When a person enters a program at a drug treatment center, it’s reasonable to assume they will receive professional and ethical care. Like other kinds of medical facilities, rehabilitation clinics have an obligation to provide a certain standard of care. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they always do.
From understaffing to underfunding, drug treatment centers have a range of potential factors working against them that can lead to neglect and abuse. If you think your loved one is receiving substandard care—or has been taken advantage of in a sexual relationship—the responsible party or facility may be liable for damages. To give your case the best chance of success, be sure to take the following steps:
1. Make Alternative Arrangements
If your loved one’s health, safety, or sobriety is in jeopardy, your first priority should be enrolling them in another program. Only after the victim has been relocated to a different clinic, far away from the abuse, will you have peace of mind. This, in turn, will allow you to focus on the ensuing investigation and subsequent proceedings.
2. Preserve Important Evidence
Why did you suspect neglect or abuse in the first place? Consider the earliest warning signs and then, if you can, devise a way to document them.
If your loved one was being neglected, for example, their medical records may prove useful. They might highlight issues like malnutrition and dramatic weight loss.
If, on the other hand, the victim was engaging in a sexual relationship with a staff member, surveillance footage and eyewitness deposition may serve as the foundation for your case. Keep in mind that even if the relationship was allegedly consensual, your family may still take action. This is because patients in medical settings are not usually considered capable of consenting, so any sexual relations with their providers could be deemed assault.
3. Track Recoverable Damages
What kinds of damages did the victim incur as a result of the abuse? Medical bills? Lost wages? Pain and suffering?
In order to win a favorable settlement, you will have to demonstrate the nature of the damages incurred. As such, it’s imperative to save all associated documentation.
You should also help your loved one keep a journal. Have them write about the ways in which the mistreatment is hurting their quality of life. Detailed daily entries could help prove their non-economic damages.
4. Seek Legal Counsel
Because so much is at stake, it’s wise to call an attorney as soon as you suspect wrongdoing. If you enlist legal help from day one, you can focus on taking care of the victim while your case proceeds in good hands.
Call 973-832-0841 to Speak with a Drug Treatment Center Abuse Attorney in Morristown
For help taking action against your loved one’s rehabilitation clinic, turn to The Law Offices of Joseph S. Scura. For more than a decade, we’ve been helping families hold negligent facilities accountable for their oversights. To schedule your free initial consultation with a drug center abuse lawyer in Morristown, fill out our Online Contact Form or call 973-832-0841.