Your doctor is charged with providing you care until you decide to end the relationship or the treatment proves successful. If your doctor "abandons" you and an injury results from his or her action, you might have a case for medical abandonment. An abandonment could lead to a lawsuit for your injuries. If you feel that your doctor abandon you, here is what you need to know.
What Is Considered Abandonment?
The doctor has the same right you do to end the patient-doctor relationship. However, there is a proper way to do it. The relationship can be ended through a mutual agreement or the doctor could give you notice that he or she wants to terminate the relationship. If the latter occurs, the doctor must give you enough notice that you have a reasonable amount of time to find a replacement.
Abandonment occurs when the doctor terminates the relationship without first giving notice and providing a reason. For instance, a doctor might drop you after you fall behind in making payments for treatment. It could even occur if the doctor transfers your care to a partner in his or her practice without first consulting with you.
You could even claim abandonment if the doctor's staff misplaced your medical records and you were somehow lost in his or her documentation system. Even though the doctor and his or her staff did not intend to drop you as a patient, the mistake could be considered abandonment.
Can You Sue?
If you can prove that your doctor abandon his or her responsibilities to you and that it resulted in an injury, you can file a medical malpractice claim with his or her insurance provider. If the claim is not successful, you can move forward and file a lawsuit.
To win your case, you will need to show that the doctor did not have a reasonable explanation for abandoning you. Proving this can be challenging, but the circumstances of your case could potentially make it easier.
Proving that you suffered injuries from the doctor's abandonment could be as easy as providing your medical records from your new provider. The records must show that your injuries are related to the lack of treatment you received from your former doctor.
If you want to file a medical malpractice claim against your former doctor, consult with a personal injury lawyer. The attorney can help determine if the doctor's actions truly constitutes abandonment and help you take action.