Your loved ones who are incarcerated may sometimes get involved with medical malpractice, with them ending up in more pain than ever. Every United States citizen has the right to legal representation once they encounter issues regarding their medical treatment. Medical malpractice and any abuse in prison are unconstitutional, and there is help available to them.
A Look At Inmates’ Health Conditions
Due to the increasing population of incarcerated individuals, the need for correctional healthcare services has never been more emphasized in the medical landscape. From the statistics presented by the Bureau of Justice, 39% of federal inmates and 44% of state inmates reported that they have some form of medical condition aside from viruses and colds.
Moreover, the incarcerated population carries the burden of chronic and both noncommunicable and communicable diseases. Here are the most common medical conditions present in individuals under imprisonment:
- Substance abuse
- Mental health problems
Despite the significant requirement of appropriate correctional healthcare in many US prisons, it’s unfortunate to know that a lot of inmates suffer from the negligence of a medical professional. Imprisonment is no excuse from receiving the right to medical care. In this article, you’ll explore how inmates can find legal help from medical malpractice that has occurred inside their prison walls.
Prisoner Abuse And Neglect
Many lawyers have been encountering problems inside prison walls. For example, wrongful death from infection because the inmate was denied treatment after repeatedly asking for it. Prisoners can state a claim and win against those responsible for neglect and malpractice. There are countless cases of abuse, and denying a prisoner the right to proper medical care is among them. You can learn more about medical malpractice claims by prisoners by reading this full article.
Who Falls Under Prisoner Medical Malpractice?
Denying incarcerated individuals or inmates the right to proper medical care is against civil law. Civil law states that everyone in a community or every citizen has equal rights. You can go to a trusted civil rights lawyer for prisoner medical care claims to gain compensation from neglectful authorities. A loved one who is in prison may have a valid case if he or she is under the following circumstances:
- Subjected to inadequate and substandard health care that results in injuries, and misdiagnosis, or failure to diagnose life-threatening diseases, and more.
- Improper treatment or if the treatment of the withdrawal symptoms of drug-related issues is not enough. Symptoms may include anxiety, insomnia, diarrhea, convulsions, seizures, vomiting, and dehydration, among others.
- The refusal or failure to treat inmates through correctional healthcare or privately contracted correctional facilities.
- When inmates developed infections after treatment or if they experienced surgical errors.
- Prisoners who were misdiagnosed with cancer and other terminal illnesses.
- When authorities fail to send the inmate for immediate treatment to a specialist or at the hospital, or inadequate medical care.
Who Can Inmates Sue For Medical Practice?
Healthcare providers who are proven to be negligent with inmate patient care can be held responsible for injuries incurred. Malpractice claims not only apply against hospitals, doctors, and nurses but also to correctional health providers who cause harm and wrongful death.
Apart from medical workers, can an inmate sue their prison of negligence? According to the denotative definition of negligence, people who have failed to provide a reasonable level of care despite their responsibility to do so, and have caused you an injury, are under this liability. To sue your jail facility of negligence, you must be able to prove the following:
- The jail facility or personnel owed a duty of care
- The jail facility or personnel breached that duty of care
- Your injury and suffering were explicitly caused by that breach
The Prison Litigation Reform Act: More Devastating Than Helpful?
Before filing a lawsuit outside the control of your prison, there’s actually a procedure you can undergo to allow your jail to handle and resolve the issue. As required by the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), inmates should first run through administrative remedies in the form of grievance procedures that’s present in their facility before being permitted to file a lawsuit.
However, most prisons don’t have regulations put in place regarding grievance processes. Some facilities that otherwise have grievance procedures have written them with too much complexity that inmates choose not to proceed anymore.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The surviving family members of the inmate victims need not worry about where they can seek help. If your loved one passed away due to inadequate medical care, you can file for a wrongful death claim, which will be handled by state law. It’s a case that addresses the demand for compensation from the responsible party for the suffering of the victim during treatment and for the surviving family members who lost their loved ones.
The family can seek a prisoner medical malpractice lawyer who can discuss the matter with them in detail. Some states may require the family to have legal representation; others will allow them to file a claim themselves.
How To Choose The Right Attorney
If you’re wondering what type of lawyer you should seek out to handle prisoner medical malpractice, a civil rights and injury lawyer will be able to help you navigate the complexity of the case.
They’ll prepare documents for litigation purposes. The inmate or the surviving family members of the victim must prove that the defendant or the responsible healthcare provider is indifferent to the patient’s needs or safety. The victims or the family can sue them for deprivation of proper medical treatment.
A civil rights attorney may not have the experience in your type of discrimination claim, but they must at least have handled any kind of human rights violation case. The following are some questions that you must ask the attorney you’re considering hiring:
- Ask how many civil rights cases that attorney has handled during his or her career.
- Inquire about the outcomes of those cases.
- If the lawyer has experience in your particular discrimination case.
- The types of discrimination cases they handled in the past.
- If the lawyer is prepared to take the case to trial if needed.
- What current laws are applicable and could help strengthen the case.
- If there is any development on similar civil rights cases.
Adequate medical care is a fundamental human right, even among the incarcerated. Yet, the cries for help are ignored, or they just die from errors and insufficient medical treatment. Surviving families should not be afraid to seek justice for their loved ones. Help is available through the right attorney.