Proving liability in suicide
How to show that a healthcare provider was negligent
Generally, the burden is on the Plaintiff – that is, the person bringing the lawsuit – to prove that the mental health provider is liable for the patient's suicide or injury. The Plaintiff must first prove that the provider was negligent in the care for the patient.
Negligence occurs when any mental health provider, including physicians, psychologists, social workers, counselors, therapists, or hospital employees, fails to comply with the standard of practice for providers with similar training and experience. In some cases, the provider has done something that a reasonably prudent provider would not have done in the same situation. In other cases, the provider has failed to do something that a reasonably prudent provider would have done.
Proving that negligence caused the suicide
Once the Plaintiff proves that the provider was negligent, the plaintiff must prove that this negligence caused the suicide or some other injury. At this point it becomes important to determine if the health provider could have or should have anticipated the suicide attempt or some other injury.
Because no mental health provider can guarantee a successful result, they will not be held liable simply because the treatment failed. The care must have been negligent, or the provider will not be liable.
Proving that an injury has been sustained
Finally, the Plaintiff must prove that some injury has been sustained, and present evidence through which the jury can determine the extent of the injury and the proper amount that the Plaintiff should be compensated.
The law varies from state to state. Therefore a tailored legal opinion must be obtained.
Contact the Law Offices of Skip Simpson
If you or a loved one was injured due to the negligence of a healthcare provider, contact a law firm that puts families first. Contact the Law Offices of Skip Simpson. We have an office in the Dallas, Texas area and serve clients nationally. Call 214-618-8222 or complete our online contact form for a free consultation.