Early Discharge and Medical Malpractice Claims
Let’s say that you’re in a hospital setting because you’re hurt or ill and you feel like you could use some more time to heal. However, the doctor comes in with release forms and pushes you toward leaving because they believe your stay is finished. You sign all the papers and leave – but when you get home, you feel like your injury or illness is even worse and you believe you may have been discharged too soon. What do you do if your injury or illness becomes worse as a result of being discharged early? Can you hold the doctor liable? The decision to discharge may actually lead to a medical malpractice suit in this case. Now you can find out why.
The truth is, you cannot make a medical malpractice suit over every single decision that a hospital makes. There is a specific medical standard of care that a doctor or hospital must abide by. If a doctor’s actions fell below this standard, then you can typically make a claim. You have to ask yourself if you believe another doctor in this position would have discharged you under similar circumstances. If you think the answer is “no,” then you may be able to bring a case. In some cases, you may be readmitted for an injury or illness but this is not always due to medical malpractice – perhaps the condition got worse by its own doing. In these cases, you may feel annoyed, but a lawsuit may not be the best idea.
Proving Your Claim
In some situations, a hospital may discharge you too early because they may not have enough beds or staff available. This would constitute medical malpractice because no matter what, they owe a duty of care to everybody in the hospital. You will need to prove your claim to receive compensation for your injuries or illness if this happened to you. In almost all of these cases, an expert witness will have to testify on your behalf to prove that the decision to discharge you fell below the medical standard of care. You will also have to surround your case with evidence of how you were harmed because of being sent home too soon.
If you are able to recover in your medical malpractice claim, you may be surprised at what the damages will cover. Here are some of the damages you may expect in a typical claim:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Earnings
- Lost Future Earnings
- Pain and Suffering
In some cases, you may be able to prevent being discharged from the hospital too early. You are permitted to request your discharge rights from the hospital as well as speak with the health care professional treating you. You can tell them that you are concerned that your discharge may be a bit premature because of your condition. If you are still in pain or have limited access to receive care at home, you should always explain this to the health care facility.
If none of this works and you end up receiving further damage to your health, you may have a case. Talk to an experienced attorney with medical malpractice skill. Call us today at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi for more information – we will handle your case for you in your time of need!