If your doctor or a person on the medical team caring for you stopped treatment without giving you a chance to find the proper help and you were harmed as a result, you could be a victim of patient abandonment. This form of medical malpractice occurs when a physician or other medical professional terminates the doctor-patient relationship without reasonable notice or a reasonable excuse, and also doesn’t give the patient an opportunity to find a suitable replacement.
Examples of Patient Abandonment
A doctor isn’t obligated to treat every patient who comes to him; however, he cannot stop treatment without allowing the patient to first find someone else who can also do the job. A variety of scenarios qualify as patient abandonment, including:
- A doctor refuses to treat a patient because she has an outstanding bill with him.
- The medical staff schedules a follow-up appointment too far in the future, which causes the patient’s condition to worsen.
- A doctor—or the on-call staff— is unavailable for an unreasonable amount of time when the patient needs care, and the patient ends up suffering as a result.
- A hospital has inadequate staffing that results in harm to a patient.
- The medical staff fails to reach out to a patient regarding a follow-up appointment.
- The medical staff fails to relay important communication between the patient and the doctor.
Can You File a Patient Abandonment Claim?
In order to file a patient abandonment claim against a physician or member of your medical staff, you must be able to prove the following four elements:
- You must prove a doctor-patient relationship existed.
- The abandonment must have taken place when you were still in need of medical attention.
- The abandonment must have occurred so abruptly that you didn’t have a chance to find a replacement.
- The abandonment must result in harm to you.
The legal team of Tavss Fletcher has helped many victims of patient abandonment in Norfolk receive the justice they deserve. Call 877.960.3441 to find out if we can do the same for you.