People who have been hurt after being assaulted in a rehab center often find themselves with considerable medical bills, not to mention the physical pain and the mental and emotional suffering that they have been put through.
Whether you have been assaulted by a patient at the rehab center or one of its staff members, there are some questions that you are likely to have about your rights and the process of recovering compensation for your injuries.
The personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian have heard and answered many of these queries.
Here are some of the most common.
What are an Assault and Battery?
In the legal world, an assault and a battery are very specific things.
A battery is an intentional contact with someone else's person that is objectively harmful or offensive.
An assault is anything that creates the immediate apprehension in someone that they are about to suffer a battery.
Therefore, an assault often comes right before a battery – frequently in the instance before the battery happens. For example, if someone is about to slap you in the face, the battery happens when palm meets cheek, but the assault happens when the assailant brings their hand back to ready for the strike.
Confusingly, assaults and batteries can create both criminal and civil cases. There are laws that prohibit assaults and batteries and that punish wrongdoers for committing them. These criminal cases, however, mean little to the person who has suffered an assault and battery; convictions merely punish the wrongdoer without compensating the victim.
This is where civil cases come into play. By filing a civil lawsuit – a personal injury lawsuit – against the person who assaulted you or against anyone who had a legal duty to prevent something like an assault from happening, you can recover compensation for the physical, mental, emotional, and financial pain, suffering, and loss that you have sustained in the assault.
Do I Have Any Rights If I Was Assaulted by a Rehab Center's Staff Member?
Yes. Staff members can assault patients at their facility and be forced to pay compensation for the losses they have caused.
A potential problem is a fact that the staffer is probably going to be unable to pay for the costs of a potential verdict out of their own pocket.
Implicating the rehab center in the lawsuit can be a better avenue for recovering the compensation you need and deserve. You can do this by either showing the rehab center negligently hired someone with a history of losing his or her temper or using excessive force or by showing that the center had a policy or provided training that led the staffer to believe that an assault was permitted or even required of the job.
Would the Rehab Center Pay for an Assault if it Was Committed By Another Patient?
In some cases, yes.
Rehab patients are in a difficult part of their lives, and it is completely foreseeable for them to lash out at others in violent and aggressive ways. Because of how foreseeable this is, rehab centers can have a legal duty to protect patients from harm caused by others.
This legal duty can require rehab facilities to take reasonable measures to ensure assaults do not happen. If they do not uphold this legal duty, the rehab center can be made to pay for the costs of an assault that was caused by another patient at the facility, even though the rehab center was not a part of the actual assault.
Do I Have Any Rights as a Visitor?
Yes. If you were visiting a rehab center – whether to visit a loved one or to research the facility as a possible place to go to rehab – and you were assaulted by someone while there, you have legal rights to compensation.
Of course, the circumstances of the case will depend on where that compensation can come from. However, the rehab center still has a legal duty to visitors that extended to you while you were there. By violating that legal duty and allowing you to come into harm's way, you may have a right against the rehab facility for compensation for the assault you suffered.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me If I Have Been Assaulted?
If you have been assaulted in a rehab center, hiring a lawyer can be the best way to make sure you recover the compensation that you need and deserve. Insurance companies are likely to only pay a fraction of what you need to make a full recovery – they frequently act as if you have not lost wages or suffered any professional setbacks from the ordeal and rarely consider the physical pain and emotional suffering you have been put through. In many cases, they do not even pay for the full amount of the medical care that you needed after the assault.
By filing a personal injury lawsuit against the person who assaulted you and by working to implicate the rehab center into the lawsuit to make sure it pays its fair share for the oversight and allowing the assault to occur, a personal injury lawyer can be a huge help if you have been assaulted.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian
Implicating a drug rehab center in a personal injury lawsuit for injuries suffered while at the facility is important. If you fail to stretch liability through to the rehab center, there is a considerable chance that the remaining people who are responsible for your injuries and other losses will be unable to cover the costs of a verdict against them. If this happens, you will have won your case, but will likely never see the compensation you need and deserve.
The personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian know how frustrating this can be and strive to implicate the rehab facility into any personal injury lawsuit that stems from accidental or abusive injuries suffered at drug rehab. Contact us online to schedule a consultation and tap into our ability to recover the compensation you should receive from the drug rehab center.