Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

Can you sue your mental health counselor for negligence?

Psychiatrists must go to medical school like any other physician to be able to diagnose and treat mental health disorders with medication. Psychologists and therapists attend graduate school to learn to identify and treat these disorders using nonmedicinal approaches. Since both practitioners are capable of diagnosing your condition, you may wonder if either one can be sued if they make a mistake. They can be.

Licensed mental health practitioners are supposed to perform a risk assessment on new clients and existing ones with a history of depression, suicidal ideation or some other potentially dangerous psychological or psychiatric condition.

By performing this assessment, they're supposed to able to determine if their client has the potential of harming their self or someone else. If they fail to perform this assessment and someone gets hurt, then a therapist can be sued for malpractice.

Individuals may also file malpractice suits against their therapists if they disclose their personal medical information to others without their consent. If a counselor or doctor crosses professional boundaries and allows their relationship to become sexual, then this may warrant the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit as well.

The deadline by which a professional negligence lawsuit must be filed varies by jurisdiction. Local and state governing boards and court systems may have specific procedures in place that must be followed when an individual files a claim. As an example, a therapist or doctor's health center may have to be put on notice about any alleged malpractice before any lawsuit can be filed.

A medical malpractice attorney can review your case and determine whether what happened to you at the hands of your New Haven therapist or doctor can be considered as negligence. If they deem that's the case, then they can advise you of the statute of limitations that exists in Connecticut for filing medical malpractice claims.

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