Who can file a lawsuit?
A closer look at who is eligible to file a malpractice lawsuit
Although a suicide affects all of us, the law grants only certain individuals the right to pursue a lawsuit arising out of a patient's death. If negligence by a mental health professional causes injury short of death, only the patient typically has the right to bring a lawsuit. In some circumstances, the patient's spouse can join as a party to the lawsuit, recovering for the injury that he or she personally sustained as a result of the negligent treatment of the patient.
Where the negligence has resulted in death, the proper action is a Wrongful Death suit. This action is generally brought either by the victim's closest surviving relatives (usually the patient's spouse, parents, or children), the decedent's Estate, or both. The law varies from state to state. That's why a legal opinion specifically tailored to your case must be obtained.
The importance of a proper suicide risk assessment
Mental health professionals have a duty to properly assess their patients for suicide. They must consider the known risk factors that indicate the risk for suicide, and when a patient is at risk they have a duty to act to prevent the suicide. Sadly, millions of living Americans have lost a family member to suicide while thinking that their loved one was receiving competent, professional care. The reality is that not all health care is good, or even adequate.
We believe that reducing the suicide rate in America requires holding mental health professionals accountable.
How a lawyer can help
Break the cycle. Help prevent future suicides. Contact a compassionate attorney who cares about people and demands justice. Contact the Law Offices of Skip Simpson.
Attorney Simpson has dedicated his career to fighting for society's most vulnerable citizens. For a free consultation, contact the Law Offices of Skip Simpson, serving clients in Texas and throughout the nation.