When to Sue a California Drug and Alcohol Rehab Clinic

can you sue a rehab for abuse

When they are hurting, many people turn to an alcohol or drug rehab facility for help in treating their addiction.

This makes rehab facilities vital resources for people suffering from addiction who want to improve their lives, but it’s important to realize that these places are healthcare facilities that deal with a vulnerable population.

As such, they must provide a reasonable standard of care to their patients and do everything within reason to keep patients safe.

If you or your loved one suffered poor quality of care at a rehab facility, you might be eligible for compensation.

Contact Starpoint Attorneys at Law for more information.

Medical Malpractice

Even when rehab clinics are careful to hire qualified practitioners, patients might be vulnerable to medical errors. These errors can range in severity from inconsequential to fatal.

For example, if a patient is in withdrawal but the staff does not appropriately address their symptoms, their suffering could be unnecessarily increased and even become fatal. Or if a doctor incorrectly prescribes medication that is the wrong dosage or interacts with a patient’s existing medications, painful injuries could result. 


When a staff member does not provide adequate care to a patient, and the patient suffers injuries as a result, the facility could be liable.

For example, if an employee does not follow treatment protocols or adhere to rules, they might miss warning signs that a patient is in need of help. Missing such signs could result in serious injury for which the facility may be held liable. 

Abuse and Assault

When a drug rehab facility or alcohol rehab clinic is not run properly, it may not take care when hiring staff to perform the necessary diligence and background checks. This can leave patients open to possible abuse and mistreatment.

Often, people suffering from addiction have co-occurring mental disorders.

Facility staff must also take care to supervise patients and ensure they are not causing harm to themselves or to other patients. Sexual, emotional, or mental abuse can damage patients even further.

If anything like the above scenarios has happened to you or a loved one, you may be wondering, Can you sue a rehab for abuse? You can, and you should reach out to an attorney to discuss your claim as soon as possible.

Vicarious Liability

Rehab facilities must do everything within reason to keep patients safe. Generally, an alcohol or drug rehab facility can be held liable for its employees’ negligence through a concept known as vicarious liability.

This liability also applies to independent contractors, although the facility may hold less liability for the actions of independent contractors than they do for employees. 

Holding Alcohol and Drug Rehab Clinics Accountable

Recovering addicts are fragile and vulnerable to abuse, relapse, or suicidal thoughts. They have the right to heal in a safe environment.

When a rehab facility takes on the responsibility to treat someone suffering from addiction, that facility owes a duty of care similar to a hospital to keep that patient safe.

Facility patients that suffered injuries due to employee negligence or malpractice are entitled to compensation. Damage can include the cost of medical and mental health treatment, plus any other out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury.

Patients can also recover compensation for emotional distress and physical pain and suffering. If your loved one died because of a facility’s negligent care, you may have the right to bring a wrongful death claim as well. 

Starpoint Injury Law Can Help

It can be devastating for someone to put their life and trust in the hands of a doctor or treatment center that is supposed to help but instead makes matters worse. These situations can have serious consequences for people suffering from addiction. Starpoint Injury Law has experience handling a variety of personal injury matters. Our attorneys and staff can help with your personal injury claim against an alcohol or drug rehab center. Contact us today so we can discuss your claim and your options for moving forward. 

Author Photo

Aidin Ghavimi

Aidin is a partner at Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law, and focuses on personal injury and employment law cases in and around Southern California. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Loyola School of Law and his Bachelor’s from USC. Aidin’s primary goal is to bring justice to his clients and to ensure they are able to move on with their lives after a serious injury.

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