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As a New York-based psychologist, you know that your career involves a great deal of hard work and dedication. Getting licensed, going through training, and building your client base takes many years. It takes a strong-willed, compassionate, and driven individual to become a psychologist. Naturally, you should take pride in your hard work that led you to your career. Psychologists like you are committed to helping people in need, and this line of work can be truly rewarding.
The High Legal Stakes That Psychologists Face
Unfortunately, psychologists face a high risk of having their career ruined by the actions or allegations of a single person. An allegation of malpractice or misconduct can hurt you financially and emotionally, and it may impact your personal relationships. Your responsibility as a psychologist is rewarding, but there is always a risk of losing everything you have earned.
Millions of people visit psychologists for a number of different reasons. As you likely know, you may end up working with an unstable patient at some point. Unstable patients are more likely to make accusations against you, as they cannot fully understand the help you are trying to provide to them. In truly devastating scenarios, a current or former client may state that you violated your code of conduct or committed a state board violation. When this happens, your career is instantly in jeopardy.
What Happens When A Claim Is Made Against You
If you face this difficult scenario, a lengthy legal process will begin. The New York state board for your position will review the allegations. They do a very thorough investigation, and this can take a significant amount of time. The board or enforcement division will interview the person who made the allegation. They may also go over dozens of files and conduct other interviews. This process is bound to cause you stress and worry.
Depending on the conclusion that the board makes, you may end up facing a disciplinary panel for your case. In the best case scenario, you and the accuser can resolve things through a formal conference. However, this outcome is only one of many potential outcomes. It is likely that your case will last for several months or even a year or two. During this time, it can be difficult to keep your name in good standing. This may also negatively impact your colleagues and your practice in general. This can lead to a great deal of stress, financial losses, and more consequences.
It is also important to understand that any one of your patients can file a complaint whether or not they have legitimate grounds to do so. Complaints can also be filed by co-workers, your employees, and more. If you are accused of a very serious violation, your case may be examined immediately. Examples of significant violations include gross negligence and sexual misconduct. Despite your innocence, a single claim can cause you a world of trouble.
Legal Assistance For New York Psychologists
If a claim is filed against you, you need to immediately contact an attorney with experience in defending psychologists that are accused of misconduct. Some psychologists make the mistake of declining legal help. They know that they are innocent, so they feel that the can represent themselves and tell their truthful story. Unfortunately, this does not tend to work out well. If you go into a sit-down meeting or face a panel without legal representation, many negative things can happen. The truthful and sincere statements you make may be used against you, and you may be charged with misconduct. It is crucial to have an experienced lawyer defend you and act as your witness during these meetings.
Take pride in your years of hard work and protect your practice by seeking legal help. Once again, it is crucial to choose a lawyer or firm that has experience dealing with psychologist misconduct cases. This is a unique legal situation that can only be dealt with by an attorney who has a record of successfully defending psychologists. Time is of the essence in a delicate situation like this. If you fail to act quickly, you may end up losing your license and your practice. As soon as a claim is made against you, reach o ut to a New York-based lawyer for psychologists.