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Can You Sue a Rehab Facility for Negligence: Fight Back & Win

Through years of working within the drug rehabilitation field, I’ve witnessed firsthand the impact of negligence on individuals seeking treatment. In some instances, this has led to legal action against rehab facilities.

My experience collaborating with rehabilitation facilities allows me to provide valuable insight into the complexities surrounding the ability to sue a rehabilitation facility for negligence.

While this blog can’t provide specific legal advice, it aims to raise awareness about the potential for rehabilitation negligence and empower individuals to seek the appropriate support.

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into this crucial topic.

How to Sue a Rehab Facility?

If you believe you have a rehabilitative negligence claim, follow these steps:

#1 Consult with Rehab Lawyers

Consult a negligent rehab facility lawyer first. They’ll assess your case and suggest a solution. They will also assist with lawsuit papers and procedures.

#2 Gather Evidence

Medical data, pictures, and witness testimony are needed to prove your case. Document your physical, emotional, and financial damages.

#3 File a Complaint with the Help of Rehab Lawyers

Complaints start lawsuits. It will detail your case and legal demands. You must file the complaint at the court with jurisdiction.

#4 Pay Filing Fees

Rehab lawyers and lawsuits cost money. Filing fees vary by court and case severity. Your attorney may cover or deduct these fees from your settlement or award.

#5 Serve the Complaint

After filing the complaint, provide the negligent rehab facility lawyer with a copy. Serving the complaint tells them of the lawsuit. Your case will be dismissed if you don’t promptly serve the complaint.

#6 Respond to the Complaint

Rehab facilities have a set time to respond to complaints. They may deny or settle your claims. They could also bring counterclaims or petitions to dismiss.

#7 Consider Settlement

Settlement agreements settle cases without trial. The rehab center frequently pays you to abandon your case.

The average medical malpractice settlement in the United States is approximately $242,000. However, when cases proceed to trial, the average compensation tends to be around $1 million

Settlements take compromise and negotiation, but they save time and money. Your lawyer may advise you on settlement offers.

#8 Go to Trial for Residential Treatment Center Abuse

A trial will occur if you cannot settle. Both sides will submit their facts and witnesses to a judge or jury, who will determine liability and compensation. Trials are long and unpleasant but can yield bigger awards than settlements.

#9 Appeal The Verdict

You might appeal the trial result to a higher court with rehab lawyers. An appeal examines the lower court’s judgment for legal mistakes. Appeals can take months or years and may fail.

What is Rehabilitation Negligence?

Rehabilitation negligence is a form of medical malpractice that occurs when a rehab facility fails to provide adequate or appropriate care to its patients.

This can include failing to:

  • Assess the patient’s needs and medical history
  • Create or follow an individualized treatment plan
  • Monitor the patient’s progress and adjust the treatment accordingly
  • Prevent or treat infections, injuries, or complications
  • Provide a safe and sanitary environment
  • Protect the patient from abuse, neglect, or exploitation
  • Refer the patient to other specialists or services when needed

Rehabilitation negligence may result in the following:

  • Worsening of the original condition or injury 
  • New or additional conditions or injuries
  • Physical pain and emotional trauma
  • Loss of function, mobility, or enjoyment of life 
  • Increased medical and future care expenditures
  • Income loss

Rehabilitation neglect is common. In 2018, more than one in four rehab facilities had at least one flaw that harmed patients, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services investigation.

In 2016, the U.S. Government Accountability Office determined that nearly 40% of rehab facilities had significant issues that threatened patients. These figures illustrate that rehabilitative carelessness impacts thousands of people annually.

How common in Rehabilitation Negligence?

How ordinary is rehabilitation negligence is a crucial question for many persons considering suing a rehab center. This occurs when a rehab institution fails to provide proper care, treatment, or supervision, causing harm or injury.

Rehabilitation negligence includes:

  • Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition
  • Medication errors or overdoses
  • Lack of proper monitoring or supervision
  • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
  • Neglect or abandonment
  • Inadequate staffing or training
  • Failure to prevent or treat infections
  • Failure to follow safety protocols or standards

A rehab facility’s negligence may entitle you to compensation. Contact an expert rehab negligence attorney to discuss your legal options.

Examples of rehab facility negligence

some examples of rehab facility negligence are visualized here

Rehab center negligence may entitle you to compensation for your suffering. Rehab center neglect can have deadly implications for addicts and mental health patients.

Failure to provide adequate care

Patients in rehab must receive medical, psychological, and social care. Adequate care includes a safe environment, adequate food, and suitable activities. Infections, starvation, dehydration, and other health issues might result from inadequate rehab care.

Failure to supervise patients

Rehab centers must monitor patients to prevent self-harm and others. Supervision includes keeping patients away from narcotics, alcohol, and other substances that could interfere with treatment. Patients in unsupervised treatment may relapse, overdose, commit suicide, or act violently.

Failure to properly diagnose or treat patients

Mental illness, trauma, and chronic pain must be diagnosed and treated in rehab. Addiction can be conquered with proper diagnosis and therapy. Symptoms, side effects, and consequences may escalate if a rehab center misdiagnoses or treats patients.

Failure to protect patients from harm

Rehab centers must protect patients from personnel, other patients, and residential treatment center abuse. Physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse exist. Not meeting fundamental necessities is neglect. Exploitation might involve abusing patients’ confidence.

Rehab patients may suffer physical, psychological, or financial harm if not protected. 29% of people in rehab centers got hurt because of the care they got. This could be because of a mistake with their medicine, bedsore, an infection, or something else.

Medication errors

Rehab institutions must safely administer drugs to patients. Medication errors include administering the improper dose, medication, or method. Failure to monitor drug effects or interactions is another medication mistake.

Medication errors in treatment can cause adverse responses, allergic reactions, and overdoses. In 67% of trials, medical record reviews or observations determined if a medicine caused avoidable harm.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse occurs when a rehab patient has unwanted sexual interaction with personnel or other patients. Sexual abuse includes touching, grabbing, kissing, fondling, oral, vaginal, anal, or forced exposure.

Sexual abuse can cause injuries, STDs, pregnancy, and abortion. This can produce shame, guilt, fear, wrath, despair, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder in residential treatment center abuse. More than 16,000 complaints of sexual abuse have been reported since 2000 in long-term care facilities.

Physical abuse

A rehab patient is physically abused if they are hurt intentionally. Hit, punch, kick, slap, choke, burn, slash, or constrain. Abuse can cause bruises, wounds, fractures, sprains, burns, scars, and internal damage. Physical abuse can produce depression, loneliness, and violence.

Emotional abuse

Any verbal or nonverbal behavior that demeans a residential treatment center abuse is emotional abuse. Emotional abuse includes yelling, insulting, threatening, shaming, mocking, blaming, or ignoring. Emotional abuse can induce disorientation, self-doubt, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts.

How to Prove Negligence in a Rehab Facility

Negligence is failing to perform a duty or service with reasonable care or skill. Some criteria are needed to prove rehab negligence:

Gathering evidence of duty of care

You must prove that the rehab facility owed you or your loved one a duty of care. The facility had to offer reasonable and suitable care for your needs and condition. Gather proof like:

  • Patient records and treatment plans that illustrate your case’s diagnosis, goals, and interventions
  • Facility patient care and safety policies and protocols that explain the facility’s standards and processes
  • Staff qualifications and training records that demonstrate the staff’s credentials and competencies
  • Expert witness testimony outlining deviations from the expected standard of care

Demonstrating a breach of duty to negligent rehab facility lawyer

You must also prove that the treatment center broke its duty of care. The facility or personnel violated your standard of care. To establish this, you must identify particular breaches, such as:

  • Negligent assessment of your condition or monitoring of your progress
  • Inadequate supervision or assistance
  • Improper or delayed administration of medication or treatment
  • Failure to prevent or treat infections, injuries, or complications
  • Failure to communicate with you or your family about your condition or treatment
  • Failure to refer you to other specialists or services when necessary.

Expert witnesses can explain how the facility’s activities diverged from what a reasonable and competent rehab facility would have done.

Establishing causation between the breach and harm suffered

The third element is the rehab facility’s breach of duty caused or contributed to your or your loved one’s injuries. The residential treatment center abuse caused your injury or deterioration. Show this by:

  • Prove that the harm would not have occurred if the facility had acted with reasonable care
  • Evaluate the chain of events and any intervening factors that may have affected the outcome
  • Use medical evidence linking the harm to the facility’s negligence, such as:

    (1) Medical records and reports detailing the injuries or worsening of condition
    (2) Testimony from healthcare professionals regarding the extent and impact of the harm
    (3) Medical opinions on how the harm could have been prevented or mitigated with proper care

Documenting actual harm or damages in residential treatment center abuse

The fourth element you need to prove is that you or your loved one suffered actual harm or damages due to the rehabilitation negligence. This means you can quantify the losses or expenses you incurred due to the harm. To prove this, you need to document:

  • Medical records and reports detailing the injuries or worsening of the condition
  • Testimony from healthcare professionals regarding the extent and impact of the harm
  • Financial records of additional medical expenses incurred due to the negligence, such as:

    (1) Hospital bills, doctor fees, medication costs, etc.
    (2) Costs of additional treatments, surgeries, therapies, etc.
    (3) Costs of assistive devices, equipment, home modifications, etc.

You may also be able to claim non-economic damages, such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

These damages are more subjective and harder to quantify, but they can be supported by testimony from your family, friends, counselors, etc.

Consulting with expert witnesses

Expert witnesses are crucial to proving a negligent rehab facility lawyer. Expert witnesses are rehabilitation specialists, such as:

  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Administrators
  • Educators
  • Researchers

Expert witnesses can help you by:

  • Using their knowledge and experience to provide opinions and testimony on the standard of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages in your case.
  • Demonstrating how the facility’s actions deviated from industry standards and best practices.
  • Explaining complex medical terms and concepts clearly and understandably.
  • Supporting your claims with evidence-based practices and research findings.

Choose and engage with expert witnesses carefully—they can make or destroy your case. Find specialists with:

  • Credibility and reputation in the industry
  • Extensive knowledge and expertise in your issue
  • Good communication and presentation skills

Prepare specialists by:

  • Providing the relevant paperwork and information for their inspection 
  • Discussing your aims and expectations for their engagement
  • Preparing them for deposition and trial testimony Informing them of case developments

Proving rehab negligence is challenging yet achievable. Good personal rehab lawyers and expert witnesses can help you get justice and compensation.

How Much Can You Sue a Rehabilitation Center for Neglect?‌

How much can you sue a rehab facility for neglect or abuse? Neglect can harm your physical, mental, and recovery health. Damages should be reimbursed.

Factors like:

  • Neglect or abuse severity and duration
  • The neglect or abuse’s effects on your health, quality of life, and medical bills
  • The treatment facility’s and staff’s carelessness
  • State laws and regulations governing rehab facilities and personal injury claims

Rehab facilities can be sued for negligence in any amount. A skilled lawyer in this field must evaluate each case. A negligent rehab facility lawyer can gather evidence, negotiate with the insurance company, and represent you in court.

Rehab centers must be held accountable for negligence to ensure victims receive justice and prevent future harm. You can expose the facility’s misbehavior, create awareness, and deter other facilities by suing. You can increase treatment standards and quality, aiding many addicts and recovering addicts.

Tony McKenzie

4 thoughts on “Can You Sue a Rehab Facility for Negligence: Fight Back & Win”

  1. My son was an alcoholic and he lost his battle October 8, 2023
    I would like to file a complaint against the most recent rehabilitation facility here in Georgia.

    1. Hi Loren,

      We are very sorry to hear about the loss of your son. Losing a loved one is incredibly difficult, especially when you feel their care was inadequate.

      Regarding filing a complaint against the rehabilitation facility, I would recommend first gathering all of your son’s medical records and any documentation related to his care. This will be important for determining if there was negligence. Then, contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in medical malpractice cases. They can review the details and advise if you have grounds to sue for negligence. The attorney can also guide you through the process of filing a complaint or lawsuit.

      We know this is a very painful time. Please take care of yourself as you determine next steps. Our sincerest condolences again on the loss of your son.

  2. April Michelle Gibbons

    I need help finding an attorney for a residential treatment program here in the state of Georgia. Can you please contact me with some information. I have been reading over and all pertains to me including my health was denied medical. Along with wrong medication. Discriminated over another client due to color. Sexual assaulted while under care.

    1. Hi April,

      I understand this is a very serious situation and you are seeking help. However, I am not qualified to provide legal advice or guide you in finding an attorney. It is crucial to speak with a licensed attorney who specializes in medical malpractice and discrimination in Georgia. They can assess your specific situation, advise you on your legal options, and represent you if necessary.

      Here are some resources that can help you find an attorney:

      The Georgia Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service: 1-800-632-2241. This service can connect you with a lawyer in your area who specializes in the type of case you have.
      The National Association of Consumer Advocates: (202) 452-1989. This organization provides a directory of lawyers who handle consumer protection cases, which may include medical malpractice and discrimination.
      The American Bar Association:The ABA has a directory of lawyers, as well as information on legal rights and resources.

      Additionally, here are some other resources that may be helpful:

      The National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE You can also chat online at.
      The National Center for Victims of Crime: This organization provides information and resources for victims of crime, including legal assistance.

      It is important to remember that you are not alone and there are people who can help you. Please reach out to the resources above for support and guidance.

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