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Negligence in Behavioral Health Facilities

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Patients in behavioral health institutions, psychiatric facilities, and other mental health residential treatment centers deserve, and are legally entitled to receive, reasonable and appropriate care. Unfortunately, some behavioral health facilities fall below standards of care, resulting in physical and emotional damage to their patients.

The medical malpractice attorneys at Morris James are trusted by victims of negligence who have suffered injuries caused by behavioral health, mental health, and psychiatric facilities. We provide compassionate legal counsel to those impacted by medical negligence, and hold these facilities legally accountable for their failings.

Understanding Negligence in Behavioral Health Facilities

Negligence in behavioral health facilities encompasses a wide range of harmful behaviors and actions that can result in serious consequences for patients. Common issues of concern in mental health facilities include:

Understaffed Facilities

Understaffing is a significant issue plaguing behavioral health facilities across the nation. Nurses, physicians, and other professionals in understaffed facilities often lack sufficient time to adequately attend to each patient, leading to mistakes, injuries, and even death. In addition, lack of administrative or facility staff can result in poor maintenance and unsafe conditions for residents. 

Underqualified Staff

Staffing behavioral health facilities with underqualified employees can lead to serious harm to patients. The complexity of mental health conditions requires specialized training and the ability to manage patients appropriately and sensitively. Care provided by underqualified staff often results in misdiagnoses, inappropriate treatment plans, and inadequate response to emergencies, ultimately compromising patient safety and recovery.

Overmedicating Patients and Medication Errors

Overmedication and medication errors are common issues in behavioral health facilities and can have devastating effects on patients. Overmedication can lead to physical harm, including medical emergencies. Medication errors, such as incorrect dosage or administration, can result in severe health complications, physical and mental trauma, and other patient harm.

Inadequate Supervision

Adequate supervision is crucial in behavioral health facilities. Failure to monitor patients properly can lead to accidents, delays in treatment, self-harm, suicide, harm to others, or elopement. In certain cases, improperly supervised patients may fall victim to abuse by other patients or staff members. Ensuring consistent and appropriate supervision is a key responsibility of these facilities to guarantee the safety and well-being of patients. When a patient is harmed due to lack of proper supervision, the facility must be held to account.

Abuse of Patients

Abuse of patients in behavioral health facilities is a deeply disturbing issue, manifesting in various forms, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Such incidents can inflict severe physical injuries and psychological trauma on victims, exacerbating their existing health conditions and impeding their recovery. 

Types of Damages Incurred

Victims of negligence in behavioral health facilities may experience a range of damages, including physical injuries, psychological harms, and wrongful death. These damages can have long-lasting effects on the individual and their loved ones, impacting their quality of life and recovery journey.

If you or a family member have suffered harm as a result of negligence at a mental health facility, you may be entitled to financial compensation for these damages. Compensation could cover your medical expenses such as additional treatments or a hospital admission, lost wages or reduced future earnings, negative effects on your quality of life, and other physical and emotional suffering. Every case is different but your attorney can advise you on the types of damages that you may be entitled to in your particular circumstances. 

Why Prompt Legal Action is Important

Taking legal action against negligent behavioral health providers is crucial to hold these facilities accountable for their actions, to protect vulnerable patients from similar problems in the future, and to get justice and compensation for the victims of negligence in behavioral health facilities.

Victims have a limited time to take legal action against negligent healthcare providers. Each State imposes a deadline on filing claims, known as the statute of limitations. In Delaware and Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations period for a medical malpractice claim is generally 2 years. It is longer in some States, such as Maryland, and there are some exceptions to the deadline, so it is crucial that you speak to an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your State about the deadline that applies to you. If you miss the legal deadline, you may lose your opportunity to get compensation for your losses.

How Can Morris James Help You?

At Morris James, we offer a voice to victims of negligent behavioral health facilities. Our experienced attorneys will fight for you against powerful healthcare providers and insurance companies. Before representing injured victims of negligence, our medical malpractice attorneys worked on the other side of these cases, defending healthcare providers and insurance companies. We know the strategies and processes of these providers and their insurers, and we use that knowledge now to get justice for our clients.

If you are unsure whether you or your loved one has been the victim of negligence, the medical malpractice lawyers at Morris James offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case. We will listen to your story and advise you on your legal rights and options. If you choose to proceed with a claim, we will take your case on a contingency basis, which means that we only charge you fees if you win.

Take the First Step Towards Justice

If you or a loved one has been harmed or abused in a behavioral health facility, we are here to provide compassionate support, reliable legal guidance, and aggressive representation. 

At Morris James, our attorneys have been standing up for victims since we opened our doors in 1932. If you have questions about negligence at behavioral health facilities, you may find answers in our Negligence at Behavioral Health Facilities FAQs or you can contact us online or call us at 302.655.2599 to speak to one of our experienced attorneys.





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