Drug rehab facilities are meant to provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals seeking help with their substance abuse struggles. However, there may be instances where patients experience harm or negligence during their stay in these facilities. In such cases, it becomes crucial to understand if you can sue a rehab facility for negligence through legal action with assistance from qualified medical malpractice lawyers in Miami, Florida.
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Does a rehab center in Florida have a duty of care?
Yes, a drug rehab center has a duty of care for its patients. This duty of care means that the rehab facility and its staff have an obligation to provide reasonable, appropriate, and competent drug and alcohol treatment to their patients.
The duty includes:
- Ensuring the safety and well-being of those seeking treatment
- Properly supervising patients
- Implementing effective addiction treatment protocols
- Providing medical attention when necessary
- Protecting patient privacy and confidentiality, among other responsibilities
Failing to uphold this duty can result in harm or negligent medical malpractice lawsuits against the facility if it directly leads to injury or damages a patient suffers while under their care.
Reasons a treatment facility may be negligent
A drug rehab facility may be considered negligent if it fails to provide proper care and treatment, resulting in injury or harm to a patient. Some common reasons for negligence claims against treatment facilities include:
- Injury due to drug rehab treatment: This can occur when medication interactions are not properly assessed or monitored, leading to adverse reactions or complications. Additionally, failure to provide appropriate care during detox, withdrawal processes, inpatient treatment, or outpatient treatment can result in physical or psychological harm.
- Injuries due to preventable circumstances: These situations involve accidents or incidents that could have been prevented with adequate safety measures in place. Examples include slip-and-fall injuries caused by unsafe conditions within the facility, car accidents occurring during transportation to off-site program events, or assaults by other patients due to insufficient supervision.
- Injuries due to staff action or lack of action: Negligence claims can arise from instances where medical staff members contribute directly or indirectly to patient injuries either by action or lack of action. For instance, the failure to prevent physical or sexual abuse from patients or staff members, forcing patients to attend program events, or failure to provide quality care that results in relapse or another injury could all fall under this reason.
It is important for individuals who believe they have suffered harm while receiving treatment at a drug rehab facility to consult with a medical malpractice lawyer specializing in addiction and rehabilitation injury cases for guidance on their specific situation.
What is needed to prove negligence?
The most vital aspect of deciding whether you can sue a rehab facility for negligence is proving negligence. In a medical malpractice personal injury lawsuit against a drug rehab facility, several key elements must typically be established:
- Duty of care: The injured party, the plaintiff, must demonstrate the treatment facility owed them a duty of care. This means proving there was a professional relationship between the plaintiff and the facility, and as such, the facility had an obligation to provide reasonable and appropriate care.
- Breach of duty: The plaintiff must show that the rehab center breached its duty of care by failing to meet the standard expected of them. This may involve demonstrating negligent actions or omissions by staff members or the organization.
- Causation: It is essential to establish a causal link between the breach of duty and the injuries or damages suffered by the plaintiff. This requires showing it was due to the specific acts or failures on behalf of the rehab facility that directly caused harm.
- Damages: The plaintiff needs to demonstrate actual damages resulting from their injuries or losses due to negligence at the drug rehab center. This can include physical injury, emotional distress, medical expenses, and diminished quality of life.
- Proximate cause: In some jurisdictions, like Florida, it is also necessary to establish a proximate cause to illustrate how reasonably foreseeable it would have been for these particular injuries and damages to occur based on negligence. In other words, the injured party must demonstrate how negligence by the rehab facility caused their injuries.
When should I seek help from a Miami medical malpractice lawyer?
Medical malpractice cases can be complex and require understanding specific laws and regulations governing healthcare providers in Florida. An experienced attorney familiar with these nuances can navigate these complexities on your behalf.
As such, you should consider seeking help from a Miami medical malpractice lawyer if you believe you have been a victim of medical negligence by a drug rehab facility in the following situations:
- Serious injuries or harm: You suffered significant physical, emotional, or psychological injuries as a result of the actions, or lack thereof, by healthcare professionals or staff at a drug rehab facility
- Failure to provide proper care and treatment: The standard of care provided by the drug rehab facility fell below what was expected and resulted in your injury or worsen your condition
- Lack of informed consent: You were not adequately informed about potential risks, side effects, alternative treatments, or other important aspects related to your treatment at the drug rehab center
- Wrongful death: In cases where a loved one has died due to negligent actions at a drug rehab facility, it is important to consult with a wrongful death attorney for legal recourse against the treatment facility
What is the statute of limitations to file a Florida medical malpractice injury claim?
In Florida, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice injury claim is generally two years from when the incident occurred or was discovered or when it should have been reasonably discovered. However, some exceptions and special rules can affect this timeframe.
Call Bernstein & Maryanoff if you are a victim of rehab facility negligence or abuse
If you or a loved one have experienced negligence or abuse at a drug rehab facility, it’s essential to seek legal guidance and protect your rights. Bernstein & Maryanoff and our medical malpractice attorneys specialize in rehab facility negligence and abuse cases. We fight aggressively for the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact us now for a free, confidential consultation.
Elements of Negligence. (2023).
About the Author
Jack G. Bernstein, ESQ.
Jack Bernstein is a hard-working and highly motivated personal injury attorney in Miami, Florida with over three decades of experience. He is a strategist and idea person, with a genuine passion for helping his firm’s clients. If you’ve been injured, contact Jack Bernstein today for a free evaluation of your case.