Can You Sue a Psychiatrist for Misdiagnosis in Texas?

Psychiatrists help people diagnose and treat mental health disorders. However, when they make improper diagnoses or fail to identify harmful conditions, their patients can suffer serious harm. For example, a psychiatrist’s misdiagnosis may cause someone to be prescribed with harmful medication that they did not need.

You can sue a psychiatrist for a misdiagnosis in Texas. However, proving fault can be complicated. Extensive amounts of evidence may be necessary to recover the monetary damages you deserve.

If you suspect that you or a loved one have been hurt because of a psychiatrist’s misdiagnosis, get help from our Dallas psychiatric malpractice attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm by dialing (817) 476-1797.

Suing for a Psychiatric Misdiagnosis in Texas

There are multiple parties who may be responsible for a psychiatric misdiagnosis. First, a psychiatrist may be sued for failing to diagnose a condition that other physicians in a similar situation would have properly identified. As an example, someone with borderline personality disorder may be misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder because of the intense emotions associated with both conditions. As a result, the victim’s untreated issues may begin to worsen. In that case, the at-fault psychiatrist would be responsible for the additional harm caused by their misdiagnosis.

Furthermore, some patients are injured because of mistakes made during diagnostic testing. These mistakes may be related to human error or malfunctioning equipment. In these cases, at-fault parties like lab technicians and manufacturers of defective products may be held accountable for their actions.

Generally, proving that a psychiatric misdiagnosis occurred can be a complex process. Expert witness testimony is likely necessary to prove that mental health professionals acted negligently. Thankfully, victims can reach out to our experienced psychiatric malpractice lawyers for help building their cases and fighting for the payment they are owed.

Problems that You Can Sue for After a Psychiatrist’s Misdiagnosis in Texas

There are multiple harmful consequences that may result from a psychiatrist’s misdiagnosis in Texas. The following are all potential problems that you can sue for:

Side Effects from Incorrect Medications

If you are prescribed medication for a condition that you do not have, you may experience dangerous side effects. For instance, a child who is incorrectly diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be prescribed harmful stimulants that cause memory issues and stunt cognitive development.

In general, receiving incorrect medication leads patients to receive all of the harmful side effects and none of the benefits. Meanwhile, the root of their problems remains unaddressed.

Worsening Conditions

If your psychiatrist fails to properly identify the cause of your problems, then your condition may begin to worsen. Taking a “wait and see” approach to mental health issues can produce severe and unnecessary harm. Furthermore, most treatments for mental health conditions do not produce immediate results. Accordingly, if a correct diagnosis is not quickly determined, patients may have to wait a very long time for their issues to be alleviated.

Emotional Distress

Furthermore, a misdiagnosed mental health illness can cause a patient to become confused and incur severe emotional distress. Victims may feel as though they are personally failing and develop unwarranted feelings of shame and guilt. This emotional distress may result in a breakdown in communication between mental health patients and their providers, making treatment even more difficult to provide.

Examples of Conditions that Psychiatrists Misdiagnose in Texas

Unfortunately, psychiatric misdiagnoses can happen with nearly any condition. Still, the following are common examples of conditions that psychiatrists misdiagnose in Texas:

Major Depressive Disorder

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is suffered by a high number of Texans. Still, it is one of the mental health illnesses that is often misdiagnoses. In many cases, people who receive an incorrect diagnosis for MDD are prescribed harmful medications with intense side effects.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a diagnosis received by many children in Texas. This condition is often associated with disrupted sleep and the inability to sit still. However, as with MDD, those who are improperly diagnosed with ADHD can be given dangerous medications that cause their problems to worsen.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is another condition that is often misdiagnosed. In many cases, this condition is confused with borderline personality disorder because both conditions produce dramatic and unmanageable changes in a person’s mood.

What is the Standard of Care that Psychiatrists Must Adhere to in Texas?

In order to sue a psychiatrist for your injuries, you must be able to prove that they breached their standard of care. Generally, physicians breach their standard of care when they act in a way that does not align with accepted practices. If a psychiatrist does something that goes against what other psychiatrists would do in a similar situation, then they may be liable for the harm they caused. Accordingly, in order to recover compensation for injuries caused by your misdiagnosis, you must be able to prove that other psychiatrists would have been able to properly diagnose your condition.

Damages You Can Recover After Being Misdiagnosed by a Psychiatrist in Texas

When suing a psychiatrist for a misdiagnosis, there are several damages that you may seek compensation for. For instance, you can obtain payment for economic damages like medical bills and lost income. Further, you can pursue damages for various out-of-pocket expenses such as the cost of transportation to your doctor’s appointments. These damages can usually be established by presenting your receipts and medical records.

Additionally, payment for non-economic damages like physical pain and emotional suffering may be pursued. However, supporting a claim for these damages can be more difficult. You must gather and present evidence that demonstrates the severity of your injuries and the overall impact they had on your life. For mental health injuries, complicated evidence may be necessary to prove the harm you sustained and recover the full range of damages you are owed.

If You Were Injured Because of a Psychiatrists Misdiagnosis in Texas, Our Attorneys Can Help

Seek support and guidance from our experienced Houston psychiatric malpractice attorneys by calling The Queenan Law Firm at (817) 476-1797.