3 Things to Do If Injured in a Psychiatric Hospital

3 Things to Do If Injured in a Psychiatric Hospital

When a loved one is injured or dies in a psychiatric hospital, the conclusion drawn by the family is to blame the staff or owner. Although that is a natural assumption, it is not always the case. However, the ultimate responsibility for your loved one’s safety rests with the hospital. There are circumstances of shared responsibility, particularly when there are faulty medical devices, equipment, or pharmaceuticals. Still, when otherwise healthy patients are injured or die in care, it is frequently due to negligence.

#1 Documentation

You can begin to assist with the documentation process for your personal injury attorney by writing down or journalizing the details and circumstances of the event as soon as possible after notification. This type of chronicling of events should ONLY be done AFTER consultation with a lawyer.    

#2 Witnesses

Make no mistake, GreeningLaw will conduct a thorough investigation into the events of the injury or death of your loved one. You can assist in the investigation by noting any conversation overheard or discussions you recall that may help pinpoint the actually cause.

Oftentimes the blame can only be assigned after getting statements from witnesses. The persons actually to blame for the injuries could be from the staff, another patient, or self-inflicted, the only way to find out as many details as possible is to speak with the people present at the time of the incident.  

The psychiatric hospital like any other health care facility has a responsibility known as “Duty of Care” to its residents. That means the hospital is responsible for ensuring that its patients are not molested, neglected, or abused by other patients, contractors, or the staff of the hospital. The psychiatric hospital is responsible for making sure nurses, technicians, and staff are fully trained in every aspect of their responsibilities. Furthermore, the hospital is responsible for ensuring they hire enough personnel to safeguard and care for the residents so that no neglect of its residents occurs. Therefore, even in the case of self-inflicted injury or death, rape or abuse by other patients, staff, or vendors, the hospital bears the majority of blame through their duty of care responsibilities.

#3 Hire an Attorney

Often, patients in a psychiatric hospital are neglected, overmedicated, or not believed when they threaten self-harm. It is the responsibility of the care-givers to ensure they are protected from harm. Although others may share the blame for injury or wrongful death, the hospital owes the duty of care responsibility.

GreeningLaw, PC represents the victims of personal injury and wrongful death on a contingency basis. What that means to you is that you need no money upfront and we will never ask you to bear the expense or fees associated with your claim. We pay the expenses and take our fee from the compensation awarded. Simply stated, if you do not receive compensation, you will not have to pay. Bringing a personal injury suit due to the injury or death of a loved one is stressful enough without the added stress of financial concerns.

Call, (972) 934-8900 Robert Greening, personal injury attorney today, for a free consultation with no obligation pertaining to your loved one’s injuries or send us an email rgreening@greeninglaw.com

We fight the legal battle, so you have time for healing and renewal.

5 Ways to Prevent Injuries in a Psychiatric Hospital

5 Ways to Prevent Injuries in a Psychiatric Hospital

Although it is not the family’s responsibility to prevent injuries of their loved ones who are patients in a psychiatric hospital, being proactive is certainly preferred over dealing with an injury that could have been prevented. To assist you with this, we have gathered a few preventive techniques for the family to think about before and after admittance of a love one to a psychiatric hospital.

#1 Take a Tour

Frequent tours of the psychiatric hospital that your loved one is a resident in may turn up unnoticed or unrecognized hazards. This is an opportunity to get to know the staff that will care for your loved one. Additionally, during your tour, you may discover bad habits by staff that could lead to injury, such as them leaving doors open.  This may seem innocent enough to let in fresh air, but unsupervised patients could go out that door and get injured or harm themselves while not supervised.

A study by Dr. Isaac Sakinofsky found that “The bulk of inpatient suicides actually occur not on the ward but off premises, when the patient was on leave or had absconded” (escaped). What better opportunity to escape than through an open door? Although his study was about how to prevent suicide, the preventive measures in the paper could be used to prevent injuries, as well. All threats of suicide by patients must be taken seriously and prevention methods set in place. Not only should dangerous objects be kept away from patients, but improved patient visibility, increased patient supervision (this can be aided by family visits, as well), and good communications between the family and the staff should be implemented immediately.   

#2 Interview Staff

Talking with and getting to know the staff who care for your loved one is a great way to show you care and it lets them know you will be watching to ensure they are cared for properly. Ask the nurses what they do to prevent slips and falls, since these are the most frequent cause of inpatient injuries, also bed sores and medication mismanagement. In one wrongful death case, it was discovered that the patient had been given 10 times the prescribed dose of medicine. What are the standard operating procedures in place to prevent these mishaps?

#3 Chat with Patients

Talk to the residents, although the believability of a psychiatric hospital inpatient may be suspect, just looking at their overall condition is an indication of their treatment.   

#4 Read Reviews

The patients’ families will oftentimes leave comments on hospital review sites, such as Yelp and Psych Ward Reviews. Psych Ward Reviews is a former patient’s realization of a Yelp type review for psychiatric hospitals. The patient who started the website was denied food and water because she asked the staff for an alternative to pharmaceutical medication. As of November 2016, the site had reviews of 88 hospitals that can be searched by city or hospital name and most of these are reviews by former inpatients. Not all psychiatric patients are incapable of formulating rational thoughts and many know when they are being overmedicated or mistreated.

#5 Visit Often

Although it may seem inconvenient to visit the institution several times before deciding, it will give you a feeling of how convenient the visit will be from both a travel standpoint and from the standpoint of the welcome you receive from the staff. Naturally, the staff will do everything to make you feel welcome on your first announced visit, but how they treat you on repeat visits may be a better indicator of how they treat their patients on a day-to-day basis. If they are not welcoming to visitors, imagine how they treat the people they deal with every day.

Often the patients who are abused or neglected are those who do not have family visitors. A devious staff member, vendor, or another patient may believe no one is watching the patient and they are easy prey for abuse or molestation.

Get Legal Help for Personal Injury or Mistreatment

If you or one of your loved ones has been injured, neglected, molested, or abused in a psychiatric hospital, which led to serious injury or wrongful death, call GreeningLaw, PC (972) 934-8900. Robert Greening is a personal injury lawyer, who represents victims only on a contingency basis. Many personal injury lawyers do not accept contingency cases because if they lose they will not get paid. Robert Greening says, “…we only expect payment when we successfully obtain financial compensation on your behalf.” That statement speaks volumes about the confidence of this team.

When you accept GreeningLaw for legal assistance on a contingency basis, you pay nothing upfront to receive representation. Working out of our office in Dallas-Fort Worth, Greening and his associates provide professional representation to our clients who have suffered negligence or abuse. We pay the expenses involved with your claim, so can start the healing process without stress. When you receive compensation, the firm is reimbursed for expenses and then the previously agreed upon percentage of the award is the attorney’s fee. Therefore, there are no surprises or hidden fees.

Simply use our convenient online contact form to initiate your free consultation that is always confidential and obligation free. You can also send an email: rgreening@greeninglaw.com

We fight the legal battle, so you have time for healing and renewal.