Patient abandonment refers to a situation in which a health care provider terminates a relationship with a patient, fails to provide a reasonable excuse or notice, and fails to assist in selecting a qualified replacement provider. In certain situations, patients who were abandoned and suffered injuries may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
There are a few general elements of patient abandonment cases:
- The doctor and patient have established a relationship.
- The patient was abandoned while he or she was still in need of medical care.
- The termination of the relationship did not allow the patient enough time or resources to find a suitable replacement physician.
- The patient was injured as a direct result of the abandonment.
A patient can suffer from serious and preventable harm as a result of negligent actions including the following:
- Inadequate staffing
- A communication error by medical staff
- Failure to contact a patient who has missed an important appointment
- Failure to answer an urgent question from the patient
Patient abandonment is a complex legal issue that requires intricate investigation to determine whether a health care professional negligently ended a relationship. Not all situations give rise to a medical malpractice lawsuit, and rules involving liability in these cases vary by state.
We can help if you or a family member was injured after a health care provider negligently terminated your relationship. Contact our Pennsylvania and New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers for assistance.