When a person seeks the help of trying to obtain their sobriety by entering a rehabilitation center they are at an extremely vulnerable time in their life. Generally a person seeking help has reached rock bottom and have years of mental and physical abuse on their body. With this fragile state a patient has the right to be in a safe environment and nothing short of this is acceptable.
It is a sad fact that hundreds of injuries occur at drug rehab centers each year. A recovery center is not defined as a hospital but they do have a duty of care similar to that of a hospital to ensure their clients are safe.
When a person who is seeking help for their addiction and the rehab center acts in a negligent manner thus causing injuries, they need to be held accountable for their actions. Some of the potential damages that can be sought include expenses for medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering from the injuries sustained.
Most alcohol and drug rehab centers employ strong male employees. While this is often the case to help with violent and upset patients who could try to harm themselves, other staff, or other patients. When these employees are attempting to control a patient they can often times overreact and hurt someone. There have been reports of staff members who have choked the patient to the point where the rehab patient becomes unconscious. Other reports have been filed where the employee has bear hugged the patient hard enough to crack their ribs. In other case the male staff member twisted a patient’s wrist too hard and the patient sustained a tear in their tendon and a fracture to a bone in their wrist.
Often times when a client enters a treatment center they are seeking help from the use of intravenous drug use. When a person uses needles to shoot up their drug of choice they often contract certain diseases such as Hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases. If the rehab center does not properly test and treat infectious patients there is the chance that these diseases could be passed along to other patients. If the recovery center does not take proper procedures and you or a loved one contracts one of these diseases they could be held liable for their negligence.
Generally hospitals and rehab centers have tile floors. They do these because it is much easier to keep clean and disinfected. However, using some chemicals can make the floor extremely slippery. When a patient slips on a hard surface such as a tile floor the resulting fall can easily cause a serious sprain, broken or fractured bone, or head injury.
When people are going through different aspects in their recovery they can become extremely short tempered and the smallest of disputes can turn into an assault rapidly. Employees in drug treatment centers have specialized training in looking out and stopping any type of dispute prior to a violent outbreak, people can become complacent or distracted. If these happens and a patient is assaulted by another patient injuries can become serious.
As I mentioned above when a person is going through the first stages of gaining recovery from drug and alcohol addiction they are in a weakened state. Unfortunately some unsavory staff or other patients may view this as an opportunity to take advantage. There is never an excuse for rape and the treatment center has a duty to protect their patients from being raped or sexually harassed.
We all pay our health insurance each month and expect that when we need to make a claim that the insurance will cover our medical expenses. Drug and alcohol abuse is now covered under all Market Place accounts that were established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to the same extent that they cover other medical procedures. Addiction is considered a disease by the American Medical Association. If you insurance company is refusing to pay a claim or allow you coverage you should seek the help of an experienced recovery lawyer that understands the ins and outs of an insurance policy.
When a person is going through the steps of seeking sobriety they can often exhibit tendencies that can be harmful to themselves. Drug and alcohol rehab centers should have doctors, psychologists, and counselors that are trained to identify and treat these actions prior to any serious injury taking place. If the drug and alcohol center fails to identify and protect these patients serious injuries or even suicide are possible.
There have been cases where a drug center has discharged a patient even though that is not in the best interest of the patient. We currently have a case where a young woman was court ordered to spend 90 days in a treatment center. The facility discharged her about half way through the 90 days without notifying the court or her family. Only several days later the young woman relapsed and died of an overdose.
In a recent study that was conducted by the Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse it was found that many drug and alcohol treatment centers were using unscientific or outdated treatment methods. This could certainly fall under the guidelines of medical malpractice and often times leads to an addiction relapse. When a person or family is spending in the thousands of dollars for their treatment it is essential that they are receiving proper medical care.
Each and every type of addition has different withdrawal symptoms. Some can be life threatening and must be monitored by a trained medical staff member. There are some prescription medications that can be administered to alleviate the pain someone goes through during their detox time. When a rehab center fails to protect their patients properly they can be held liable for medical malpractice.
All treatment centers have a strict legal duty of care to protect their patients. Due to the fact that a person is in an extremely fragile state when trying to obtain their sobriety a treatment center has a responsibility to keep them safe. When a center falls short of this duty a recovery patient may become seriously injured or even die. If you feel that you have been the victim of negligence by an insurance carrier or a drug and alcohol rehab center you need to seek the help of an experienced rehab lawyer. We offer a free confidential consultation to learn more about you and your personal experience.