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Philadelphia Hospital Discharge Error Lawyer

No one wants to spend a minute more than they need to in the hospital. However, you will have to remain in the hospital until your doctor believes that it is safe for you to be discharged. Your doctor may discharge you with some follow-up instructions for care and medications. When you are finally discharged from the hospital, it is because your doctor has made a determination that it is safe to do so.

If it turns out that you were discharged too early or without proper discharge instructions and you have suffered further injury because of a hospital discharge error, you may be entitled to compensation for medical malpractice. To find out if you may be entitled to financial compensation, call Youman & Caputo for a free assessment of your case.

Philadelphia Hospital Discharge Error Resources

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Why Choose Our Hospital Discharge Error Lawyers?
What Standard of Care Are Hospitals Expected to Meet?
Hospital Discharge Errors
How Do Premature Discharges Occur?
Do You Have a Case for a Hospital Discharge Error?
How Can a Hospital Discharge Error Attorney Help?
Liability for a Hospital Discharge Error
Potential Damages for a Hospital Discharge Error
Speak to a Lawyer Today

Why Choose Our Hospital Discharge Error Lawyers?

  • Our partners, Andrew S. Youman and David J. Caputo, have years of experience representing clients and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts or settlements for them.
  • We are a team of aggressive litigators handling cases with the personal attention of a small firm.
  • Personalized client attention is a core principle of our firm. When our clients have questions or want an update, or when there is an important development in their case, our clients speak with one of our firm partners.

If you or a family member suffered a serious medical injury after being discharged from a doctor’s care, you may have a medical malpractice case. At Youman & Caputo, our experienced medical malpractice lawyers in Philadelphia have access to medical experts who can assess your case and determine quickly if you have a valid claim. Your initial consultation is free, so call us today at (215) 302-1999.

philadelphia hospital discharge error attorney

What Standard of Care Are Hospitals Expected to Meet?

All hospitals and health care providers in Pennsylvania have a duty to uphold the required standards of care. A standard of care is a level of responsibility that must be met by all doctors, nurses, hospitals and emergency rooms to ensure the proper care and treatment of patients. Standards of care are set by what a reasonable and prudent person in the medical industry would do in the same or similar circumstances.

In many cases, determining if a hospital met or fell short of its standard of care requires testimony from a third-party medical specialist. A medical expert in a similar field as the defendant will be used to testify about what he or she would have done in the same situation. If the staff at a hospital fell short of the expected standard of care, they can be held responsible for the mistake and harm it caused to a patient.

Hospital Discharge Errors

A medical malpractice case does not automatically arise because of a hospital discharge error. Doctors are not perfect. They sometimes make errors that can result in harm, but not all errors will qualify for a medical malpractice claim. For a doctor to be held responsible for an injury caused by a hospital discharge error, the doctor must have failed to act according to the standard of care required of them in the particular circumstances.

To make a successful claim for medical malpractice, the injured patient must prove all four elements of negligence:

  • That there was a doctor-patient relationship;
  • That the doctor failed to uphold the standard of care required in the case;
  • That the doctor’s failure caused or increased the risk of harm to the patient; and
  • That the patient suffered actual harm.

A failure to uphold the required standard of care can include any of the following:

  • Premature discharge;
  • Failure to run adequate diagnostic or exploratory tests before discharge;
  • Failure to prescribe medication;
  • Failure to properly assess a patient’s needs;
  • Failure to coordinate a patient’s transition to home care;
  • Failure to make referrals for follow-up care;
  • Failure to instruct patients on how to care for themselves after discharge; or
  • Misinterpretation of charts, scans, or laboratory results.

These mistakes can be prevented with an appropriate level of care and attention given to a patient. If an investigation determines that the hospital or one of its staff members could have prevented the patient’s injury or death with a normal level of care, the hospital could potentially be held liable in Philadelphia.

How Do Premature Discharges Occur?

Premature patient discharges can occur at hospitals due to many types of medical negligence. Releasing a patient before he or she is ready to go home may be a result of miscommunication among members of the patient’s medical team, for example, such as a surgeon failing to properly communicate the need to keep a patient longer for observation after a complication during surgery. 

Premature discharge can also occur due to the following issues and mistakes:

  • Failing to read a patient’s chart
  • Mixing up two or more patients
  • Inadequate patient monitoring
  • Failing to conduct the proper tests before releasing the patient
  • Failing to notice signs of a problem
  • Discharging a patient early to free up a bed in an overcrowded hospital
  • Discharging patients for financial incentives

There is no excuse for prematurely discharging a patient. If there is even the slightest chance that the patient’s injury, illness or condition will worsen if he or she is discharged, the patient should remain in the hospital for further treatment and monitoring. It does not matter how crowded the hospital is or if there is a shortage of beds. Premature discharge can result in a hospital being held liable for a patient’s related harm. Should a premature discharge cause lethal harm, our wrongful death lawyer in Philadelphia is prepared to fight for justice on your family’s behalf. 

Do You Have a Case for a Philadelphia Hospital Discharge Error?

You may have grounds to file a lawsuit for a hospital discharge error in Philadelphia if you or your attorney can prove that the defendant was negligent. Establishing medical negligence requires proof that the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached this duty of care, and that this is what caused your injury or a loved one’s death. 

Proving a case requires clear and convincing evidence, such as:

  • The patient’s medical records
  • Test results and x-rays
  • Eyewitness statements
  • The hospital’s protocols and procedures
  • Medical expert testimony 
  • Photographs and video evidence

To have a successful case for a hospital discharge error, you must take legal action before Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations expires. The statute of limitations is a legal deadline for filing a claim. It is two years in Pennsylvania, with only some exceptions. In general, if you do not file your medical negligence claim within two years after the act occurred or the discovery of your injury or illness, the courts will bar you from pursuing damages. The best way to find out if you have a case for a Philadelphia hospital discharge error is to tell your story to an attorney.

How Can a Hospital Discharge Error Attorney Help?

Medical malpractice lawsuits involve complex laws and legal procedures that require the skill of an experienced lawyer. An experienced Philadelphia hospital discharge error attorney knows the challenges that injured victims confront when trying to make a claim. The attorneys have the resources to review detailed medical information to identify all the parties that are legally responsible for your injury, and then gather evidence to prove a claim against them.

Whether the case is resolved through a settlement or by a jury, you need an experienced lawyer advocating in your best interest to get the full compensation to which you are entitled.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Hospital Discharge Error?

Identifying the defendant is one of the first steps in bringing a lawsuit for a negligent hospital discharge error. The defendant, or liable party, is the individual or entity most responsible for making the preventable mistake and injuring the plaintiff. The identity of this party will depend on the circumstances of the incident, as well as which liability laws apply to the case. 

Possibilities include:

  • The hospital
  • An individual doctor or surgeon
  • An emergency room
  • A pharmaceutical company

If the physician who improperly or prematurely discharged a patient was an employee of the hospital, the hospital can be held vicariously liable. The legal doctrine of vicarious liability holds employers responsible for the negligence of their on-duty employees. If the doctor was an independent contractor, however, he or she may have to pay for the patient’s injuries out of his or her own insurance policy. An attorney can help you determine who is liable for your injuries.

Potential Damages for a Hospital Discharge Error

 No amount of money can make up for a devastating or deadly hospital discharge error in Philadelphia. However, financial damages in the form of a successful settlement or a jury verdict could help a victim move forward with less financial stress. Recovering financial compensation for this type of medical malpractice could help a victim pay for many related costs and losses.

The potential damages may include:

  • Past and future required medical care
  • Losses of income and earning opportunities
  • Lost future capacity to earn due to a disability
  • Catastrophic injuries or scarring and disfigurement
  • Out-of-pocket costs and attorney’s fees
  • Pain, suffering and emotional distress 
  • Lost quality or enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death damages, if applicable
  • Punitive damages

An attorney can help you determine the value of your hospital discharge case in Philadelphia. Then, your lawyer can use proven legal strategies to negotiate for maximum financial compensation on your behalf. Most medical malpractice cases reach successful settlements in Pennsylvania. However, an attorney can take your case to trial, if necessary.

Philadelphia Hospital Discharge Error Lawyer

Speak to a Philadelphia Hospital Discharge Error Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one was injured due to hospital discharge errors, such as premature discharge or improper care instructions, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact a Philadelphia hospital discharge error lawyer at Youman & Caputo to request a free consultation, where you can learn more about a potential lawsuit and your recovery options from an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. Contact us online or call (215) 302-1999 today.