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Claims for Patient Abandonment

Patient abandonment is a type of medical malpractice that can take place when a doctor has made the decision to terminate the doctor-patient relationship with no reasonable excuse or notice. Furthermore, the doctor has failed to offer his or her patients a reasonable opportunity to find a qualified substitution for the medical treatment.

Here, we will examine some of the factors necessary to prove patient abandonment in order to file a successful medical malpractice claim. We will also look into a few examples that can demonstrate patient abandonment in the medical care setting.

Elements needed to Prove Patient Abandonment

First and foremost, it is crucial to begin by stating that the success of every claim will depend on the specifics of each case. Additionally, a medical caregiver’s legal liability can vary drastically from state to state. With that said, there are a few common factors that could demonstrate patient abandonment:

  1. The first factor to establish a doctor-patient relationship. This will typically mean that the doctor must have agreed to treat the patient, and that the treatment was underway at the time of the abandonment.
  2. The second important factor that will need to be established is that the patient still needed medical care at the time of the abandonment. This may be involving a critical stage in the treatment process.
  3. Thirdly, the claim must demonstrate that the abandonment took place abruptly and that the patient did not have sufficient time and/or the resources to substitute medical care and find a suitable doctor to take over.
  4. Last, the claim needs to demonstrate that the patient suffered injuries as a direct result of the medical abandonment.

Common Examples of Medical Abandonment

There are many everyday-reasons why a medical professionals might terminate the relationship without having a reasonable excuse. The following are some of the most widely recognized examples:

  • The patient failed to pay the medical bill
  • The medical office or hospital is understaffed
  • The medical staff scheduled an appointment too far in advance, which ultimately resulted in the preventable injury to the patient from a worsened condition
  • The hospital staff has failed to follow-up with a patient that missed his or her appointment
  • The medical staff failed to communicate important questions the patient had for the doctor

After Injury from Patient Abandonment, Seek the Legal Support You Deserve

There are countless reasons why a physician will decide to determinate a doctor-patient relationship, but if you have reason to believe that this was done unjustly, you may have a legal right to pursue a medical malpractice claim. Seek the legal support of a skilled attorney who will help identify the elements you need to prove a case and set you on your way to recovery.

The attorneys at Heiting & Irwin are committed to helping those who have suffered harm at the hands of negligent doctors and hospitals. The firm understands that medical malpractice cases demand a sense of urgency, as many victims are often left behind with mounting medical bills. If you suffered harm because of a careless medical professional, consult a law firm that will fight on your behalf as soon as possible.

James Heiting

The only past President of the State Bar of California ever elected from the Inland Empire, James Heiting handles civil litigation matters throughout California, recovering over $300 million for clients, dealing with wrongful death, serious injury, professional malpractice and transportation accidents. Also past President of Riverside’s County Bar, his firm has served the Inland Empire for over 30 years. View Attorney James Otto Heiting's Attorney Bio Here.

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