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Can Psychiatric Malpractice be Medical Malpractice in Illinois?

Tom Koester

When you have undergone a trauma or are just looking to improve your mental or emotional health, your first step may be to seek out the help of a psychiatrist. As such, you have a certain expectation that your psychiatrist will help to foster some kind of growth. Like when you seek out a medical professional to treat an injury, you are an entitled to a certain expectation that they will help or at least not hinder your treatment. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Just like with doctors, if your psychiatrist is behaving inappropriately, they can be sued for medical malpractice.

What Does Psychiatric Malpractice Include?

The unfortunate reality is that unlike medical malpractice suits in Illinois, psychiatric malpractice can be
more difficult to identify and prove. While injuries treated poorly often have physical consequences, many
inappropriate actions by a psychiatrist only manifest in the mind. This causes psychiatric malpractice to be
woefully under-reported because patients aren’t sure where to turn or even if they were being abused.

Examples of psychiatric abuse include:

  • Engaging or attempting to engage in sexual relationships with patients
  • Prescribing medications not related to your emotional or mental issues
  • Abuse of a physical, verbal, or emotional nature
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Negligent hospital care in a psychiatric facility

What to Do When Abuse Occurs?

Like with medical malpractice suits, patients in Illinois who are victimized by the negligent or abusive actions of a psychiatrist have the right to financial compensation. They simply have to seek it out. If you believe you have been a victim of your psychiatrist,  contact us today. The Law Office of Koester Law, PLLC can sit down with you and make sure you have a case for psychiatric malpractice as well as advise you on how to gather evidence to have the best possible case.

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