Neglect In Florida Substance Abuse Rehab Centers
The majority of substance abuse rehab centers in Florida are run well, taking care of their patients and helping to guide them toward a safer and more secure life path. Some facilities turn out to be corrupt, committing multiple crimes against vulnerable patients – but others may simply choose to neglect these people. If you suspect that neglect has occurred in your facility, you should know that you may be able to seek compensation from the facility for what you have been through.
Breaching The Duty Of Care
While there have been numerous stories in Florida’s newspapers about rehab facility owners being convicted of crimes such as healthcare fraud, the aspect of neglect is less often discussed. Very often, crime is seen as an affirmative gesture – that is, the alleged criminal had to make the choice to commit the act. Most people are unaware that this is not the case; the failure to take an action that a reasonable person would take can be actionable (though sometimes in a civil, not criminal capacity).
A rehabilitation facility is essentially seen as a medical facility under the law, which means that the enterprise (and the staff) owe a high duty of care toward the patients they accept. That duty of care can be breached by action or inaction, and if the injured plaintiff can show that the harm they suffered was the direct result of that breach, then they are likely eligible to receive compensation for their injuries.
Difficult – Not Impossible
If you have suffered harm due to the neglect you experienced at a substance abuse rehab center, know that while it is possible to prevail in court, medical neglect can be difficult to establish to the satisfaction of a judge or jury. There are many different ways that one can be injured due to neglect: for example, a failure to receive medications that you need, or a failure to monitor a patient in withdrawal to ensure they lack the means to harm themselves or others. However, it is a truism that proving the absence of something is notoriously more difficult than proving its existence.
One possible way to improve one’s odds of prevailing in court on this type of case is to file suit not only against the person or people who allegedly committed neglect, but also against the facility itself. Florida recognizes a concept called vicarious liability, which is where an employer may be held liable for the torts of its employees (torts are basically the civil equivalent of crimes) as long as they happened during the scope of employment. In theory, an employer is expected to answer for their employees’ behavior, and if it is actionable, the employer may wind up having to pay damages.
Contact A Substance Abuse Rehab Negligence Attorney
When people sign up for substance abuse-related rehabilitation, they are in a very vulnerable position, trusting the facility to take care of them. Failure on the part of the facility is actionable, whether in civil or criminal law. If you have questions about a neglect case like this, contacting a Tampa treatment center negligence attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group may be a good first step. Contact us today at 813-831-9999 for a free consultation.