When Injuries, Neglect, and Abuse Occur at a Rehabilitation Facility
Over the course of a lifetime, many people will require inpatient treatment or rehabilitation for issues related to alcohol and drug addiction, or for a mental issue. No one who enters a rehabilitation facility would expect their well-being to be placed in further jeopardy by the facility itself. In fact, rehabilitative facilities are intended to be a safe sanctuary for those in need. Unfortunately, there are numerous ways rehabilitative staff and therapists can place their patients in harm’s way.
Those who are entering a rehabilitation facility are in an exceptionally vulnerable position, both physically and mentally. Although rehabilitation facilities have an obligation to ensure their patients’ safety, some engage in negligent behaviors. There are rehabilitation workers who are willing to take advantage of the circumstances, perpetrating neglect, abuse, injury, or even sexual abuse on residents.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury, neglect, or abuse while at a rehabilitative facility, it is important that you speak to a knowledgeable, experienced Illinois attorney. Attorney Larry Finn has been helping people just like you for almost three decades and understands the pain that can be caused to those in rehabilitation facilities. It is important that you not attempt to cope with such trauma on your own, and the Finn Law Firm will ensure you have an advocate in your corner.
What Types of Abuse or Injuries Occur in a Rehabilitation Facility?
When a patient enters a rehabilitation facility, they should expect a reasonable standard of care. Under the law, this means they should expect the attention, caution, and care any other reasonable medical professional would exhibit under the same circumstances. When this standard of care is not achieved, negligence has occurred, and the resulting damages may be claimed in a lawsuit by the injured party.
Accidents, intentional acts of abuse or neglect, and failures to act could leave rehabilitative facilities exposed to liability in a negligence case. Some of the actions that can leave a rehabilitative facility vulnerable to a lawsuit include the following:
- The facility has failed to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe manner. The facility and staff must be aware of any potential hazards and must mitigate the risk of these hazards to the extent possible. This could include maintaining the floors in the facility in such a manner that the risk of slip and fall accidents are mitigated, ensuring residents are never at risk of harm from another resident or from a known or anticipated hazard on the property.
- The facility has engaged in negligent hiring practices. Many rehabilitative facilities may not take the time and trouble to thoroughly screen their potential employees. Further, the employees may not be properly trained in the acceptable methods of dealing with those in rehab. When a facility has an employee who ends up neglecting, abusing, or otherwise harming a patient at the facility, the facility can be held vicariously liable for failing to properly train and supervise its employees.
- A staff member confined a patient to a chair or bed, humiliated the patient, or over or under-medicated the patient. The rehabilitative facility is liable for any harm suffered by residents at the hands of their staff members.
- The facility has failed to provide adequate medical treatment when required. Sub-standard medical care can result in harm to a resident. In turn, this could lead to a medical malpractice claim against the facility or against the specific medical professional who treated the resident.
- The patient has been improperly handled, confined, or even dropped. Depending on the type of facility, patients may need to be physically moved. There are protocols in place to do so without causing harm to the patient. When these protocols are not followed, the patient could end up physically harmed, embarrassed, humiliated, or could later suffer from PTSD as a result of the issues.
- A resident is subjected to emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or verbal abuse. Obviously, it is never okay for a staff member to harm a resident in any way. When a patient is attempting to undergo rehabilitative therapies for a drug, alcohol, or mental issue, the last thing he or she needs is to be further harmed by the negligence or willful acts of a staff member.
- The patient was discharged before he or she should have been discharged. Early discharge can result in a relapse or many other issues. It is the job of those who work at a rehabilitative facility to know when it is safe to discharge a patient. When specific protocols are not adhered to, the facility may be found liable.
- The staff at the facility failed to monitor any potentially self–destructive actions. Those who enter a treatment facility are likely to have some emotional or psychological issues. Because of this, the staff at the facility should be highly trained to notice any self-destructive actions, then to stop those actions. If this is not the case, the facility could be liable for any resulting harm to a resident.
- The facility has failed to maintain health and safety policies. Rehabilitative facilities are required to maintain clean, sanitary, safe living conditions as a means of preventing injury or illness. In fact, when a resident ends up sick because of a failure to maintain a clean facility, the facility can be held liable in a civil lawsuit.
Getting the Help You Need from the Finn Law Firm
If you or a loved one has suffered any form of mistreatment in a rehabilitation facility, it could be time to speak to an attorney from the Finn Law Firm. Our rehabilitation facility attorneys will seek damages for vulnerable individuals who have been harmed by those entrusted with their care. We will carefully listen to the facts of your potential claim, then will comprehensively assess the case, answering any questions you may have. Attorney Larry Finn is highly skilled in mounting a thorough, aggressive lawsuit against a facility that failed to uphold its responsibilities to their patients. Contact the Finn Law Firm today!