If You’re Discharged Too Soon, Is It Medical Malpractice?
Early discharge from hospitals may be relieving to patients who see that as an opportunity to resume their regular duties. However, in some cases, it might result in complications, readmissions and become an issue of medical malpractice.
Hospitals usually discharge patients early due to congestions. Nevertheless, if the decision results in worsening of the patient’s health, the facility or doctor in charge can be sued for malpractice.
Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in California at Johnson Attorneys Group. We don’t charge any fees until after winning your case. Below we’ve provided information on the legal issues surrounding early discharge as medical malpractice.
California’s Medical Malpractice Laws
According to the State of California laws, a facility can only discharge a patient after;
- The patient’s physician has approved that the patient is fit for discharge.
- Giving the patient or caregiver a 24-hour notice
- The patient has chosen a caregiver from among family members, relatives, or friends.
- Has planned for post-discharge care if it is necessary
Right to Refuse a Discharge Order
California laws allow a patient to reject a discharge order if they have a sufficient reason to believe that the move is inappropriate. The policy also prohibits a health facility from discharging a person in need of long-term care until it has arranged for safe follow-up care.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim
Seeking readmission soon after being discharged is not always a proof of medical negligence. Hence, a patient has to provide sufficient evidence of negligence to make a valid malpractice claim.
Proof of Breach of Duty
California laws already define the existence of duty between the physician or facility and the patient. The patient, therefore, has to prove that:
- There was a breach of the duty
- The violation of duty was the direct result of the doctor’s actions.
- The breach leads to tangible harm, which must not be long term.
The law also requires the testimony of a physician of the same experience showing that they would not have allowed the discharge given the prevailing conditions.
Defenses Against Malpractice Cases
Doctors and facilities have some defenses against medical malpractice claims. They include:
- Proof of causation: Proving that the injury incurred from the early discharge is the doctor’s fault is the hardest part of a medical malpractice claim as there are always other possible causes
- Contributory negligence: It is where the patient or the caregiver is also found to have contributed to the undesirable results.
- Respectable minority principle: It recognizes that there is sometimes a good reason to deviate from the standard of care. The doctor only has to prove that there was a proper reason for the early discharge and the case is closed.
Once a patient has proven their case, they are liable for compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Losses of income
- Loss of future income
- Pain and suffering.
Experienced California Personal Injury Lawyer At Johnson Attorneys Group Can Help You with Your Medical Malpractice Claim – Get a Free Case Review
Health facilities and doctors have substantial defenses to protect their “bottom line.” You should have an attorney on your side that is a skilled negotiator, to make sure you get the best recovery for your California medical malpractice claim. If your loved one or you sustained personal injuries due to medical negligence, you need an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Our California personal injury lawyer has recovered more than $50 million for our clients over the past several years alone. At Johnson Attorneys Group, we will not demand any legal fees from you until they successfully settle or win your case. For a complimentary case evaluation, call 1-800-208-3538.