Rehab and Recovery Law

Drug and Alcohol Rehab Injury Claims

We all know someone that has had an issue with drugs or alcohol. Often times we help them seek treatment and gain sobriety by checking themselves into a treatment center. It is during this tough time in their life that they are in a completely weakened state. Often times their drug and alcohol abuse over the years has wreaked havoc on their body and mind. It is in this weakened state that they can become seriously injured or even killed if the proper care is not administered to them. Unfortunately there are many reported injuries that happen each year at treatment centers.

A rehab center owes a duty of care to its patients and when they fall short there may be an injury claim or even a medical malpractice claim. As a rehab and recovery lawyer in Boca Raton I am here to seek justice for those who have been hurt due to the negligence of treatment centers. The types of damages that can be recovered vary depending on the case but can include pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses to name a few.

Some of the common drug and alcohol rehab injuries include:


Assaults on Patients

There are cases that have been reported of treatment center employees who have choked a patient hard and long enough to render them unconscious. In another case a male staff member held a patient so tightly that they broke several of the person’s ribs. The list goes on and on including the breaking of a patient’s wrist and a tear in their tendon by the employee grabbing the patient’s hand. While employees are trained in how to properly handle a patient who is irate, there is a standard of care that must be meet and force should never rise to the aforementioned examples.

There was a recent case of a young man who was only 5’7” and weighed 140 lbs. The patient was having an off morning and was refusing to leave his room. A staff member who was given the nickname of “the enforcer” went into the patient’s room to get him to attend a group therapy session. The patient still would not leave the room and became verbally abusive towards the enforcer. Reports from other patients read that while the young man was verbally abusive he did not take any physical or combative actions towards the staff member.

When the enforcer grabbed the young man by the waist to take him to the group session the patient grabbed the bed to hold on. The enforcer then struck down on the patient’s hand causing several bones to be broken in his hand and arm.

The patient filed a lawsuit and was awarded $500,000 in damages based on the negligence of the treatment center to provide care for their patent.


Infections from Diseases

The use of needles to inject drugs into an addict’s body puts that user in greater risk of contracting several diseases such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, tuberculosis, AIDS/HIV, along with other diseases. A rehab center is well aware of the high risk clients that they have the potential to treat. If they do not properly screen and treat patients with these types of diseases or if they do not keep the center in a cleanly state, these diseases can easily be spread to other patients.


Slip and Fall Injuries

Most common areas of a treatment facility have tile floors because they are easier to keep clean. When these floors become slippery patients run the risk of slipping and hurting themselves. A rehab has the duty to properly ensure their patients safety and need to take the proper precautions to ensure someone does not slip and fall causing a serious injury.


Patient Assaults

Going through rehab can be a dramatic event and cause a person to have wild and wide emotional swings. Rehab and recovery staff are specially trained to deal with these emotions. When they fail to properly train or when a staff member is distracted the smallest of incidents can quickly turn into a fight causing serious harm to other patients.


Rape in Rehab Centers

It is a sad fact that some people will take advantage of others during their weakened state during the initial phases of their rehabilitation process. Treatment centers need to be on guard against the potential for sexual assault or rape by other patients or staff members.


Self-Destructive Actions

The emotional swings that addicts having during their different recovery stages is something that the employees of a treatment center must be aware of. When someone is exhibiting any type of behavior that can be self-destructive the doctors, psychologists, and counselors need to constantly monitor their patients to ensure their safety.


Wrong Medications

While the patients may not be allowed to partake in their drugs of choice anymore, there are certain people that require medications to be administered. If the rehab center is not careful they could inadvertently distribute a medicine that the patient is allergic to. This type of negligence is unacceptable and the rehab center needs to be accountable for their actions.


Withholding Medications

A treatment center in Oklahoma has had three deaths within 12 months. In the most recent death there is an ongoing lawsuit for wrongful death of a young lady who needed to have a steroid administered daily. The family of the deceased was informed by the medical director and the head nurse that the rehab center could manager her condition. However, they did not administer the necessary steroid and the patient died just two days after being admitted to the drug and alcohol rehab facility.


Wrongful Death

This can happen in a number of different manners. If the center is not careful with their patients they could commit suicide, be killed by another patient, be discharged early and relapse, or a numerous other ways.

In a recent case a young lady who checked herself into a rehab center for an addiction to heroin but was also diabetic. The first night that she was in the facility she exhibited symptoms of going into a diabetic coma. The staff who was there that night called the on-call doctor and was instructed to immediately administer insulin. However, the rehab center did not have any insulin in stock and the young woman died shortly thereafter.

The family sued the treatment center under a wrongful death claim and was awarded $2.8 million dollars in damages for their loss.


Drug and Alcohol Rehab Center’s Duties

These are just a few of the more common injuries and deaths that can occur in a treatment center when the facility is not protecting their patients. A drug and alcohol treatment center owes you a duty of care and when they fall short on this, they need to be held accountable. If you have been injured or a love one has dies while trying to obtain their sobriety it is vital that you seek the help of an experienced recovery and rehab lawyer in Boca Raton.