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Are psychiatric malpractice claims difficult to prove?

Woodland Hills, CA |

In 2008 I started seeing a psychologist for chronic, mild depression (dysthymia). While there this became major recurrent depression and anxiety. I have records showing that the dr never adjusted my meds as my condition worsened, keeping me on minimal doses of Wellbutrin, then Celexa. She never referred me to cognitive behavior therapy, and she did not refer me to another counselor. She basically saw me for 10 minutes or less, and only refilled prescriptions and asked how I was feeling in the general sense. I didn’t realize this until I saw my new dr, and I saw the records for a disability claim. My condition got worse, as did my quality of life and ability to function properly. Her notes back all of this up. Is there a potential claim there if I didn’t commit or attempt suicide?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Whether you have a claim or not does not depend on whether or not you attempted suicide. In order to have a viable claim you must demonstrate that the care you received fell below the applicable standard of care AND was a recognised cause of your current worse condition. (The applicable standard of care simply means that the doctor treated you in a way that similar doctors would not have done under the same or similar circumstances.) This is done by retaining a lawyer who is willing to gather your records and have them reviewed by a psychiatric expert who offers an opinion that the standard of care was breached and you suffered an injury. There is no viable claim unless and until such an opinion is secured.

    If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.


  2. Mr. Fabiano nailed it. Important to consult an experience malpractice attorney to assess your claim, obtain your records and have them reviewed by a qualified professional.

    Please note: This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy. * The Law Office of Eduardo A. Brito specializes in the areas of personal injury, professional malpractice, insurance disputes, and employment law and does so anywhere in the State of California.


  3. Very difficult case to prove if you are able to walk and function. Hard to second guess the doctor. However, as pointed out, get an attorney to review your psychiatric record and let his expert advise him as to whether there is or not a potential malpractice case. Best of luck.

    This answer is provided by California Accident Attorney Manuel A. Juarez, Esq., 510-206-4492. Abogado de Accidentes de Autos de California: 510-206-4492. Abogado de Lesiones de Accidentes de Autos, provides answers of a general context. These answers are not intended to form an attorney client relationship. Oakland Abogado Accidentes Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Accidentes de carros, Abogado de accidentes de Peatones, practices in Antioch, Berkeley, Concord, Oakland, Hayward, Martinez, Newark, Richmond, San Francisco and San Rafael. El abogado de lesiones y heridos en accidentes de autos, is licensed only in California. This information is good only in California and it is not to be taken as legal advice on car accidents, personal injury, divorce, bankruptcy or in any other type of situation. Esta respuesta es del Abogado de Accidentes de Autos, Abogado de Lesiones Personales, Abogado de Heridos en Accidentes de carros, Manuel A. Juárez, 510-206-4492. Abogado Hispano de Accidentes, Abogado de Divorcios, Abogado Latino de Accidentes, Abogado de Accidentes de Oakland, Hayward, San Francisco, California. Estas respuesta son solo para información general y no consisten en consejo legal sobre divorcios, mantención de esposas, mantención de hijos o bancarrotas. Las respuestas son comentarios legales que no forman una relación de abogado y cliente. Manuel Juarez, Esq., esta licenciado solo en el Estado de California.


  4. Fabiano laid it out well

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