Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers should provide reliable medical support to patients recovering from addiction. Since the professionals work with parties needing special care and attention, they should remain conscious of and remove all potential hazards.
Failure to do so may result in a drug and alcohol rehab injury. As an aggrieved party, you can seek legal redress for any negligence you suffered in a rehab facility. Seeking compensation is important because it helps you recover from your injuries and distress and helps you make a lasting recovery.
At the Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, you will receive quality legal services to help you recover from any personal injury you face. Our attorneys are skilled in their practice area and understand the importance of handling your case adequately for better chances of receiving compensation. Further, you will have specialized services that allow you to present your concerns and have pressing issues addressed in court.
Legal Obligations for Medical Rehabs to Follow
A medical rehabilitation center can only operate after receiving verification from a medical board. During the verification process, the rehab facility must demonstrate its ability to accommodate patients seeking treatment and the type of care patients can expect. Moreover, it must meet the minimum requirements for staffing, maintenance, and access to supplies such as medicine and food for the patients.
Based on these prerequisites, a medical rehab for drug and alcohol recovery must meet all the expectations set consistently. Standards may remain high, and patients should receive accommodations in comfortable and clean environments.
Additionally, all staff interacting with patients must be competent, including doctors and therapists working directly with them. The need to have qualified medical professionals ensures that patients receive quality care that helps them recover fully. Support staff should also meet the requirements set in their criteria to maintain peripheral services like food and cleaning around the facility.
If the rehab center fails to comply with the legal obligations set forth, aggrieved persons can file a lawsuit to seek redress for injuries they may have suffered. The basis for filing a civil suit is that the heads of the rehab facility are negligent, meaning they do not uphold their duty of care towards you. Subsequently, the law holds them accountable for their actions or omissions and directs them to compensate you and any other victim who suffered harm.
Elements of Negligence to Prove in Court
The negligence principle has its foundation in tort law and makes up a significant percentage of all civil lawsuits filed in the state. As an aggrieved party, your claim for negligence against the defendant must be founded on truthful claims to increase your chances of a positive case outcome.
After consulting your personal injury attorney, they will request a recap of all relevant facts to the case. They do this to substantiate your claims and persuade the court to issue compensatory orders in your favor. Thus, your case must meet these four elements of negligence:
The Rehab Center Owed You a Duty of Care
A duty of care is necessary for a rehab facility, primarily because it provides medical services to its patients. Most of these services require expertise because of their delicate nature, meaning anyone running the facility must uphold their duty of care. Failure to adhere to these high standards may put a patient’s life at risk or cause irreversible harm.
Among the factors that make up the duty of care are showing up for work consistently, learning of each patient’s condition, and providing a safe, clean, and comfortable environment. Managers and practitioners in the rehab center should also be aware of any special needs a patient may have and do their best to meet them.
The importance of upholding a duty of care is that patients entrust themselves to the facility based on previous reviews or recommendations. Further, since you will be paying for services, the rehab managers should ensure you receive value for money.
A Breach of Duty Occurred
Your case should also demonstrate that a breach of duty occurred through an action or omission. Since you already have your expectations for the rehab center, you can elaborate on the actions that caused a breach and your injuries.
To prove the breach element, your personal injury attorney must demonstrate that the defendant knew of the duty of care to uphold. Showing this requires you to demonstrate that the person in question was an employee who understood the implications of their actions.
Further, you must show that the person disregarded the code of conduct expected of them by breaking regulations or failing to meet the required standards. For example, if a trained medical doctor issues the wrong prescription, you can present their medical note as evidence of their breach of duty.
Gathering sufficient evidentiary sources for your claims is important, as the presiding judge will only issue their decision in your favor if your case meets all requirements. Based on this, you want to work closely with your attorney, who will help you establish the most suitable strategies for your case.
The Breach Arose Because of the Defendant’s Acts or Omissions
After establishing that a breach of duty occurred, you should demonstrate that the defendant in your case is primarily to blame for any consequences. The premise of your case is to establish causation, which requires you to link the breach of duty with the effects you suffered. Since the defendant is responsible for their shortcomings, you should provide proof to support your claim.
For example, you may claim that the primary cause of your injuries while in a rehab facility was because your caregiver failed to respond to your medical emergency on time. After experiencing a serious medical emergency, the practitioner should have upheld their duty of care by attending to you immediately. Therefore, any injuries or harm you suffer are attributed to their breach of duty.
You Suffered Injury as a Result
The final element your case should demonstrate is that you suffered harm because of the breach of duty. Personal injuries are commonly reported in rehab facilities when the rightful stakeholders fail to meet their responsibilities because patients may require regular supervision and care.
Support your claims by introducing evidence of the harm when presenting the injuries you sustained. You can do this by providing medical notes from any treatment you sought after facing neglect in the rehab facility. Alternatively, if you lost a loved one to negligence in a rehab facility, you can present details on how it happened and seek redress from the court, as long as you can provide sufficient evidence.
Types of Negligence Common in Rehab Centers
When building your negligence case against the rehab facility at fault, the court expects you to identify the actions you claim were negligent. Therefore, you must be familiar with the commonly reported types of negligence in Phoenix. By obtaining the information, you can better retrace your steps and provide your attorney with additional information on how the defendants breached their duty.
Examples of actions involving negligence include:
Abusing or Neglecting Patients
Patient neglect includes failing to meet basic needs like food, medication, and cleanliness. It also involves failure to consider the patient’s special needs that set them apart from others and are necessary for their well-being. For example, if a patient is prone to panic attacks and needs an inhaler to help with breathing, it should be available. If not, you, as an aggrieved party, can claim compensation.
Patient abuse may include physical and mental abuse that negatively affects the patient’s well-being. Caregivers may abuse the patient if they have a negative attitude toward them. Verbal abuse may also form the basis for your claims, especially if it demoralizes your recovery.
Inadequate Staff to Attend to Patients
If a rehab facility lacks enough staff to attend to patients, you can file a suit against the stakeholders for negligence. The lack of staff means patients must share the few available professionals, slowing down access to services. Further, more staff is needed to avoid overwork and burnout among the available professionals, leading to negative feedback and responses to your requests. Hence, you may suffer negligence, especially if you lack access to basic needs.
Substandard Cleaning and Maintenance Services
Rehab facilities must maintain cleanliness to prevent health risks, mainly because they host many patients. Failure to uphold the necessary cleanliness standards harms a patient’s mental well-being because it interferes with their comfort. As a result, if your room or common spaces are substandard, inform your personal injury attorney to seek appropriate redress.
Inexperienced or Untrained Professionals
As a paying patient in a rehab facility, you are also entitled to the best services available to help you beat alcohol or drug addiction. Without proper medical care from professionals, you may be prone to overdoses, underdoses, and withdrawal symptoms.
Further, you may lack someone to talk to because of substandard therapy sessions, resulting in slowed recovery. Many patients also report relapses because of inadequate services from the professionals working with them. Due to this, you will not have received the value that rehab facilities should provide, resulting in damages.
Slow Response Rates to Emergencies
Patients in rehab often require emergency assistance, especially when dealing with withdrawal symptoms. Due to this, they need medical personnel ready to respond to their needs and ensure they receive the appropriate care.
Since emergencies require immediate response, slow action to assist the parties can attract negligence claims, especially if you suffered serious harm. The parties will be accountable because they must provide optimum care conditions.
Extreme Restrictions for Patients
Although rehab settings should restrict patients to prevent them from relapsing into drugs or alcohol, the conditions should not be too restrictive. Enforcing harsh rules could harm the person’s recovery, making them prone to challenges during their stay. Reviewing the restrictions is important; failure to do so results in personal injury liabilities.
Regular Cases of Patients Escaping from the Facility
Negligence also extends to poor security measures in the facility, resulting in the escape of patients from the rehab facility. If these occurrences are too common, they point to negligence within the security team or among managers who should enforce safety protocols in the facility. Like a family member, an aggrieved party can raise complaints and seek compensation for the injuries.
Negative Impacts of Negligence on Aggrieved Parties
Sometimes, you may not fully understand the effect of negligence on you or a loved one while in a rehab facility. However, you can observe a change in behavior stemming from the various forms of neglect to help you clearly illustrate the harm suffered in your case. Negative impacts that you can observe in patients who have suffered neglect in rehab facilities include:
- They are susceptible to physical and sexual abuse.
- The body may sustain physical injuries.
- Susceptibility to infections and other serious conditions.
- Severe withdrawal symptoms.
- Regular engagement in destructive behavior.
- Exposure to mental abuse from other patients.
Seeking Compensation for Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Injuries
Before finalizing your case, the presiding judge must also understand the compensatory claims you expect from the defendant. You increase your chances of a positive case outcome by providing a list of all the harm suffered and the approximate monetary cost you need as a remedy. However, you must support all your claims with the necessary evidence to justify their monetary amounts.
As an aggrieved person, you can seek compensation to help you deal with the following:
Medical Bill Expenses
If you have suffered injuries after negligence in a rehab facility, you may need urgent medical attention. If so, you will incur extra costs to remedy the damage caused. For example, if you suffered a slip-and-fall incident in the rehab center because of poor cleaning services, you may need an X-ray examination. Your doctor may also recommend inpatient treatment and provide prescriptions for expensive medication.
After completing treatment to recover from injuries, engage your personal injury attorney to determine the most suitable estimated amount to present in court when seeking compensation. For a more persuasive case presentation, include all medical reports, receipts, and prescription documents to justify your reasoning for requesting compensation.
If a loved one loses their life due to negligent actions in a rehab facility, you can seek compensation for wrongful death to recover from the loss. While presenting these grounds for compensation, including any difficulties your family has faced since the death. For example, emotional distress and loss of consortium are acceptable reasons to receive legal redress. You can expect a positive case outcome if your personal injury attorney helps you present reliable information.
Emotional and Mental Distress
Facing physical, mental, and emotional abuse can also cause distress, prompting you to seek compensation for the challenges you face. The essence of receiving monetary compensation is to help you seek alternative therapy sessions that are instrumental in your recovery.
Moreover, living through the difficult conditions in the rehab facility may significantly reduce your quality of life, making it important to receive compensation. If the court issues a decision in your favor, you can also use the funds to transfer to a better rehab facility where your concerns are well considered.
Pain and Suffering
Experiencing pain and suffering can also limit your ability to continue comfortably, deteriorating your overall well-being. Subsequently, monetary compensation helps you recover and seek the necessary assistance to reduce the pain and suffering you may have faced. For example, if your body is in physical pain, you can use the monetary compensation to visit a wellness spa for deep tissue treatment.
Since part of your recovery involves seeking alternative therapy sessions, you can claim compensation for the growing costs. In doing so, you will have sufficient financial access to help you access higher quality facilities and professionals who can help you overcome any setbacks you may have suffered. The defendants should be ready to handle your medical costs until you conclude your sessions to ensure your complete wellness.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
When you or a loved one checks into a drug and alcohol rehab facility, you expect excellent medical care, including therapy and proper medication administration. Thus, filing a personal injury lawsuit after facing medical malpractice in a rehab facility is advisable.
By presenting the suit, you seek justice for the harm and injury you faced during your stay. Further, the case calls for accountability from the defendants. When looking for a legal team to represent you during your injury case, consider working with experienced attorneys who understand the major points to focus on.
At the Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we aim to provide high-quality legal advice and services to clients who sustain injuries from medical malpractice in rehab centers. Upon taking on your case, we thoroughly assess all factors and advise you on whether to proceed in court.
Thanks to our skilled legal team, you can count on us for a smooth court trial process. We are also ready to provide additional support if you suffer severe injuries, like appearing in court on your behalf. For more information on drug and alcohol rehab injuries, call us today at 602-641-9589.