If You’re Discharged Too Soon After an Accident, Is It Medical Malpractice?

March 31, 2022

If you or a loved one sustain an injury and seek medical care for treatment, then you likely count on the knowledge and expertise of a medical provider to know when to discharge you from the hospital. However, what happens if you are discharged from a hospital too early? Would this constitute medical malpractice?

Here, we want to examine whether or not early discharge can lead to a medical malpractice claim, particularly if your condition worsens and you have to seek additional medical care.

Early Discharge From a Hospital

The aftermath of an injury incident can be confusing, but it is absolutely necessary for injury victims to seek medical treatment. We strongly recommend all injury victims to go right to the emergency room for treatment.

At the emergency room, a few things will happen. First, the nurses and the ER doctor will perform an examination and determine the extent of the injuries. During the ER visit, a decision will be made by the medical providers about whether or not you should be admitted to the hospital for further treatment or discharged with instructions on how to treat your injuries. Typically, those with minor injuries are discharged from the ER. For those with serious injuries, or situations where a doctor wants to monitor a patient, this will typically mean getting admitted to the hospital.

In some situations, an individual may be discharged too early. There are various reasons why hospitals push to discharge patients. This can include the hospital or emergency room being busy and either not having the time to conduct a full examination or wanting to free up bed space. In some cases, a person is discharged early due to a medical mistake. This can include failing to properly diagnose all of the injuries or the severity of the injury.

Early discharge can happen directly from the emergency room or from the hospital room if a person is admitted. Not all cases of early discharge from a hospital will be considered medical malpractice, even if a person is found to have sustained a more severe injury than initially thought.

Not all injuries appear right after an accident. In some cases, the signs and symptoms of some injuries do not appear until hours or even days after an accident occurs, and these hidden injuries could evade medical evaluations and testing. Doctors and nurses typically do the best that they can with the information presented to them when a patient shows up at the hospital.

An early discharge will likely only be considered medical malpractice if a medical professional blatantly rushed treatment or completely skipped the steps necessary to make an adequate diagnosis.

Contact an Attorney

If you or somebody you care about has been discharged from a hospital early and gone on to suffer from additional injuries caused by the early discharge, please reach out to a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. In addition to seeking medical treatment for your injuries, you may need to begin the process of filing a medical malpractice claim against the initial treating physician or facility.

However, medical malpractice claims are challenging, and proving that the malpractice resulted from an early discharge will involve gathering significant evidence and working with medical experts who can examine the facts of the case. A lawyer in West Virginia can handle this process for you, but they need to examine the facts of your case first.


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