Visiting a psychiatrist is something people do when they are struggling with major depression, mental illness, or other types of emotional disorders. If you were visiting a psychiatrist and then found out that he or she shared confidential information with someone, you might be able to sue him or her for medical malpractice. To do this, you will need to prove several things, and this is not always easy to do. Here are several things you should know about this type of situation.
Medical Malpractice Cases Against Psychiatrists Must Have 4 Elements
Before you can even think about suing your psychiatrist, you must make sure the following four elements are present. The first is proving you had a relationship with the doctor that was doctor-patient. This is the easiest to prove, and you can do so by showing billing statements.
The next three elements are demonstrating that the doctor was negligent and that this negligence caused you some type of injury. In addition, you must be able to show the correlation with the negligence and the injury. If your psychiatrist shared confidential information with someone that he or she should not have shared it with, this is the negligence. To have a case, you must show how this act caused harm to you and prove that it is connected.
You Must Have Proof the Psychiatrist Did Something Wrong
The four elements needed are vital for a medical malpractice case; and while it is easy to prove the first element, it is not always so simple to prove the other three. You may want to begin with the evidence you have that your psychiatrist shared your personal, confidential information with someone else.
The first thing to evaluate is who the doctor shared this with. Did the doctor just randomly run out and tell people about your personal details? How did you find out the doctor did this? Do you have proof that this really happened? If so, what proof do you have? To win a case, you will need evidence that proves this completely.
The second thing you will have to prove is the injuries or trauma this caused you. For example, if one of your co-workers found out your deep, dark secrets you told your psychiatrist and this caused your workplace to turn against you and treat you poorly, this could be the evidence you need for your case.
You Will Probably Face Several Challenges During Your Case
You should understand that when you sue a psychiatrist, he or she is probably going to fight the case, and there are several common defenses psychiatrists use when defending themselves in lawsuits.
One of the main defenses a psychiatrist may use is saying that he or she only told someone about your details to protect you. If a psychiatrist believes you could injure yourself or others, he or she has the duty of telling someone so that you do not cause any injuries.
One other challenge you may face involves the statutes of limitations with cases like this. Most states have limits, which range from one to three years, in which you can initiate a case. If you wait too long, you may lose your right to sue. If this problem recently happened, you should not have to worry about losing the opportunity to sue. You should talk to a lawyer, though, to find out more about this.
If you think you have a good, solid case against your psychiatrist, talk to an attorney that specializes in medical malpractice and find out here. He or she can help you determine if you have a case and how you should proceed with it.