Across the United States, there has been an influx of new drug and alcohol rehab centers in recent years. These much-needed medical facilities are not hospitals, but they do provide complex inpatient and outpatient treatments to individuals who require a specific type of medical care. And despite the risk for patients to suffer serious injuries due to negligence or mistreatment by the staff, these facilities are not regulated like hospitals or other medical facilities. Instead, these facilities are operated according to an entirely different (and more lenient) set of rules and regulations.
Rehab patients may not clearly understand their rights when they are injured at a rehab facility.
Defining a “Rehab” Center
The opioid crisis has brought drug and alcohol centers into the spotlight, and as attitudes have switched from viewing drug and alcohol addiction as a disease rather than a crime, more facilities are opening throughout the country.
The term rehab is poorly defined; almost any kind of organization claiming to help treat substance abuse and addiction could be referred to as a rehab facility.
Many states allow anyone to open a rehab facility with no requirement for licenses or permits. Often, these rehab center operators don’t know anything about the actual addiction recovery process, and those seeking addiction treatment enter these facilities with good intentions. Read more about how to identify a bad rehab center.
Injuries Suffered in Rehab Centers
There are many ways a patient can suffer injuries at a drug or alcohol rehab center, some of which are life-threatening.
Some injuries result directly from the treatment the patient receives for addiction, including each of the following circumstances:
- A physician prescribes medications that interact negatively with the patient’s existing medications,
- A physician over or under-medicates a patient resulting in suboptimal treatment of addiction or withdrawal symptoms.
- A rehab center staff member fails to provide proper care when the patient suffers from withdrawal symptoms or fails to monitor withdrawal symptoms.
- A staff member doesn’t properly check a patient’s belongings upon entering the facility or worse, allows a patient to bring drugs or alcohol into the facility and thereby allows a patient to relapse in the facility, causing injuries or even death.
Sometimes a staff member’s actions or inappropriate behaviors can cause injuries, including:
- Sexual or verbal abuse
- Neglectful care
- Forceful physical actions
- Physical assaults by other patients
While some injuries are caused by negligence, others are caused by intentional actions or criminal conduct. Any of these could cause serious injuries that require ongoing care.
Rehab Center Negligence: Pursuing a Claim
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries while at a drug or alcohol rehab facility, you may be able to file a legal claim against the facility to recover compensation to cover the costs of your damages.
When you file a medical malpractice claim, you can recover the costs of any medical expenses, lost wages, future loss of earnings, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
If a rehab facility in Los Angeles has caused you or a loved one injuries, call the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. at (323) 746-0087 for a free initial consultation.