When individuals think about medical malpractice, they often think about physicians and the mistakes that are made during surgery. Few individuals take into account how other medical providers, such as psychologists, can also be negligent.
Data published by the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that 40% of all psychologists will have a client file a complaint against them with the licensing board during their 20-year career.
Psychologists often end up facing legal action when they’re not clear in setting boundaries upfront.
Therapists must be clear in establishing the limits of their practice. An example is a counselor that’s working with a child of divorce. If a therapist takes sides with a mom or dad instead of simply advocating for the child, then they may expose themselves to legal liability.
Psychologists also put themselves at risk for a lawsuit when they use communication methods that aren’t compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). If your therapist sends you a text or email through an unencrypted connection, then you may be able to sue them for violating your privacy if an unintended recipient receives that message.
Mental health practitioners must also set boundaries in terms of who they see and how the relationship evolves. It may be unethical for your therapist to see you if you two already share a personal relationship. Counselors shouldn’t become romantically involved with clients, either. You may take legal action if the relationship that you share with your psychologist becomes more personal than professional.
Louisiana psychologists must adhere to such strict ethical standards. It can cloud their ability to diagnose and treat a client or protect their privacy if they’re not. A medical malpractice attorney will ask you more about what happened to you at your Baton Rouge therapist’s hands before advising you whether a lawsuit is warranted.