonable to confiscate the shoelaces of patients in a psychiatric facility. However, it is probably unreasonable to confiscate the shoelaces of all patients at a doctor’s office. Practices and institutions are also responsible for making sure their employees are properly supervised as well. If a patient is able to divert pain medicine or another abusable substance from patients, thus exposing them to blood-borne illnesses, the institution may be responsible for this since their lack of supervision allowed the employee to steal pain medication.


Mental Institutions and Therapeutic practices are responsible for ensuring that they do not continue to employ people after they’ve either found out that the person is unqualified to do the job they were hired to do, or they have already harmed a patient. For example, if a mental institution hires a psychiatrist to prescribe medications and treat patients, and it turns out that the person claiming to be a psychiatrist didn’t even finish high school, the mental institution would be liable for any further harm the employee did if they continued to allow him to practice.


Being in a position where you’re punching “medical malpractice attorney Salt Lake City Utah” into Google is not an enviable position. However, at Moxie Law Group, our legal team is here for you. We’re dedicated to providing you with the resources and legal advice necessary to make the most informed decisions about pursuing compensation for your injury. If you have been injured, Moxie Law Group is just a phone call away. Our firm is committed to fighting for the compensation you deserve. Contact Moxie Law Group today.

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