You’re probably rather comfortable bedridden somewhere you’d rather not be – the hospital. The food is wonderful, the constant prodding of needles makes your day, and rhetorical discussions with staff regarding your current condition have you feeling like you’re trapped in some perpetual nightmare.
Finally, for reasons unbeknownst to you, discharge papers get signed and you’re wheeled out the front door. Still feeling somewhat sore and groggy from the morphine drip, you’re carted away by family back into the home you’re more accustomed to. Three days later, you return in much worse condition than before.
Situations similar to this happen often. Far too often, in fact. Your California medical malpractice lawyer should be notified immediately because this discharge may have been negligently ordered. Barring some meritorious defense, you’ll potentially find yourself the recipient of that proverbial ‘fat check’.
How Early Discharges Become Civilly Litigable
Situations where patients get discharged before services were fully rendered – that is before the wounded have been either made whole by surgery or at least administered medicines – could be grounds for medical malpractice. In proving these cases, attorneys whip through paperwork to determine if one component lacks: standard of care.
To prove substandard care was administered, attorneys dig into the circumstances surrounding the premature patient discharge. Many circumstances where patients were released, worsen, the head to another facility are rather a clear cut, although supporting evidence your California medical malpractice attorney uncovers will cement your claim.
Then there’s expert testimony required to substantiate claims of doctoral misconduct. This witness, often another doctor, will provide an accurate account of the patient’s condition and, in similar circumstances, how the discharging physician should have acted. Letting patients go that weren’t prepared to consume regular foods, for example, could jeopardize patient health.
Between expert testimony and supporting evidence, cases taken to trial will emerge victorious only if the negligence is clear to even the layman. Bear in mind expert witnesses, before being brought into cases, must be skilled at a level equal or above that whom they’re testifying against.
Awardable Damages Can Get High
Early discharges that lead to patient injury are treated as personal injuries, except at far more serious levels. This isn’t a stubbed toe or smashed arm your attorney is fighting for; medical malpractice is often seen as ‘the homicide of civil cases’. It’s epic.
Punitive damages may include loss of doctor’s license to practice, effectively ending their careers. Apart from potential criminal charges if you’ve been grossly mistreated, hospitals and the doctors themselves could face civil penalties and fines.
These are fines exclusive of the settlement awarded to the victim, mind you. The medical malpractice lawyer in California patients calls upon should be skilled in medical nomenclature, or at least have outside resources that complement their own legalese. These aren’t cases you commonly see because early discharges are really, really sensitive matters. Get facts wrong or make unjust accusations, and suddenly the plaintiff becomes the defendant.
Discharged before due time? Feel worse since you have? Call – don’t run – your attorney’s office immediately.