In the last couple of decades, many states have passed laws protecting patients’ rights. These laws vary from state to state, but in general, they offer protection from certain types of abuse or neglect that a patient might suffer at the hands of a medical professional. That means you have legal recourse if your rights have been violated.
Examples of patient rights violations include failing to provide necessary care or proper nursing; patient abandonment or isolation; administering unnecessary medication like psychotropic drugs; and HIPAA violations—for example, snooping on the medical records of a patient without their consent.
Can you sue for a violation of patient rights? Well, that depends. All patient rights violation cases are unique so the question becomes whether a violation of a patient’s rights by a medical professional can be legally considered neglect or abuse under current laws.
It’s not uncommon for doctors to rush through visits or not follow up properly, but simply claiming you’ve been mistreated doesn’t mean you have a case. In order to sue for negligence based on a violation of patient rights, your injury must meet certain criteria.
First of all, your injury must be severe enough to warrant an investigation. You also must have suffered economic damages, such as lost wages or additional medical expenses due to the violation.
The most important factor is whether the violation was intentional. Find out more about patient rights in the state of California.
It also helps if your doctor is covered by malpractice insurance. If so, you might be offered a settlement without ever going to court. Malpractice insurance companies often work behind the scenes with attorneys to settle patient rights violation cases before trial. Insurers don’t want expensive lawsuits because they cut into profits. They’ll then pass on their costs to policyholders as higher premiums.
While your violation of patient rights case is pending, it’s advised that you remain on good terms with your doctor and office staff. That doesn’t mean being docile or not asking questions. Most patient rights violation cases in California settle out of court, so being visible but amicable could be in your best interests.
When addressing whether or not you can sue for a violation of patient rights, you’ll want to review your case with San Diego injury attorneys. Call The Kindley Firm, APC at 619-550-1313, or briefly tell us about your case by filling out our online form. Everyone deserves quality, respectful medical care, and laws exist to protect every patient from abuse.