Southern Arizona residents frequently turn to therapists and other mental health professionals to address a variety of psychological conditions. They seek help in a time of need, and most are in a vulnerable emotional place. Unfortunately, some therapists take advantage of this situation and abuse their patients.
If you suffered abuse at the hands of your therapist, a civil lawsuit could be your best option for holding them accountable. This type of abuse can come in many forms, but violating their professional boundaries could leave a therapist liable for your injuries. Let a Tucson therapy abuse lawyer with Jenner Law review the facts of your case and advise you of your legal options.
Compensation for Your Therapy Abuse
Your abuse could result in different types of harm for which you could recover financial compensation. Some of your damages might be obvious, but others could be less clear. However, our firm could advise you on what your case might be worth. The damages in your case could include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
These damages often stem from the long-term psychological harm that therapist abuse can cause. For some victims, this emotional trauma could make it difficult to hold down a job or enjoy life to its fullest. However, compensation could be available for any harm resulting from your therapist’s act of abuse.
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What Does Therapist Abuse Look Like?
When it comes to receiving care from a therapist, abuse could manifest itself in many different ways. This abuse could involve a physical assault, financial impropriety, or even an inappropriate sexual relationship.
Physical assault can occur between a therapist and a patient in many ways. While acts of violence are possible, the more common example of physical abuse between therapists and their patients involves the use of unauthorized medical treatment. For example, a therapist might administer a sedative or drug to a patient without their consent.
Professional codes of conduct forbid personal relationships outside the therapist-patient bond. Thus, even seemingly consensual relationships violate the boundaries therapists must live by—for example, when a sexual relationship forms between a therapist and their patient.
Abuse of Transference
Psychotherapists use a technique known as transference when working with certain patients. With transference, the patient transfers impressions and memories from their childhood to the therapist. Unfortunately, this method places the patient in an emotionally vulnerable position that a therapist could easily exploit. Any abuse of this power dynamic is inappropriate.
What Does a Therapy Abuse Lawyer Cost?
You deserve to seek justice for your abuse regardless of your financial situation. Our firm uses a contingency fee approach, allowing you to pursue compensation for your abuse without worrying about upfront legal fees.
Our firm collects our fee by retaining a portion of the compensation we recover on your behalf. If we don’t secure compensation in your case, you won’t owe us anything. Thus, you can pursue a measure of justice from your abuser without bearing the cost of litigation. Instead, we bear all the risk of litigating your abuse case.
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The Difference Between Malpractice and Abuse
You often see the terms “malpractice” and “abuse” used interchangeably. However, in the therapeutic setting, it is helpful to understand the differences between these acts. Malpractice is a violation of the professional duty a therapist owes to a patient. Thus, while every act of therapist abuse is a form of medical malpractice, not all acts of malpractice are abuse.
Another critical difference is that some acts of malpractice result from negligence, such as a careless misdiagnosis or accidentally allowing a patient’s records to become public. However, abuse is an intentional act that goes beyond negligent or reckless behavior.
Civil vs. Criminal Liability for Therapy Abuse
In addition to malpractice, your therapist’s abuse could also be a criminal act. However, unlike a civil lawsuit, a criminal complaint will not result in a monetary award in your favor. Instead, a conviction could lead to jail time or fines for your abuser.
Our firm will review the facts of your case and help you understand the options available to you. Even if you have already notified law enforcement of the abuse, you could also have a viable claim for compensation.
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What if I Have Questions About My Options?
It is understandable if you have questions about what a therapy abuse lawsuit might entail. While therapy abuse cases rarely go to trial, most people have had little to no interaction with the courts. Thus, if you have concerns about the process, our firm could provide answers during your initial consultation.
We believe it is essential that you fully understand your options before you hire an attorney or pursue a claim. For that reason, the initial consultation with our firm is always free. However, once you have had the opportunity to ask any questions about the process, you are under no obligation to select our firm as your legal counsel.
There Is a Deadline for your Therapy Abuse Case
Should you decide to move ahead with pursuing a therapy abuse claim, be aware that Arizona places a two-year deadline on medical malpractice lawsuits. Our team will ensure you don’t miss that deadline while we negotiate with your therapist’s insurance company for a settlement that adequately compensates all your damages.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Therapy Abuse
Because of the trust you placed in your therapist, any abuse or misconduct can have a lasting impact on your mental health. When your therapist breaks the boundaries put in place to protect you, it could be time to hold them accountable through a civil lawsuit.
However, you don’t have to face the prospect of a therapy abuse claim alone. The Jenner Law team is prepared to serve as your advocate as you seek the justice you deserve. Reach out to a Tucson therapy abuse lawyer today for your free consultation.