A hospital is where you’re supposed to feel safe. Unfortunately, it’s also a place where patients are vulnerable to all manners of attacks and assaults. In fact, patients can get sexually assaulted in a hospital. When this happens to you or a loved one, you need to get legal representation so that the criminal/s will be punished and you can receive the compensation you deserve.
Is a Sexual Assault injury in a Hospital Even Likely?
Cases of assault occur in hospitals and other healthcare facilities more often than you think. In 2013, the rate of violent crimes in hospitals increased by 25% from the year before. It was reported that the rate for assault was 11.1 incidents per 100 hospital beds for 2013.
These incidents weren’t exclusively about patients by visitors to the hospital. In fact, 60% of aggravated assaults committed in hospitals were committed by other patients or by hospital employees themselves.
Sexual assaults have happened in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. In Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital in Santa Barbara, a nursing assistant sexually assaulted 2 patients who were partially paralyzed. A woman in Encino-Tarzana Regional Hospital was sexually abused following a surgery that removed an ovarian cyst. An unconscious patient in Mid-Columbia Medical Center in Oregon was sexually assaulted, and an investigation revealed that the hospital employee who had committed the assault had been reported for similar incidents by 19 previous patients.
The Elements of the Civil Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you or a loved one has been sexually abused or assaulted in a healthcare facility, you can also file a civil suit on top of criminal charges the state may lodge. The liability for the sexual assault can be placed on the hospital, which may have been negligent in their duties to take care of you as their patient properly.
- A hospital can be held liable for the assault committed by an employee, if the hospital knew or reasonably should have known that they posed a danger to patients. If the employee had a sexual assault conviction on their record, or if previous complaints have been lodged against that employee and the hospital didn’t take appropriate steps to address the problem, then the hospital can be held liable.
- The hospital or healthcare facility can also be held liable if another patient committed the assault. The hospital may be negligible if they were aware that a patient posed a risk to others (such as if a patient was recently arrested for rape) and they didn’t take appropriate security measures.
- Hospitals may also be held accountable if their security policies and provisions enabled the assault. The hospital may be negligent if their security guards were only tasked to check up on VIP patients’ rooms and they ignored other patients.
If such a crime was committed against you or a loved one, you have the right to consult a law firm that’s experienced in these cases. At Ozols Law Firm, we have helped victims of sexual assault get the justice they deserve. We recognize the difficulties and challenges that victims and their loved ones face, and we are fully committed to protect your legal rights and interests. Call our office and talk to one of our hospital sexual assault lawyers today to know all legal options available.