Personal Injury Law (Accidents/Slip & Fall)/Mother fell at detox facility

Advertisement


Question
My mother has been suffering from back pain for years. Her physician prescribed pain medication for the last few years. As you know, you begin to build up a tolerance and end up taking more over that time. My mother ended up taking methadone (unsubscribed by doctor)for the last 8 months. My father noticed her health was getting worse. She told him what she was taking, because doctor prescribed medication wasn't working. When it came to my attention, I recommended having her go to a detox facility to get her off this dangerous addictive drug. So then we could address her back pain after getting her system clean. While at the detox facility and under their care, my 71 year old mother fell hitting her head and was taken to a hospital. My father decided to take her home rather then risking something else happening at this facility.

I guess my question is, are they liable for this injury since they prescribed medication that made her drowsy and groggy while at this detox facility. I thought they would monitor her movement little more knowing what might happen because of side affects. I trusted them to care for her, so we could address the real problem. Are they liable for her medical costs at hospital?

Thanks for listening,

Michael

Answer
The facility is not liable for anything unless they voluntarily agree to pay, compensate or cover something for your mother.  If they won't voluntarily cover the hospital expense, and I would bet they won't, then your only option is to sue them for medical malpractice, elder abuse or some other law in your State.  Since you haven't even explained what the injury was other than some bump on the head, obviously no lawyer is going to have interest in the case.  It is also my guess that no one incurred any out of pocket costs. Your mother is on Medicare that covers the hospital bill so she hasn't been hurt financially, I presume.  But even if she fractured her skull and was brain damages, I don't have enough facts to say the facility was liable.  Was she is such a condition at the facility or were there doctors' orders that she should never be left along, 24/7 in any situation where she might fall? Does the standard of care require the facility to never let a patient like your mother walk without assistance, even to the bathroom?  Was she given adequately close supervision but was able to fall anyways. You also don't explain the circumstances of her fall. Was she in bed for the night and tried to get to the bathroom after she called for help????? Thousands of possiblities. You don't tell me what happened so I don't know whether the facility is legally responsible.  But I do know that unless she was permanently injured and disabled as a result of the fall, thus creating big damages, there is no legal recourse.  Give me more facts, I give you more explanation.

Personal Injury Law (Accidents/Slip & Fall)

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Glenn A. Dorfman

Expertise

Thirty-two years experience in personal injury, medical malpractice, medical product liability law and class actions. Qualified to answer all questions regarding injuries and the law, except for worker`s compensation. Actively involved and fully experienced in litigation regarding recalled hip implants as well as the Mirena IUD.

Experience

Hundreds of satisfied clients in previous litigation

Organizations
California State Bar Association in good standing since 1976. Federal District Court

Education/Credentials
Jurisx Doctor degree 1976

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.