Can I File a Medical Malpractice Claim If a Doctor or Hospital Discharged Me Too Early?
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In some cases, a doctor or hospital may send a patient home before the patient is truly well enough to be without professional medical supervision.
Depending on the circumstances, a decision to send a patient home before they’re stable may rise to the level of medical malpractice.
If a doctor or hospital sent you home before you were well enough to be discharged, and you think you suffered an injury due to their decision to release you, you may be entitled to compensation for any injuries that resulted.
The Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice
In cases in which a patient believes their doctor or hospital sent them home before they were ready, one of the main questions in the case is likely to center on whether the doctor or hospital’s decision was in line with the accepted standard of care.
This means the jury will be asked to decide whether another doctor working in the same practice area would have made the same decision given similar circumstances. If a doctor under the same circumstances would not have sent a patient home, this means the treating doctor deviated from the standard of care, which can give rise to a claim for medical malpractice.
Or in the case of a hospital, would a similarly situated hospital have also sent a patient home if given the same circumstances? In some cases, a patient may believe they have a medical malpractice case because their doctor or hospital was forced to readmit them after previously sending them home.
While this can be an indicator of medical malpractice, this isn’t always the case. In a medical malpractice case, it must be proven that a patient’s early discharge led to injury or harm.
What Causes Doctors to Send Patients Home Too Early?
If you were discharged before you felt ready, you may be wondering why any hospital or doctor would send a patient home before they were well enough.
Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why this can occur. In many cases, hospitals and emergency rooms are overcrowded. In an effort to free up beds, a hospital may decide to release a patient too soon. In other cases, hospitals may not have the staff they need to function efficiently. If a hospital is understaffed, it may choose to send patients home to free up the staff’s availability. Sometimes health insurance companies establish criteria for keeping or sending patients home from the hospital that the medical providers must adhere to if they want to get paid by the insurance company.
If a hospital or doctor sent you home before you were medically stable, you may have sustained various types of injury or harm. Additionally, your claim might involve a number of different factors, including:
- A doctor’s failure to follow up with you
- A doctor or hospital neglected to perform certain tests
- A missed diagnosis or misdiagnosis
- A doctor or hospital neglected to make sure you were medically stable
Proving Your Medical Malpractice Claim
Medical malpractice cases are different than other types of injury cases. In New York, the plaintiff must ordinarily elicit expert testimony from a medical expert who can testify that the doctor or hospital deviated from the accepted standard of care while providing treatment to the plaintiff.
Damages in Medical Malpractice Cases
A top-rated medical malpractice law firm will have the experience needed to let a patient know if he or she is entitled to compensation for being discharged early by a doctor or hospital. Damages may include compensation for medical expenses, any lost wages experienced as a result of the medical malpractice, a loss in the ability to earn future income, and pain and suffering.
It’s possible for patients to be entitled to additional damages depending on the unique facts in the case. An experienced New York medical malpractice lawyer can evaluate your case and discuss your options.
How to Prevent Doctors from Sending Patients Home Too Early
When you are ill or recovering from a surgical procedure, it often leaves you in a vulnerable position. If a doctor or hospital decides to send you home before you feel ready, you may be unsure of your rights or what steps you can take to protect yourself.
If you encounter a situation where you feel like you’re not prepared to be discharged from medical care, it’s important to voice your concerns. Make sure you speak to your doctor in person and have another person present if possible. You should also ask the hospital to provide you with a copy of its policy regarding patient discharge rights.
If you believe you were sent home from the hospital too soon and suffered an injury as a result, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact a New York medical malpractice lawyer. A delay in filing your case could limit your right to receive compensation for your injuries.
Medical malpractice cases are complex, and there are time limits for filing a claim. Don’t wait to discuss your claim with a medical malpractice lawyer. Contact Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter at the top New York medical malpractice law firm today at (212) 736-0979 or schedule a free consultation.
New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter