CanIsue the hospital or doctor for negligence ifI was sent home without being properly treated?

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CanIsue the hospital or doctor for negligence ifI was sent home without being properly treated?

Went to the hospital with chest pains and hardly being able to breathe the doctor came in and discharged me without even checking me out. Was told to go home and rest, and not even 3 hours later I was coughing up blood and not able to breathe at all. I went back to the hospital and was treated for an asthma attack. This second visit could have been avoided completely if I had been treated properly the first time. Having to go back into the hospital caused me to miss work.

Asked on August 29, 2011 Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Malpractice--literally "bad practice"--is medical care that does not come up to accepted standards, whether because of carelessness (negligence), lack of training, inadequate equipment or supplies, etc. If sending you home when they did, without checking you out, failed to meet medical standards--as it well might have--you may have a malpractice claim.

Of course, that doesn't mean it's necessarily worth pursuing. You can recover the cost of the additional medical care; the lost wages; and possibly something for pain and suffering, but likely not much, if you were ok in a few hours or a day or two. Since malpractice can be expensive to pursue, if you only suffered a few hundred dollars of out of pocket costs or losses, and maybe a day or two of pain and suffering, it's likely not worth it to pursue a claim.


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