What are your rights if you are picked up for public intoxication but not while driving and not formally arrested but taken to the hospital?

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What are your rights if you are picked up for public intoxication but not while driving and not formally arrested but taken to the hospital?

They put you in the hospital, gave you a “sitter” made you stay in your room then repeatedly kept saying you are not in jail. So I said then I am going home, 2 guards came and grabbed me and through me in a locked room for four hours, did not give me fluids or anything to eat. Barely would let me go to the bathroom and then the nurses were mocking me, laughing at me and yelling at me when I kept trying to understand my treatment plan, etc. Can I sue the hospital?

Asked on May 3, 2012 under Malpractice Law, North Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should be thankful that you were not arrested and taken to the "drunk tank" at the local police station for being publicly intoxicated which is a misdemeanor in all states in this country. Rather, the detaining officer in order to make sure your health was protected took you to the local hospital for observation and "detox".

Given your condition your rights were to be treated in the safest way for all. Although you believe you were treated poorly in the hospital you need to remember that under the law your ability to recall events given your condition is "suspect".

You can file suit against the hospital but you do not have the facts or the law supporting a viable legal claim from what you have written.


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