Injuries are becoming more and more common at drug rehab facilities. As the opioid crisis deepens and more people are turning to rehab centers for their recovery, more centers are opening with lower and lower standards of care. Recovering compensation for those injuries is essential for victims and their families to cope with the difficulties and setbacks that they have faced and move on.
Because personal injury situations at drug rehab facilities are so complicated, there are numerous questions that victims tend to have. Over the course of helping countless victims file lawsuits against the rehab center whose negligence contributed to their injuries, the personal injury lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian have found the following questions to be the most common and the most pressing.
Can the Rehab Center Be Held Liable for What Its Staffer Did?
Some of the most devastating injuries at drug rehab centers come at the hands of negligent or outright abusive staff members. When one of these workers hurts you or a loved one in a drug rehab center, the facility itself could be held liable for your losses in certain circumstances.
One of those circumstances is if the rehab center knew or should have known that its staff member posed a danger to its patients. By negligently hiring the staff member or keeping them employed in spite of a list of complaints, the rehab center can be held liable for the staffer's subsequent misconduct.
Another circumstance that can lead to liability for the drug rehab center is if the injury came in the course of a staff member's employment. If the staffer is doing what they are supposed to do – even if they do it negligently – the rehab center could be held responsible.
I Suspect a Loved One Is Being Hurt at a Drug Rehab Center. What Can I Do?
This is one of the trickiest situations that you can face. While many abusive situations in drug rehab centers lead to lasting physical and mental damage to patients, they are often difficult to detect. A patient's loved ones may think that something is wrong but have little or no proof other than a hunch that is based on how the patient is acting.
In some cases, the patient is just having trouble with the addiction treatment program and is acting in ways that confuse or disturb those that are closest to them. However, in others, the fears of a loved one are well-grounded.
There are three reactions to consider:
- Take your loved one out of rehab
- Take action with the rehab center by, for example, filing a complaint
- Do nothing
Each has its own problems, though. Taking your loved one out of rehab can be a huge setback in their recovery, and if it turns out that your suspicions were wrong about their experience, could be all for nothing. The risks are reversed for doing nothing, though: If your hunch was right about the abuse, the damage could get far worse.
Bringing your concerns to the rehab center's administrators can be a wise middle ground, especially if you hire a lawyer to make it clear that your concerns should be treated seriously and bypass the staff by going straight to their superiors. However, your concerns could still fall on closed ears or can trigger an internal investigation that aims to cover up abuse rather than correct it. In spite of these potential setbacks, though, this course of conduct can be your best option because it sets in motion a preliminary investigation that could turn up better evidence as to whether your hunch was right or not.
Do Rehab Centers Have a Duty to Protect Patients?
Yes, though drug rehab centers do not have an absolute legal responsibility to prevent patients from getting hurt from any conceivable injury while on the premises. Instead, drug rehab centers are responsible for taking reasonable steps to protect patients from injuries that are foreseeable, given the circumstances.
For example, suicidal thoughts are a common part of the drug rehabilitation process. If a drug rehabilitation center is in a tall building and does not take appropriate steps to prevent patients from quickly being able to jump out a window, they could be held liable anytime it happens.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
Unlike many other personal injury situations, the evidence of injuries that happen in drug rehab centers is almost entirely controlled by the rehab center. Obviously, rehab facilities are going to use that power to cover up and hide any evidence that is particularly bad for them and try to control the narrative of what happened.
A lawyer, however, can ask the questions and find ways to unearth that evidence and show that the rehab center contributed to the injuries that you or your loved one suffered. Precisely because attorneys have represented other victims who were in similar predicaments as you are, now, they know where to look and how to find potentially damning evidence against the drug rehab center that supports a legal argument that would stretch liability for your injuries through to the center's negligence or poor conduct.
Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian Can Help
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 them online to schedule a consultation and tap into their ability to recover the compensation you should receive from the drug rehab center that should be held accountable for their conduct.