Mental health practitioners have a professional responsibility to provide safe and adequate care. Therapists hold a powerful influence over their patients because they help patients process their emotions on past events. When a therapist abuses their power and makes sexual advancements toward their patient, this serves as a violation of the therapist-client relationship.
If you or a loved one was sexually abused by a mental health therapist in Bellevue, WA, you may have grounds to pursue compensation for any damages you suffered. A Bellevue, WA therapist sexual abuse lawyer from Jenner Law can represent you throughout your case and help you hold the appropriate party or parties accountable for professional malpractice and negligence. We offer a free consultation to discuss your options. A therapist abuse lawyer can handle your entire case.
Therapists Who Sexually Abuse Their Patients Violate Their Industry’s Standard of Care
As mentioned, therapists hold a powerful position over their patients when prescribing and administering therapy. This is largely due to the “transference phenomena,” which occurs because patients direct their emotions and feelings toward their therapist as they express themselves in therapy. These feelings can build trust, much in the way that a child would trust their parent, as the therapist serves as an authoritative figure in the patient’s life.
While therapists should have the tools and experience to manage transference, some therapists may take advantage of the situation and direct their unresolved traumas or emotions to their client. This is called countertransference.
Therapists may exploit vulnerable clients by grooming them for a romantic or sexual relationship.
Boundaries Must Exist to Maintain Appropriate Therapist-Client Relationships
All therapists have a professional responsibility to maintain appropriate boundaries with their patients. This might involve:
- Setting strict time slots for appointments
- Maintaining no contact with their patients besides a handshake or nonsexual hug
- Keeping their own personal issues out of the conversation so that they may focus on their patients
- Making no intentional contact with their patients outside of the mental health facility or office
Therapists who overstep these boundaries may violate the state’s standard level of care for mental health treatment. If you or a loved one was sexually abused during an appointment or outside of the office, these actions may be considered serious violations of the therapist’s duty of care to you as a patient. You can discuss your experience with one of our team members to determine whether you have grounds to sue for malpractice.
For a free legal consultation with a therapist sexual abuse lawyer call,
You May Qualify to Demand Compensation for Several Forms of Damages in WA
If you were a victim of sexual abuse by a therapist in Washington State, you may qualify to pursue compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses: If you suffered injuries as a result of your abuse and required medical treatment, you may be compensated for these costs. Additionally, medical expenses can include costs for new psychological treatment and prescription medication.
- Pain and suffering: The psychological trauma caused by sexual abuse can cause patients to fall into a deep depression, have panic attacks, or develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among other types of mood disorders. If you suffered physical or emotional pain because of your abuse, you may be entitled to compensation.
This is not a complete list of damages you may qualify for in your case. You will have an opportunity to speak with our team about everything you’ve gone through, whether you’ve lost your job due to depression caused by the abuse or have physical injuries that the therapist inflicted on you. Once we understand your case, we will calculate an approximate value and use this figure to pursue compensation on your behalf.
How Our Legal Team at Jenner Law Can Help You Prepare Your Case
If you decide to work with a therapist abuse lawyer on our team, we offer to:
- Investigate your case, such as by reviewing your medical records and any complaints that may have been filed against your therapist
- Collect additional evidence to support your claims, such as witness testimony, sound recordings, and photographs of any abuse
- Represent you during all communications, such as with the defendant’s legal team, which can relieve you of stress
- Answering any questions you have about your case and providing legal advice
- Preparing your case for trial if necessary, as well as how you should prepare if you decide to testify
We aim to be transparent in our legal representation of you. While we will offer legal counsel, we will also respect any legal decisions you make during your case.
You May Have a Limited Time to File Your Case as a Sexual Abuse Victim
How long you have to file a sexual abuse lawsuit depends on several factors including when the abuse occurred and how old you were when you were receiving therapy. Once you discuss your case with our team, we can help you determine how much time you have to file your case.
If you hire us early enough, we may be able to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, preserving your right to recover compensation.
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Call Jenner Law Today to Hire a Washington Therapist Sexual Abuse Lawyer
If you, your child, or a loved one was a victim of sexual abuse by a mental health therapist in Washington, you may qualify to demand compensation from a liable party. At Jenner Law, we help victims like you fight for their right to be compensated for the pain and suffering they endured. Additionally, we want to help you hold the appropriate party or parties accountable for their negligence and hopefully prevent future patients from becoming victims.
Call Jenner Law today to receive a free consultation. With this consultation, you can speak with a member of our team about your case and learn more about your legal options. We’ll assign a Bellevue therapist sexual abuse attorney to your case and start working for you right away.