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By Joseph Dell
Managing Partner

As patients, we place the utmost trust in medical professionals. After all, when we need medical treatment, we literally place our lives in their hands. Unfortunately, when doctors are negligent, patients often suffer devastating injuries. Luckily, when a patient is injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, he or she may pursue financial compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. In this article, we discuss a type of medical malpractice called patient abandonment. 

What Is Patient Abandonment?

Patient abandonment, which is a form of medical malpractice, occurs when a physician abandons a doctor-patient relationship without notice or without an acceptable reason. To prove patient abandonment, a person must demonstrate the following:   

  • A doctor-patient relationship was established and clearly existed
  • Medical care was still required at the time the doctor-patient relationship ceased
  • The abandonment constituted medical negligence
  • The doctor’s abandonment of care occurred abruptly and swiftly
  • The ending of the doctor-patient relationship resulted in injury to the patient

Patient Abandonment and Malpractice

As noted above, a patient who is abandoned by his or her physician may have grounds to file a claim for medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a physician or other medical professional injures a patient due to negligence. A patient who suffers an injury due to patient abandonment may be entitled to significant financial compensation via a medical malpractice lawsuit. 

Patient Abandonment Examples

When a doctor stops treating a patient while the patient is still in a critical stage of treatment, and this results in harm to the patient, he or she may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. For example, if an oncologist suddenly stops treating his or her patient while that patient is in a critical treatment stage, then the oncologist may be liable for malpractice if the patient is harmed due to the doctor’s actions. Other examples of types and causes of patient abandonment include: 

  • A hospital is inadequately staffed
  • A hospital fails to communicate an important question from a patient to his or her physician
  • A patient’s doctor is unavailable to the patient for an unreasonably long period 
  • A physician fails to provide adequate notice to a patient to allow the patient to find a new doctor

Contact a Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorney 

If you’ve been harmed by the actions or inactions of a medical professional, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, you only have a limited amount of time within which you may file your claim, so you must act fast. At Dell & Dean, PLLC, we represent clients in medical malpractice cases throughout Nassau County, Suffolk County, New York City, and the surrounding areas. Please contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC, today to schedule a free and confidential consultation. 

About the Author
Joseph G. Dell, the firm’s Managing Partner, is regarded as one of New York State’s top trial lawyers and a zealous advocate of those injured through the negligence of others. Having founded the firm in 1994 with the singular goal of leveling the playing field for those injured, Mr. Dell has worked tirelessly for his clients since its inception. In addition to meeting with clients on a daily basis and trying cases, Mr. Dell is a frequent lecturer at Law School and Bar Associations on cases of significant importance in the fields of negligence and medical malpractice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact Mr. Dell here.