Common Grounds For Negligence Claims Against Substance Abuse Rehab Centers
When someone checks into a rehab center for a substance problem, they are often at an extremely vulnerable point in their life, and looking for a place to rest and heal. However, given the relatively unregulated state of substance abuse rehab facilities in Florida, it is all too common for patients to be the victims of negligence or even crime. If you have been victimized while in rehab, know that you have the right to seek compensation for what you have been through.
Negligence Of The Staff
In Florida, substance abuse rehabilitation facilities are considered medical facilities, with the same duty of care owed to their patients as would be owed by a hospital. This means that if a trained, “reasonably prudent” staff member, or the facility as a whole, fails to observe that duty of care, and their actions are the direct cause of harm to a patient, that patient has the right to seek damages for the harm they have suffered.
Sometimes it is difficult to determine exactly what constitutes a breach of the duty of care. For example, if an employee has to physically restrain a patient, it may be within their job description – but if they cause injury, they can be said to have acted negligently (or, in extreme cases, the staff member may even be charged with assault). Conversely, if a patient becomes agitated and assaults another patient, the staff may not be specifically at fault.
Negligence Of The Facility
In addition to assaults on patients, another common type of incident that can lead to negligence claims against a facility is a cause of action called negligent supervision. While not every member of a facility’s staff is necessarily medically trained, even the non-medical employees have a duty to exercise reasonable care toward the patients. However, part of ‘reasonable care’ is properly supervising and taking care of patients, so a failure to do that can be actionable.
The most often seen example of this is when a patient engages in self-destructive behavior. Some people, without the protective cloak of substances like drugs or alcohol, start to experience strong emotions, and cannot manage their feelings. Staff have a duty to prevent patients from engaging in this behavior – but many simply do not bother. This behavior is actionable, and can open both the staff member and the facility to allegations of negligent supervision and wrongful death if the patient expires.
Contact A Tampa Substance Abuse Rehab Center Attorney
A patient at a substance abuse rehab facility in Florida is often going to be in rough shape, needing the appropriate medical care to properly detox and learn to live without addiction. If you suspect you have been the victim of negligence at rehab, a Tampa substance abuse treatment center attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can help you determine your options moving forward. Contact our office today at (813) 831-9999 for a free consultation.