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Nine Hour Office Visit By Psychiatrist Leads To Four Days In Psychiatric Hospital. Malpractice?

Atascadero, CA |

Thank you for taking my question. I was sent to be reviewed by a psychiatrist to dimiss my Workers Compensation claim. The psychiatrist had stated on his form the visit would be "Two to Four Hours" and this lasted Nine hours in his office. No access to food, water fountain broke, and medication.

I went into withdrawals by hour six, doctor said we had to continue even though I said I was getting sick and it was late. After hour number nine in his office, he sent me on my way and my wife drove me to the hospital. ER sent me to a mental hospital (first time anything like this occurred to me) for four days from poor care. Did my doctor fail the standard of care or is this normal?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Best answer

    It is a crime to lock a person in a room with no avenue of escape for even a minute.

    If you can prove the physician locked you up such that it was impossible for you to get up and walk out, REPORT THIS PHYSICIAN TO THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY.

    If you COULD walk out but chose to remain to finish the appointment, I'm wondering how a Medical Malpractice Attorney would make any recovery.

    If you were in a chemical withdrawal mode you couldn't answer the evaluation questions accurately, you needed to stop and walk out. The evaluation won't be accurate because you cannot give accurate testimony and answers if you are experiecing symptoms of chemical withdrawal at the time questions are being posed.

    Did this doctor fail the standard of care? Maybe, maybe not. MMPIs and psych testing takes thousands of questions to see if the patient if 'faking good', 'faking bad' or otherwise. Perhaps a person consenting to remain with 'no apparent distress' is within the standard of care for a one-time psych evaluation.

    Is this Normal? NO. I direct my clients to get up and walk out once they experience physical pain such that they cannot fully and accurately participate in the examination...there is no requirement the information be obtained in one session.

  2. Consult with a malpractice attorney but it looks like a divi cult claim. Also looks like false imprisonment,,nine hours with no food or drink? That doesn't sound right.

    Call for a free consultation at 727-937-1400 or visit us on the Web at

  3. It sounds highly improper but you need to speak with a CA malpractice lawyer. Was this ordered by the workers compensation commission? If so, it should be brought to their attention as well

  4. I'm sorry to hear about this, but a lawsuit would likely costs thousands more than would be recovered.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755

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